Composer Nami Melumad Talks About Her “Cinematic” Score For ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’

The excitement continues to build over the upcoming series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, set to debut in May. We now have some more details on the music for the show set on Captain Pike’s USS Enterprise, with some exclusive comments from the newly revealed composer, Nami Melumad. She was also nice enough to provide us with some images from recording sessions.

Melumad on scoring Strange New Worlds

In an appearance on Strange New Pod, Star Trek: Prodigy composer Nami Melumad revealed she has been tapped to take on double duty, now also scoring the music for Strange New Worlds. Melumad became the first female composer for Star Trek when she scored the Star Trek: Short Treks episode “Q&A” back in 2019.

TrekMovie reached out to Melumad for some additional details on the music for Strange New Worlds. She confirmed she is scoring all the episode music for the series, with Discovery and Picard composer Jeff Russo composing the main and end themes. Work on recording the music for the first season is already well underway.

Regarding how she feels about being chosen for the new live-action series, Melumad was ecstatic, telling TrekMovie:

To quote my favorite captain: “Dream big, kid” (Prodigy “Starstruck”)… After attending the dub of “Q&A” back in 2019, Bartholomew Burcham (the editor) and I were walking back to our cars. Then he said something along the lines of “They love your music. They’ll call you to do the Pike show, I’m sure”. That’s when I began to dream about it, and ultimately, it came true. I’m very grateful. ‘Being’ on the bridge of the Enterprise is quite surreal. Sometimes I have to remind myself this is for real!

Behind the scenes for score recording of Strange New Worlds (Nami Melumad)

The composer also gave us a sense of how she is approaching the music for Strange New Worlds:

I’m going for a cinematic approach, quite similar to what I do with Prodigy: I address it as if this was a feature film. Though less animated, it is a very active score that addresses most if not all scene changes throughout. There are reoccurring themes/motifs, as the story permits, and a couple of musical callbacks I’m sure you’ll recognize.

Melumad and her team have already recorded over half of the episodes for the first season, which is being done on the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Brothers, Burbank. The composer also gave us some details on the orchestra:

This is not the same orchestra as Picard and Discovery, it’s actually a smaller ensemble for season one, but it does feature some of the same brilliant players. Similar to Prodigy, which is recorded in Prague with a larger ensemble, I record this score tutti as well. Everyone records together in the same room (don’t worry, we’re keeping safe with all the Covid protocols!)

Behind the scenes for score recording of Strange New Worlds (Nami Melumad)

She also talked about the talented team she has assembled:

Fortunately, I was able to bring in Oscar-nominated score-mixer Dennis Sands (Avengers: Endgame, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Back to the Future) to record and mix most of the score, and along with my lead orchestrator Jeff Kryka (Spiderman: No Way Home, The Batman, Star Trek: Prodigy), they elevated the score to a whole new level. Matt Decker, music-editor-extraordinaire is handling editing, and he’s phenomenal (He also got a very Trekkie name!…). I’m super lucky to work with such a great creative team!

Strange New Worlds arrives in May

Season one of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will arrive on May 5th. A teaser poster was revealed earlier this month.

Stranged New Worlds will stream exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., Latin America and Australia. The series will air on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and stream on Crave in Canada with additional international availability to be announced at a later date.

Find more news and analysis for Strange New Worlds.

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I love the music (and just about everything else) in Prodigy! This is great news.

I was hoping Giacchino would do the Strange New Worlds main theme. I’m not particularly impressed with Jeff Russo’s Trek work (his For All Mankind theme is also just okay.).

Cool to hear, I am enjoying her work on Prodigy. I hope there are some callbacks to the music of TOS like that legendary Amok Time theme (if necessary of course). Also it is kind of funny that music editors name is Matt Decker. I guess the commodore decided to leave Starfleet and take up music.

Well unfortunately Matt Decker was not in the position to leave Starfleet when we last saw him officially… But I guess the Doomsday Machine did actually send him back in time after all :-)

Oh man… Matt Decker could have been in Discovery!!
Wonder what he was up to during the Klingon War. Same goes for Nogura and Commodore Wesley.

Maybe he could appear in SNW. I wonder who they can get for the role? Tom Hanks always wanted to appear in Trek, why not as Decker?

Please, don’t let that crazy MF or his insubordinate son any where near the Enterprise. The first two “it’s all about me” Deckers nearly got the Federation destroyed. ;-) LOL

Incidentally, years back that was a rumor of an unused TMP scene with Kirk and Admiral Nogura…I don’t think that has ever been found though. I always wanted to see that.

Nami Melumad scoring SNW is great news. I liked the score from the PROD pilot a lot.

I’m really curious about the main theme but also a bit concerned. Jeff Russo has his moments but overall, his music comes as a mixed bag. Out of his two themes, one was brilliant (PIC) while the other one was mediocre (DSC)… The DSC theme works as a background theme for emotional moments but as part of the mian titles it feels a bit underwhelming. It should have been Michael Giacchino to compose the SNW theme, just like his GLORIOUS PROD theme!

On the other hand, I expect the theme to be a variation on the TOS theme anyway, at least the end titles should be, maybe the version from the DSC S1 finale.

