Friday, March 28, 2008


Now in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Soon to be in Lucerne, Switzerland in bed.

Updates when mental powers return.

[Friday night, 11:45 p.m. Lucerne time...]

I've been out of touch, so I'm not sure if this is common knowledge or not, but please be on the lookout for John Howe in the audience tomorrow evening. I'm just in from a late dinner and at the end of a 50-plus hour consciousness bender, so I'm off to bed. I'll address emails and updates as soon as I'm able.

It's staggeringly beautiful here, by the way.

[Saturday night / Sunday morning... I think it's like 3:38 a.m., but honestly I just don't know anymore]

I like my life. :)

[Sunday night / Monday morning 3:15 a.m.]

Hi all,

I'm exhausted, but my mind won't let me sleep. I'm going to continue trying, but the alarm is slowly sneaking up on me. Perhaps sleeping on the plane(s) tomorrow will be easier at this rate.

In short, however, it's truly been the most amazing of weekends. I'm extraordinarily appreciative of everyone that helped make these days so special. By the middle of this coming week, I should hopefully have enough brain power to begin posting some full reports... including pics, audio and possibly video. I hope I can share some of the excitement.

But for now, I'm going to try to close my eyes and try to block the amazing images that keep my mind from resting. I don't want to, but I'm certain I'll always carry them with me, so I'm not worried.

[Tuesday, 3:39 p.m.]

Back in Chicago now. Lucerne overview/wrap-up coming soon. You may want to take a look at the posting above this, in the meantime. :)


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Live From New York [March 2008 Edition -- Day 2]

[10:40 a.m.] Back to work! You guys still out there?

[11:20 a.m.] The language fans out there will enjoy the latest discovery... David Salo reading through many of the Fellowship texts for pronunciation purposes.

[12:38 p.m.] Oh my...

[12:52 p.m.] I think I'm just about at the end of the CDs vaults now... which is amazing in itself. there will be more work pulling audio off hard drives later, which will likely warrant additional goodies, but that's for another trip. Right now it's time to turn attention to... video! This trip has two purposes. Now moving out of the realm of audio discoveries, we're turning our attention to video discoveries... all still pertaining to music, of course, but this opens a whole new side of things! 

Lunch now, reportage later.

[9:18 a.m., Day 3] No lunch didn't take THAT long yesterday. The afternoon suddenly became a blur of phone calls, review sessions and thoughtful discussions, most of which happened a good distance from the old laptop, which is probably healthy for me personally, but certainly doesn't help the blogging.

More discussions about the book's multimedia DVD carried on into the night, and frankly, by the time I got back to my room, I had energy left for a few goodnight phone calls, but not much else.

But, there's still that Oh My moment from yesterday fueling my thoughts. In fact, it was an interesting cluster of Oh My moments all concentrated around that timeframe. I can't discuss much other than to say I'm now getting a much clearer image of how LOTR developed as a film, and how the music developed simultaneous to that.

More on that later, I promise.

Right now, it's time to pack up and make our way back to the airport... but before I go, I'd like to introduce you to Saul Pincus, who will be overseeing the video side of the DVD. Saul has been working with me in the offices this week, and we'll be reconvening in a few weeks to continue our work. Say hi, Saul...

Oh, and just so I don't totally skimp on specifics... I see that there's some discussion at MM.com about the final appearance of the History of the Ring theme in ROTK and whether or not the soprano solo over Gollum's rapture at Mount Doom constitutes a quote. Believe me, once you hear the glorious music originally intended to follow this moment, you'll understand what the soprano line represents! :)

Ok next stop, Lucerne!


PS - Munich reviews! Send them!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Live From New York [March 2008 Edition]

[11:25 a.m.] And here we go...

[12:30 p.m.] Finding a good number of ALTs from Rohan at Dunharrow. Much colder in spots. Wonder in the Army of the Dead was supposed to cast more a pall over things originally.

