Monday, September 27, 2010

Now Available

Thanks to Sven for the picture.


The time has come. Today we premiere The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films at Chappell of Bond Street (details here). If you are in the area, please be sure to come introduce yourself. This is your moment, too. Today would never have come without your support. ... And no excuses -- I'm probably more nervous than you are anyway!

I'm off to the Royal College of Music shortly, so I'll see you tonight!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

London Schedule

For those of you keeping score at home, the full schedule of book-related events:

Monday, 27 September
3:00 - 4:30 Discussion at the Royal Academy of Music
5:00 - 7:00 Discussion/Signing Session at Chappell of Bond Street

Tuesday, 28 September
Post-Concert Signing Session at Royal Albert Hall

Wednesday, 29 September
3:00 - 4:30 Discussion/Signing Session at Royal College of Music
Post-Concert Signing Session at Royal Albert Hall

Hope to see many of you!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Class Is In

This month, RCM composition students will get to meet one of today's most acclaimed and respected composers of film music.

Howard Shore is perhaps best known for his music for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which garnered him three Academy Awards, as well as his relationships with leading directors such as Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme and David Cronenberg. He is visiting London for two performances of music from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as to launch of a new book by Doug Adams: "The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films". This fascinating book provides in-depth exploration of the music with extensive music examples, original manuscript scores, a rarities CD, and glimpses into the creative process from the composer himself.

On 29 September Howard Shore will visit the Royal College of Music for a Q&A session with students on the RCM's acclaimed Composition for Screen Masters programme. He will spend two hours in the RCM Studios, discussing his work on some of the most significant films of the past forty years.


I'm honored and thrilled to be participating in this session at the Royal College of Music as well. I believe Howard and I will also be at another Royal school earlier in the week. Stay tuned!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NYU News

Middle-earth's musicologist
by Matt Margini

Published September 21, 2010

Allow me to begin this week's column with a sexist analogy. A good film score is sort of like a woman's makeup: essential to the experience, but not exactly the first thing that comes to mind.

Think of the moment in the beginning of "The Fellowship of the Ring" when Gandalf asks Bilbo if he will leave the ring behind. He says yes, it's in an envelope on the mantle, but of course it's actually in his pocket. As you watch him talk about it and fondle it lustily, you realize, with Gandalf, that it may have a more powerful hold on him than he would like to admit.

What you may not realize is that within a moment, within the glint of evil in his eye, the music has switched to a variation on Gollum's theme.

That's the kind of thing that Doug Adams — no relation to Douglas — looked at for nearly a decade to produce "The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films," a comprehensive study of Howard Shore's Academy Award-winning score.

In the 416-page, lavishly illustrated tome — set to be released the same week that "The Two Towers" is being super-awesomely screened with a 300-piece orchestra at Radio City Music Hall — Adams will tell you everything you need to know about the theme of the Shire and its deliberately Celtic folk overtones. He'll tell you the difference, musically, between the Third Age (diatonic) and earlier eras (chromatic). He'll tell you how Shore composed — patiently and sensitively, "with this little tattered copy of the book that went every place with him."

His goal is to get people to understand that film music "is something more than simply a collection of moods, ... [READ MORE]

Signed in Absentia

I've heard from several people now who were hoping to get autographed copies of the book, but aren't able to be in either London or New York in the coming weeks. Happily, I think we've worked out a solution or two.

-- Those in Europe should click over to Chappell of Bond's site where you can order a pre-signed copy of the book.

-- And those in the states (or Canada) should contact Barnes and Noble at 212-595-9340 ... please have your credit card at the ready.

In both cases, should supplies run low, vendors will give first priority to those in in attendance at the actual signings. But if you order early on, this is less likely to be an issue.

Thanks to Timdalf for the B&N scoop!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

News of the World

Last week in Vienna, one thoughtful soul approached me backstage, braved his slightly tenuous grasp of English (which was still far better than my German) and asked, "Are you doing the jet lag?"