Agreed. I’m not a big fan of Russo’s Trek work (and haven’t heard his other work). I wish they’d gotten Giacchino, too – the Prodigy theme is fantastic; and I still love his Trek movie scores.

It’s a shame she wasn’t allowed to do the main theme as well.

It’ll be her turn for the next one I’m sure. Just gotta be patient.

Dvorak just summarized modern Trek in a nutshell.

I hear the composer responsible for the main theme of Enterprise has been asked to do the theme for SNW, so we’re good. And THANK GOD I’m joking…

Aren’t jokes supposed to be HUMOROUS?

Thank you for replying and taking the time to be a jerk. A sense of humour is required, which takes a certain subtlety of mind, which you obviously lack.

I was just thinking that she’s the chief composer for two Star Trek shows but on both of them- a man has done the overture. I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, but the optics of it don’t look good.

I wouldn’t want her to be given the assignment just because she’s a woman.

I’d want her to get it because she’s handily a better composer than Jeff Russo is.


Oh I didn’t mean that she should be given the assignment based solely on her gender. Apologies if it came across that way (I’m autistic and sometimes I struggle with non verbal communications- not that it’s an excuse!!)

I agree that her work is stronger than Jeff Russo and maybe even Michael Giacchino! I really do like the Prodigy overture, but would love to see what Nami could have come up with.

I appreciate the clarification — that makes sense.

I’m looking forward to hearing her work on Strange New Worlds no matter what!

It isn’t an uncommon practice to bring in an established composer for the main title and have others handle the show itself (Star Trek: Voyager, for example).

True, but it’s also at least as common for a single composer to handle the entire thing these days.

Please, please, please TOS themes!!! We want TOS/TMP/TWOK memorable music!
Don’t be TNG wallpaper music, don’t be TNG wallpaper music…. (crosses fingers, closes eyes).
Cue TOS cliffhanger theme..

Let’s say Late-TNG / DS9 / VOY / ENT wallpaper music… Early TNG, especially Ron Jones’ work was great. I just love listening to those scores time and again… But ENT had some moments, esp. the Brian Tyler Borg score. And well, while it was extremely overused, I also like David Bell’s theme. He only had one theme popping up in dozens of eps all over DS9, VOY and ENT… but that was quite cool :-)

I don’t think it’ll be purely TOS though. I guess it could be closer to what we get on The Orville and Lower Decks. Which is not exactly TOS or TOS movie music – apart from the obvious cues – but closer to general sci fi stuff from the 90s… SeaQuest in particular…

I’m sure they will do it like they do with Prodigy and that has Voyager themes here and there. But I suspect it will have the original Courage score in places since of course that’s in a lot of the the other shows including Prodigy.

Can’t wait to hear her score! Great story as well.

Interesting that Paramount would use a competitor’s (Warner Bros) facility for their production?

Yeah, I wonder how often this sort of thing happens. I’m reminded of the behind-the-scenes story from way way back with Forbidden Planet when Disney loaned some of its animators to MGM to help finish the movie. Doubtful that would happen today but who knows.

Paramount doesn’t have a scoring stage of their own. Seems like they demolished it in 2008.

Paramount has used soundstages from other companies as well to produce films. Not an uncommon practice.

Although I like Russo’s Discovery and Picard theme’s I have to admit, I am a little underwhelmed that he is doing the opening and closing of SNW. He obviously has talent, but let’s hope he actually realizes that SNW is clearly targeting legacy fans who are really connected with TOS and TNG.

I assume there will be a voiceover by Anson Mount (and perhaps other cast members) along with Courage’s intro accompanied by the new score. Let’s all hope its a good one.

Great news that Malumad will be doing the in show music. Her Prodigy work has been stellar.

I like Picard’s theme music- it’s really lovely especially with the flute touches recalling the inner light- but the Discovery theme doesn’t really go anywhere (*cue “nor does the show” comments* lol!)

Russo’s doing the theme? Expect some nod to a classic Trek score at the beginning, some disjointed dirge in the middle and then a second nod to a classic Trek score at the end.

The only thing we can safely expect are edge lording takes like this.

Slightly off topic, but what was the history behind the weird jazzy theme in TOS?

I don’t know that there’s anything specific, but I understand that Roddenberry didn’t want stereotypical “sci-fi” music. And that bossa-nova style with the syncopation and bongos was popular at the time.

The ‘incidental’ music throughout the classic TOS show is just one of the things which have made it so rewatchable for me over the years, but an important one….so I hope Nami Melumad can come up with something approaching the ‘otherworldly’-ness of some of the classic music.

I just hope that Jeff Russo can up his game for the ‘main’ and ‘end’ themes for this show, as his DISCOVERY and PICARD ones were pretty bland overall, in my view.

And I also hope that we don’t get anymore ‘technical drawing’ graphics at the start of this show, as I’d rather just see the actual ship flying through the stars again, than that!

Why not just reuse the music from TOS? Picard and Discovery both failed with the music.

So long as the main theme is a cinematic version of Courage’s original theme, ala the end of the Kelvin films, we’re all good.