[1:08 p.m.] Going through the orchestral overdubs from Billy Boyd's song.

[2:42 p.m.] Back from lunch. Just catalogued CD 100!

[3:43 p.m.] Rocking Into the West remix... No I'm not kidding!

[5:46 p.m.] Sorry for the spotty reporting. Exceedingly busy day! Will be back for a wrap-up in the evening.

[10:21 p.m.] Back in the hotel!

Hi everyone,

It's been a long day. I'll try to give you a very brief overview, but I'm going to have to hit the bed pretty quickly. I think I'm getting very, very close to hitting the end of The Return of the King, which is at once thrilling and disappointing. I'm thrilled to think that I've finally wrapped my ears around this enormous archive of material, but disappointed that the discovery period is close to its end. I'd love to find a few more gems tomorrow, so I'm going in optimistically. Today I found a good number of ROTK alternates... and even one FOTR bit that had been filed out of order and left undiscovered when I was focusing on that film. But this trip isn't solely about collecting music, so there have been exciting bits on other fronts. More on that later. I'm well past 100 CDs this point, though it's important to remember that many of these CDs include only a single bit of notably alternate material. Still... it's an enormous archive, and I can't wait to share it with everyone soon.

And, as I say, it's not yet done. Be here tomorrow as I get to the end of the CDs, and talk a bit about the new avenue the research has begun to explore.

Bedtime now. See you soon!


Friday, March 21, 2008

Summer 2002: Researching Fellowship

This recording dates back to the summer of 2002 and my second trip to Howard Shore's offices... which is why I sound so jumpy! We're watching Fellowship together for the first time, and still trying to get a handle on just how the scores' architecture would function. (Shore was literally in the middle of The Two Towers at the time, having just been writing music for Fangorn Forest earlier the same morning.)

This was an incredibly enjoyable part of the research process, so I thought I'd share it in little bits. Enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

ROTK: CR Gets a Bitsy Honorable Mention

TheDigitalBits.com, a site that focuses on high-def media, has listed The Return of the King: The Complete Recordings among their runners up in the category Best High Resolution Audio.

The winner, incidentally, was the a set of Genesis retrospectives. Beaten by Phil Collins... now we know how the South Park guys felt! :)

See the winners here.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Back to NY

It's going to be a busy few weeks on the blog. As previously announced, I'll be in Lucerne, Switzerland at the end of March for the FOTR Live performances. A few days before that, however, I'll be back in New York, once again digging through the unused music in Howard Shore's offices. Please join me on March 25 and 26 for a little live blogging, won't you? We'll see what we find this time out!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

FOTR Live Comes to North America April 24

North American audiences, your time has come. After opening with a splash in Europe, FOTR Live is moving to the other side of the pond. Canadian audiences get first dibs this time. See the press release below, or click here, for ticketing info, seating charts, etc.

* * * * *

Composer Howard Shore brought J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary imagination to vivid life with his Academy®- and Grammy® Award-winning score to Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Shore crafted a fully-developed musical epic that related the classic tale with moving and intricately related themes for each of Middle-earth’s cultures and charted the One Ring’s journey with an exhilarating flourish.

Upon its 2001 arrival, Shore’s score, composed for large symphony orchestra, adult and boys choruses and instrumental and vocal soloists, was proclaimed an instant classic. Now the massive composition makes an unprecedented move to the concert hall. On April 24, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Ludwig Wicki, with a chorus of over 100 voices will present the North American Premiere of Shore’s entire 3-hour score to The Fellowship of the Ring live to the projected film in high definition.

"This is the first time that the complete score to The Fellowship of the Ring will be performed Live to Projection in North America. I am very happy that the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra will perform the piece with conductor Ludwig Wicki. My first score for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, was the beginning of my journey into the world of Tolkien and I will always hold a special fondness for the music and the experience."

