Evan H. Chen, composer, born in Shanghai, China. Mr Chen began studying classical piano at an early age. In 1979, he enrolled as a piano and vocal student at Shanghai Teacher's College. In 1985, Mr. Chen came to the U.S. on a music scholarship to study composition with William Kraft. In 1988, Chen moved to Chicago, where he established himself as a composer, producer and sound designer for theater, documentaries and TV/radio commercials. His music for "Coriolanus" received a Joseph Jefferson Award for original music. In 1993, the Minnesota Opera company commissioned Mr. Chen to compose an original opera, "Bokchoy Variations," which was subsequently produced during their regular season, in 1995. Now Mr. Chen resides in Los Angeles. He is the composer to "Crusade," a spin-off TV series from "Babylon 5."
When the time came to consider music for CRUSADE, the easiest thing
in the world to have done would be to call Christopher Franke, whose
stellar work made sister-series BABYLON 5 something sonically
magnificent. The dangerous thing is to reach out and try new things,
to experiment. Chris is an artist, Chris understands: a new show
must have a new and totally different sound.
And for this new series, we wanted a very particular sound, something
I hadn't heard before. We found that blend quite by accident, when
Even Chen's first demo CD came in the door of Babylonian Productions.
It blended Western sensibilities with Eastern scales, Chicago jazz
with an industrial sound, even using Chinese musical scales to give
otherwise ordinary music a suddenly different sound...laying in a
high, reedy flute on top that, as Evan says, seems to go nowhere, then
bringing up a hard rhythm underneath it.
It was something I'd never heard before. Classically trained, a
product of the best training in both the East and the West, Evan
Chen created a sonic imprint unlike anything used on any previous
science fiction TV series...and it's a mark of a true artist
that this first soundtrack is being released by Chris Franke.
They are brothers in art, and the only two musicians to work
within the confines of the BABYLON 5 universe. Enjoy.
J. Michael Stracczynski