Alumnus' music selected for Griffith Observatory show

Regent Scott Liggett

For the next decade, the work of Regent Scott Liggett ’71 will be heard at the world-famous Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. The Conservatory alumnus composed and produced music and sound for the observatory’s new award-winning planetarium show “Signs of Life.”

“This is a legacy project,” Liggett said. “Its effect on people, especially children, is just unbelievable. You bring kids up there and you can see their eyes light up.”

“Signs of Life” explores what it took to put life on Earth and where else it might be found. The show is a captivating blend of movie and live performance, which added layers of complexity to the music and sound design. 

“We have hidden cues for the presenters musically and visually to get themselves in synchronization. It is very complex, but it affects the audience in a much different way than passively watching a movie or listening to a presentation,” Liggett said.

President Christopher Callahan and Pacific leaders and alumni were invited to a recent showing, including former Regent Dianne Philibosian ’68.

“I was completely captivated … Every moment was a surprise. I was completely surrounded by the phenomenon of space and time,” Philibosian said. “It is a magnificent piece of work so typical of Scott’s creative talent.”
This is Liggett’s second time producing music for the observatory. The first show, “Centered in the Universe,” ran for nearly 15 years. A self-professed “space-geek,” the work combines Liggett’s love of the stars with his passion for music. 

“To get the opportunity to hang out with all these people, write orchestral music, and use all the tools of the trade that I learned at the Conservatory is just a fantastic experience,” he said.

Liggett has had tremendous success since he first enrolled in Pacific’s Conservatory. The Emmy award-winning music and audio producer has made music for hundreds of television shows and commercials with his long-running sound studio. He also opened a development company with William Shatner in 2017 and is executive producer at Shatner Universe.

Throughout his career, Liggett has maintained a close relationship with Pacific. He was a founding member of the Music Management Advisory Board and mentors student interns in his company.

The Pacific Alumni Association presented him with its Distinguished Professional Service Award in 2020. Liggett adds another award to his resume with “Signs of Life”—Best Music Score for Education/Entertainment Exhibits from the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, which he likens to the Golden Globes.

The music drives the show, according to Griffith Observatory Director E.C. Krupp.

“The soundtrack is what bonds the show to the heart and persuades the audience that the meaning is personal,” Krupp said. “People hear (Liggett’s) music each year in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, and without realizing what is happening, they are transported to another realm of perception of themselves and the cosmos.”

Watch the "Signs of Life" trailer