Thursday, December 31, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Reading List

I've spent the last week or two instituting a few structural changes in the book's text, and have been looking to rather varied list of sources for inspiration. Since this extra work continues to put me behind on both blog posts and email--sorry everyone, I'll respond soon, I promise!--I thought perhaps it would be entertaining to compile the current titles sitting on the desk:

The Jaws Log -- Carl Gottlieb
Street Gang, The Complete History of Sesame Street -- Michael Davis
Beethoven -- Maynard Solomon
Schultz and Peanuts -- David Michaels
The Fellowship of the Ring, Illustrated by Alan Lee -- J.R.R. Tolkien
The Complete Making of Indiana Jones -- J.W. Rinzler
The Making of Star Wars -- J.W. Rinzler
The Man Who Ate Everything -- Jeffrey Steingarten
The Muppet Man [script] -- Christopher Weekes
The New Harvard Dictionary of Music -- Randel
The Book of Imaginary Beings -- Jorge Luis Borges

...And of course A Treasury of Curious George -- Margret and H.A. Rey

See, this is what happens when it gets too snowy for me to take my usual afternoon walk.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

To visitors all around the world, a very Merry Christmas!

I'll be back to regular emailing and posting in the next few days.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sandy Claus

Another pair of well-wishers have now stopped by. I quite like this new routine -- there's nothing like being a conduit for Christmas cheer!

The wonderful work below has been assembled by our dear friend Gary Day-Ellison, and features original artwork by his wife, Sandy Nightingale. Gary kindly sends his best wishes to one and all, and I'm quite certain the feeling is entirely mutual.

Wesołych Świąt

As part of his Christmas tidings, Robert Piaskowski (director of the Kraków Film Music Festival) has sent this beautiful shot of Krakow in winter. Thought I'd share:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The View From Beneath the Tree

Good morning, everyone!

I've been a rather ineffective blogger over the past weeks, I'm afraid. Between the normal holiday responsibilities and some book rewrites--and a dalliance with the flu!--my online time has been limited. I always give myself a little bit of a pass this time of year, assuming that blog readers are likely being pulled away from their computers as well, so it all evens out. Nevertheless, if I owe you a phone call or email, please plan on hearing from me in the next 48 hours -- give or take.

The book rewrites I've briefly mentioned over the past few weeks are proceeding wonderfully. We're not actually changing any content, we're just instituting a few structural shifts with an eye towards flow and linear readability. As certain portions of the text move about book, I'm finding that a little rewording here and their allows the passages to get on much more happily with their new neighbors. This is why I love the design phase--it reminds you that a book is a physical thing and that your content, both in terms of text and layout, control just how readers' eyes traverse the page. That's so interesting to me. This is also a good time of year for this. Most corporate entities are closed down or moving very slowly right now, so it's nice to be able to sit by myself beneath the Christmas tree with a laptop and still keep the production on its feet. And yes, that's exactly what I've been doing! Ho ho ho...

I'll close today with a bit of CD news. If any of us have any disposable cash left after the holidays, we should be aware that Howard Shore's score to Edge of Darkness will be available on the new WaterTower Music label on January 26. WaterTower, by the way, is the new face of New Line Records, so we're already seeing Paul Broucek making some changes. Bravo!

Enjoy that last-minute shopping, everyone! I'll try to be back to posting before Santa arrives.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Journey's End

After much preparation, Alex's children's choir has given their long-awaited performance of "Bilbo's Song":

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bilbo's Song

Our good friend Alex sent in an incredibly sweet video last night, and though I don't usually post such things, this unquestionably earns it. I'll let Alex handle the introduction:

"Hi my fellows!

I have a little surprise... Im the conductor of a Children's Choir, here in Valencia, and one of the pieces that we are going to sing is the great "Bilbo's Song" by Howard Shore. The music and the lyrics (translated from sindarin to spanish) are adapted by me. The concert will be this sunday and the kids are very excited.

Specially dedicated to Doug and Mr.Shore!!

Hope you enjoy.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Congratulations, Paul Broucek

Paul Broucek, who served as the Executive in Charge of Music for New Line on The Lord of the Rings films, and who has been tremendously supportive of our forthcoming book, has just been appointed President of Music at Warner Brothers Pictures.

Paul is a rare creature -- a studio exec with actual taste, musical acumen, and respect for the art of film scoring. This appointment is richly deserved. Congratulations!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Two Months Ago

A very kind soul sent over some additional New York pictures today, including the shot at left, which I loved when I saw it a month ago. So happy to finally know who snapped it! Thank you so much, sir, for sending these.

I also discovered a nice piece on the Brooklyn Youth Chorus is running in today's Brooklyn Eagle, and Shore and the Radio City performances warrant a generous mention, of course.

It's just begin to snow heavily outside my window (for the second time today), so I suppose it's a good night to sit back, bonk myself on the forehead and refuse to believe it's been two months since Radio City!

We received some fantastic materials from our friend Gary Day-Ellison today... absolutely cannot wait for you all to see what's cooking!

Monday, December 7, 2009

All is Calm...

My apologies for the dearth of updates this month -- discounting silly Orc carols, of course. The new layout proposals we're currently considering are requiring some restructuring (and plumping and pruning) of the book's text, so I've been researching my collection of archival materials this past week or so. We're trying to light a little more humanity in our darker analytical corners... and so far I'm extremely happy with the results.

I've have, however, totally fallen off the wagon in my attempt to kick my caffeine addiction. I wasn't trying to quit for any particular reason, so I'm weathering my person weakness fairly well, thanks.

I hope to have some more significant updates prepared before the holidays land... and with any luck, the brains behind The Hobbit should have something for us to consider tomorrow. See you then.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ongoing Discussion Thread [December, 2009] / Christmas Comes to Mordor

'Tis the season!

It's now officially December, and there's far too much unnecessary gloom and doom lurking Middle-earth. Time for some merriment and mirth, say I!

So please enjoy this year's requisite silly holiday treat. The guiding theory here, of course, is that even the poor, foul Orcs enjoy a bit of holiday cheer now and again. And if you don't buy that... well, let's just hope you like chromatic, asymmetrical variations on Jingle Bells.

Happy holidays, one and all! Back soon with a few book updates and my take on The Hobbit "news." (No inside info, just informed opinions.)

Holiday Collection:
Right Click to Download Christmas Comes to Mordor (Dec 2009)
Right Click to Download The Twelve Days of the Ring (July 2009)
Right Click to Download Shire Bells (Dec 2008)
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