Today the answer is most definitely "yes!"

I'm now back in Chicago, but I've carried home some wonderful memories of people, places, and events. And I promise to share them soon. In the meantime, The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films has been getting a good deal of web press, so I thought a quick news update might be in order.

--Sureshkumar Sekar at India-based BackgroundScore.com sent a few excellent questions, the answers to which you can read here.

--Tom Racine of Tall Tale Features interviewed me for their podcast, available as streaming or download here.

--France's UnderScores has a preview of my interview with Olivier Soude available here.

--Kristin Thompson also posted a note on her indispensable Frodo Franchise site indicating that Amazon has officially shipped her book. Many of you may have received the same note, in fact. I honestly didn't know that sites would ship so early, but it's tremendously exciting!

--ScoreKeeper at Aint It Cool News received a promotional copy of the book, and has penned an incredibly kind write-up here. He and I will also sit down for a conversation later in the week.

This will be another press-heavy week for me, then I'm off to London on Saturday. Exciting times! Exciting, nerve-wracking, exhausting times!

Back soon,


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010


A sincere "thank you" to everyone who has left kindhearted notes this week.

Life goes on ... and quite rapidly at that! I'm now about to leave for O'Hare, and from there I will make my way to Vienna. Well, technically I'll spend a few hours in Switzerland first, but after a stopover in Zurich, I'll arrive in Vienna sometime tomorrow afternoon. Those in the area, please feel free to contact me through the blog. Should schedule permit, I'd be more than happy to get together for a coffee or some such.

In the meantime, I'm told Swissair allows access to Twitter while in-flight, so keep your eyes on the feed. I can't promise to be coherent, but maybe that'll make for a more entertaining read anyway.

See you all soon!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Shouted Thoughts

In the opening pages of the book I was allowed to acknowledge a handful of dear people who helped me along my way. Some of these people directly influenced the final product, others supported me for years and years, fostering my early interest in the grand world of music. The fifth and sixth people on that list are my paternal grandparents, John J. and Virginia Adams. My grandfather passed away back when I was in graduate school, well before I began working on this project. But both he and my grandmother encouraged me greatly in my younger years. I can't even begin to count the hours they patiently sat and listened to me butcher the classics in one of my impromptu after-dinner piano recitals!

It was very important to me, therefore, that my grandmother knew that both she and and my grandfather were listed in the book. Not much in the scheme of things, I know, but it was my way of showing ... something. Gratitude, I suppose -- an emotion I tend to express too quietly for my own good. Writing is my platform, thoughts are my shouting. Such is the way of an introvert.

This was actually one of my chief concerns when the book was delayed last year. My grandmother was now in her 90s, and I knew she wouldn't be around forever. When the early copy of the book finally came in this summer, I made sure she knew. 

I will forever be grateful for this opportunity.

Earlier this evening, my grandmother passed away. If you would be so kind, when you eventually read page vii of the book and see the name "Virginia Adams," please pause for a moment and offer a warm thought to the memory of a kind and generous soul. Perhaps that's not much in the scheme of things either, but with enough shouted thoughts, maybe she'll hear us.

Thanks, everyone.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ongoing Discussion Thread [September, 2010]//Chappell Details

I've been looking for the appropriate material to connect to our final pre-release Ongoing Discussion Board ... anything to avoid the too-poetic waxing of an author who overreacts to change! Happily, Chappell of Bond Street, which will host our UK premiere on 27 September, has now posted the details of the event:

To anyone with an interest in film music, composer Howard Shore needs little introduction. Winner of 3 Academy Awards, 4 Grammys and 3 Golden Globes, Shore's film work is prolific - his filmography includes The Fly, Big, The Silence of the Lambs, Mrs Doubtfire, Ed Wood, Se7en, Dogma, The Departed and recently added blockbuster The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

But arguably his most famous work so far is the breath-taking and Oscar-winning score for Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. This September 28th, Shore will be conducting the world-renowned London Philharmonic Orchestra in a live performance (with movie projection) at the Royal Albert Hall. [Wicki is actually conducting, not Shore. -- DA]

Coinciding with this spectacle is the release of a brand new book, exploring the major themes of the music as well as Howard Shore's process of composing it. Written by Doug Adams (after receiving a personal invitation to observe and document Shore writing the score), this book is an essential purchase both for fans of The Lord Of The Rings films and for budding (and established) composers everywhere.

