Monday, August 30, 2010

Amazon Canada and UK Pre-Sales Now Active

The headline says it all. Canadian residents, please click here; those hailing from the United Kingdom, please click here. I'm expecting more pre-sale sites to go active in the near future. If you catch them before I do, please feel free to post!

Meanwhile, Alfred, our intrepid distributors, have put up their own page for the book today as well.

A very exciting day around here, I must say!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Music of the LOTR Films: First Look Inside

Please enjoy your first look inside The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films. This is just a small sampling of our layout, but it should give you a good sense of the beautiful design Gary Day-Ellison has created. Seen here are the front and back covers, and select pages from sections on Themes, the Annotated Score, and the Recording Sessions. As you can see, we've tried to create something that crosses the most satisfying elements of storybooks, coffee table books, and textbooks -- something where notated music; hand-drawn and photographic imagery; and analytical, narrative, and lyrical writing comfortably coexist. It's a pretty unique creation, and I think it flows wonderfully. Again, you can thank Gary for that!

These preview pages will be up on Amazon, etc. in the near future. But I thought it would be appropriate to post them here first.

There's plenty more to say, of course. I could on about the exquisite art by John Howe and Alan Lee, or Shore's detailed music examples, (including some of his original pencil sketches), etc. But I have a couple weeks of press coming up, so I'll try to save some of my comments. And anyway, I think the work speaks for itself.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Calendar Updates

Those of you who don't visit HowardShore.com on a regular basis (where the book's cover is proudly displayed on the splash page!) may be, as of yet, unaware of a pair of upcoming international events:

--Discover an Opera: The Fly (or Découvrir un opéra: La mouche, if you prefer), a wonderful documentary created by Elizabeth Cotnoir and François Roussillon will air August 30 at 10:30 p.m. in France. Please see ARTE.tv for more information, or to schedule yourself a reminder.

--Howard Shore's piano concerto, "Ruin and Memory" will be given its world premiere on Monday, October 11 by Lang Lang and the China Philharmonic Orchestra, as part of the Frederick Chopin Beijing Music Festival. Additional information is available on the Festival's website.

I should have some updates to my own calendar in the coming days so, as always, stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pre-order The Music of the LOTR Films on US Amazon Site

If you've not already noticed, The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films is now available for pre-order at the US Amazon store. I'd expect other Amazon sites around the globe to follow suit, and will do my best to keep everyone updated as that happens. As you can probably guess, my blog/email time is slightly constrained right now, but it's an exciting time around here!

Back soon!



Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Lord of the Rings: The Rarities Archive

As part of my research for The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films I was granted access to Howard Shore’s full archive of recorded materials. This included every single take from months of recording sessions on Fellowship, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, as well as electronic mock-ups of themes, DVD recording sessions, unused songs and lyrics, etc. All in all, it was enough raw audio to keep me in a listening room for a few hundred hours or so. Fortunately, I was able to space out these review sessions over the course of a year-and-a-half, during which time I catalogued everything I found on CD-Rs, DVDs, and abandoned hard drives, then proceeded to litter Shore’s offices with a self-devised system of post-it notes and red markers … a trail of breadcrumbs I could later use to retrace my steps.

But more pressing than the logistical concerns were the creative ones. How on Earth could this material be properly presented? We toyed with a number of ideas, but ultimately decided to let Tolkien be our guide. The Rarities told two stories, one Tolkien’s, one Shore’s. If we could retain that drama, then shape something beautiful – not simply catalogue it – we’d have a piece worthy of the lineage.

Tracks were chosen to present all our major discoveries – and believe me, it was an incredible task to ensure we squeezed everything in. They were then set into story order so as to both illustrate Shore’s creative process and echo Tolkien’s narrative voice. Finally, the music was cleaned up and remastered by Jonathan Schultz, who worked on the film scores, the original soundtrack CDs, and The Complete Recordings. As a special bonus, we included a short discussion between Howard Shore and myself at the end of the album.

The result is something that can be either studied as a fascinating collection of rare materials, or listened to as a well-rounded album experience. I think this disc is every bit as unique as the book it accompanies, and a beautiful finale to the music of The Lord of the Rings. I’m incredibly thankful to Howard Shore and Howe Records for allowing me to be a part of it.



01 Prologue: One Ring to Rule Them All (Alternate)
02 The Shire/The Hobbits (Mock-up)
03 Out From Bree (Theatrical Version & Alternate)
04 Flight to the Ford (Alternate)
05 Moria (Mock-up)
06 The Fighting Uruk-hai (Alternate)
07 The Argonath (Alternate)


08 Gwenwin in în (“Arwen’s Song” Alternate/Mock-up)
09 Arwen’s Song (Complete)
10 Emyn Muil (Alternate)
11 The Rohan Fanfare (Mock-up)
12 The Eaves of Fangorn (Alternate)
13 The Ent Theme (Mock-up)


14 The Return of the King Trailer
15 The Gondor Theme (Mock-up)
16 The Muster of Rohan (Alternate)
17 The Siege of Gondor (Alternate)
18 Shieldmaiden of Rohan (Theatrical Version)
19 Sammath Naur (Alternate)
20 Frodo’s Song (“Into the West” Alternate/Mock-up)
21 Elanor (Alternate)


22 In Conversation (Part 1)
23 In Conversation (Part 2)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

LOTR Symphony in Vancouver, Canada

Yet another concert update today, this one fully confirmed:

The Lord of the Rings Symphony will be performed by the Vancouver Symphony, Vancouver Bach Choir, and Vancouver Children's Choir on November 27 and 28, 2010! Click here for info and ticketing.

FOTR Live Heading to Sydney, Australia?

Is the first chapter of Howard Shore's Live to Projection series headed to the land down under? It is, if you believe The Sydney Morning Herald. According to this article, FOTR Live will hit next year, and will feature the Sydney Symphony and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.

If anyone wants to start a campaign for a pre-concert lecture/book signing, you'll have my full support!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hot House

MovieScope Magazine recently conducted an interview with Karen Elliot of Hot House Music, a London-based film music coordination company. Hot House, of course, worked on all three Lord of the Rings films, and Howard Shore and his work on the series comes up a few times in MovieScope's piece:

Which composer have you learnt the most from?
Probably Howard Shore on The Lord of the Rings, simply because we spent so much time with him. It was a hell of an operation. We took over a whole floor at the Dorchester and had people on a 24-hour basis working in shifts. Then Peter Jackson used to bring his whole team from New Zealand, so we used to find and rent a house for Peter and his family. He was constantly editing over here while we were recording; we were constantly having to redo things. The head of music at New Line at the time, Paul Broucek, was amazing and always very supportive. He was very good at dealing with the intense political stuff that always came up.

Is there anything that you’ve watched recently where you were really impressed with the soundtrack?
I saw Twilight: Eclipse, and I loved what Howard [Shore] did on this one. It made good use of songs in relationship to the score. I also thought The Hurt Locker was amazing and really brave because it had no music in it at all. I’m probably not supposed to say that!

Click here to read the full piece.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ongoing Discussion Thread [August, 2010]

I'm going twenty directions at once this month, so I'll return to this spot for an update soon. I also promise to address a huge batch of your emails as well! In the meantime, may the hearty discussion commence!
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