Tomorrow we're back in the saddle with some book announcements. Stay tuned!
Doug Adams interview with Fictional Frontiers’ Sohaib
Prior to the Concert-Film Showing
Lobby of Radio City Music Hall - October 9, 2009
S: We are back on Fictional Frontiers with Sohaib. We are in Radio City Music Hall, Friday night, for the event that I have been waiting for the last couple of months, and that’s the viewing of “The Fellowship of the Ring” with a live orchestra. And here with me for a minute or two – he is in a mad rush… I mean, the New York crowd is always late, so I am not that concerned – Doug Adams the author of “The Music of the Lord of the Rings [Films]”. Doug is going to talk a minute about the score and what it means to him, because, Doug, in my opinion it is the standard for major scores for epic films a la “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Gone with the Wind” and the only other score that I can think of that I can put in its category is the “Star Wars” saga. Talk a little bit about “The Lord of the Rings” scores and what they mean to you personally.
DA: Boy! What they mean to me personally…!? I wouldn’t be here tonight without all this. This is pretty remarkable. I just flew in a little while ago. And it’s one of those days when everybody is irate at the airport and I have seen more people running around here screaming tonight than I even saw at the airport. So this is definitely a fired up crowd! “Lord of the Rings” has really, for the better part of the last decade, defined my creative life. I have been able to see all this from behind the scenes. Watch it come from these recording sessions in town halls to the middle of Radio City Music Hall, which is just an amazing arc. I think it’s unquestionably up there with the all time great film scores if not right on top of the heap. Something like this is completely unheard of. It is wonderful to see film music get this type of recognition! It’s just wonderful to see that it has touched this many people. It’s really incredible.
S: What separates the “Lord of the Rings” scores from, say, other films, because to me you can’t really separate the films from the scores?
DA: I think, yeah, there was the thought in the production that these scores could add something of structural significance to the films. We always knew that Howard Shore would provide something beautiful, something emotional, that would pull all of our heart strings, but I think what it really became was something that… It’s as much a film score as it is an adaptation of Tolkien’s writing. Everything that is in the book is in the score! And that is not an approach that most people take [in writing film scores]. Film music by its nature has to be a sort knee jerk thing so for someone to come at it with this level of pre-planning and architectural concern is unbelievable. And look what it’s done! Here we are!
S: I wish our listening audience could see what I am seeing here tonight! We haven’t even seen the production or the performance yet! Two quick questions before we head in. One, your work on the book that you have been working on for so long… talk a little bit about that. You know, where we can pick it up and where we can hope to see in an incredible work, which as you say, has been part of your life for the last decade!
DA: Right! Well, it’s exactly as I have been saying. We have been trying to approach this score on both an emotional and an analytical level, so you get this sense of the real structure of it and all of that is filtered through the incredible writing… not my writing, Tolkien’s writing! (laughs) So that people can have that emotional connection to something that is a very intelligent piece at the same time. We are looking to get it out, hopefully in the first half of 2010… we’re making a couple of deals… in fact we will go right back into production when this ends up on Monday, so we will be right back onto it after we get out of here. We hope, with any luck, to have it available in April for “The Two Towers” performances at Royal Albert Hall. That’s not a sealed deal, but that is our hope at this point.
S: And we are obviously going to mention your blog after this segment airs. But last quick question: The Hobbit? You know a lot of our listeners are “Lord of the Rings” fans and a lot of our friends are from TORn, The One Ring dot Net and they are going to kill me if I don’t ask you about “The Hobbit” scores. I know Howard is working on them right now and any tidbits of information you can give our audience so they can… so they don’t come after me, basically, in a nutshell! (laughs)
DA: I think if I start by divulging too many Hobbit secrets someone is going to come after me with some blunt instruments pretty quickly! He’s definitely already on the project. He’s working on some of the music that you will hear in the film itself, in other words, the diagetic music, the source music. Things that the characters will hear as well. These obviously need to be recorded before the filming begins. So he is looking at those right now. He is working very intimately with Guillermo, who we should wish a happy birthday to, I think. He has been going through Guillermo’s scrapbooks to get the ideas out of there, some visual sense. So he’s started his process. He is reading the book over and over and over. I was here last weekend and I didn’t see him go anywhere without a little bit of Tolkien tucked under his arm. So it’s coming together.
S: Well, that’s comforting to our listeners. I am going to let you go in. And, Doug, you are going to have to come back when the book is released next year.
DA: Absolutely, I’ll be here!
S: Great, Doug, thanks!