The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films takes the reader on an unprecedented journey into the heart of this history-making opus with the extensive music examples, original manuscript scores, a rarities CD, and fascinating glimpses into the creative process from the composer himself.

We're delighted that on the evening before the Royal Albert Hall performances, Shore and Adams will be visiting Chappell of Bond Street to sign copies of the new book as well as giving a question and answer session.

So, if you can get to 152-160 Wardour Street on 27th September 2010, please do; for everyone who's a little too far afield, we'll be asking the writers to sign a small number of copies which you can pre-order on our website today by clicking here. We're sorry that there's unlikely to be enough signed copies to fulfil demand and so we do strongly recommend visiting on the night.


I think the most amazing part of all this is that I had absolutely no idea that they'd be offering pre-signed copies of the book for those who cannot attend. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that they're doing it, I just think it's funny that the first I heard of it was in Lizard's excellent post! Such is the way of things, I guess, and I certainly have no problem with it at all.

It's pretty wild to think that the next time I post an Ongoing Discussion the book will be available in the UK and, soon after, the world over. To me, this will be when the real discussions begin. This will be when we can start talking about Shore's music in great detail, which has always been my ultimate goal.

Hold on tight, everyone. Here we go!

B&N Orders

I've heard from a handful of people having difficulty putting Barnes & Noble orders through. Please retry your orders. There was a temporary bug on B&N's end that caused them to cancel.

I don't think the problem was widespread, but figured I'd post a heads-up just in case.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Hollywood in Vienna

There's now less than a month left until The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films is available worldwide, so that means it's almost time for me to hit the road!

I will first appear with Howard Shore in Vienna, Austria next Tuesday, September 14 as part of Hollywood in Vienna's week-long festival of film music. Details are available here. While the book's official European launch won't yet have arrived, we do plan on having a copy or two on-hand for browsing following our symposium presentation ... but you have to promise you won't take advantage of my jet lag and abscond with the thing!

I'll also be present at Vienna Concert Hall on Friday, September 16 as Howard receives the Festival's coveted Max Steiner Award at a performance of music by Steiner, Korngold, Rózsa, Horner, Kolonovitz, Williams, Badelt, and of course, Shore.

Please come say "hello" if you're present!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Time of the Signs

I've finally confirmed the times for the London and New York book signings, so I thought it might be helpful to post them here on the main page:

September 27 5PM Book signing and Q&A with Howard Shore and Doug Adams (Chappell of Bond Street, 152-160 Wardour St. London,UK)

October 7 5PM Book signing and Q&A with Howard Shore and Doug Adams (Barnes and Noble, 1972 Broadway, New York, NY)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I was a guest this afternoon on Chris Coleman's excellent Tracksounds.com podcast, which is now available right here. Thanks to Mr. Coleman for his fine work!


We are now officially up and available for pre-orders at Amazon sites around the world!

Amazon has also created an author page for me here ... which up until this morning claimed I had also written a book about Civil War guns! (You should have seen the behind-the-scenes panic on that one!)

Barnes and Noble has the book available on their excellent site as well. See here.

Please note, some of these sites are currently listing as incorrect release date. These are being fixed as I type. The release dates are still exactly as listed in the press release: "available in the European Union on September 28 and in the U.S. and worldwide on October 5, 2010."

Remember, if none of these dealers is near you, see the FAQ and have your local bookshop contact the distributors directly.

I've just spent an afternoon doing press, so I'm a bit rundown and will address emails and posts as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience!

It's funny ... this is all suddenly feeling quite real! Exhausting and exciting in equal measure!
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