-Howard Shore

The music of The Lord of the Rings is counted among film music’s most complex and comprehensive works. Howard Shore’s score interconnects dozens of recurring themes to create a world as rich and thoroughly realized as the story that inspired it. This unique performance sets the score to the film, but allows the music to bear the narrative weight, creating a wholly new and dramatic live concert experience.

“I am honored that we are able to present the North American premiere of this magnificent ‘Musical Wonder’ to Winnipeg with a 200 strong live cast,” stated Atilla Glatz of Attila Glatz Concert Productions.

"Being chosen by Howard Shore for the North American premiere of The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring is a tribute of the highest order to our musicians, to our symphony and to our city,” added Dale Lonis, Executive Director, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets for this sensational event start at $39.00, and go on sale this Monday, March 10th, 2008 at all Ticketmaster outlets, by phoning 780-3333, or online at www.ticketmaster.ca.

Group discounts will also be offered, along with discounts for students and seniors

Presented by Attila Glatz Concert Productions, the MTS Centre and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lucerne Take 2

We've been working out the details on this for a little while now, but I'm very happy to confirm that Howard Shore and I will speaking before the March 29 and 30 performances of FOTR Live in Lucerne.

I'm starting in on a strict regiment of vitamins right now. I don't intend to miss this twice!

More details later…

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Leonard Rosenman, 1924 - 2008

Renowned film composer Leonard Rosenman, who wrote the score to Ralph Bakshi's 1978 animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, passed away today at the age of 83.

Lenny was known for his forward-looking musical language, his innovative oft-imitated technique and his wry (and occasionally acerbic) wit... but, to those who were lucky enough to know him in person, he was a sweet-natured, wildly enthusiastic music-lover. Rest in peace.
Let the night never cease to call you
Let the day nevermore be the same
Though you've gone where we cannot find you
In each heart you have set your name

Lucerne: March 29 and 30 Sold Out

After the success of the FOTR Live performances in February, this comes as little surprise--the March 29 and 30 concert dates have now sold out as well. That makes four sold out concerts in a row, an impressive feat!

Monday, March 3, 2008

St. Louis Gets the Symphony

St. Louis Today is reporting that The Lord of the Rings Symphony will be coming to The St. Louis Symphony on Friday and Saturday, September 19 and 20.

Conductor Markus Huber will lead the orchestra… No word if Shore will attend, but The Fly is playing in LA that weekend, so I’d assume not. Still, this is a great chance to hear one of the US’ premier orchestras tackle the Symphony, and Huber always draws a spirited performance. (It’s interesting to note where his interpretation differs from Shore’s… his fiery tempo in the Moria music, for example.)

The concert is not yet up on the St. Louis Symphony’s website, but it appears you can order tickets here. (I’m not vouching for this service, I know nothing about them. I’d call in person first, personally.)

By the way, who picked out St. Louis’ 2008-2009 season? I looks amazing! John Adams’ Guide to Strange Places and El Niño, Beethoven 7, Bartók Piano Concerto No. 3, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, Berg’s Seven Early Songs, Elgar Cello Concerto, Harold Arlen’s score to The Wizard of Oz, Saint-Saëns 3, Sibelius 5, Adès’ Asyla, Steven Mackey, Chris Rouse, Frank Zappa… and LOTR. I’d have to take out a second mortgage if St. Louis were any closer!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Ongoing Discussion Thread [March, 2008]

I'm actually a day late with this post. I'll credit it to the craziness of the past few weeks. Thankfully, I think I'm back to full strength now. With any luck I should have good news about additional travel plans in another week or so... possibly on more that one front. Waiting on several confirmations as I type.

In the meantime, it's more writing for me, more Hobbit news for New Line (i.e., Warner Brothers... see first new post), and more comments for you. Post away!

Known Issues: There is currently no convenient way to edit your posts after they've been published. Proofread carefully. If you must make corrections, simply post a revised draft and I'll delete the original as quickly as I can.

Last month's posts are accessible here.
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