Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Brian Schwartz sent in a personal review/letter via Twitter this morning. He's given me his permission to reprint his piece here, so please see it below. Quite a lovely and articulate piece! Big thanks to Brian both for writing and for allowing me to show off his work!


The Lord of the Rings trilogy was unlike any movie I had seen before. I had not read the books prior to viewing, but finally did so before the release of The Return of the King. In the three hours it took to watch The Fellowship of the Ring for the first time, a world I had previously known nothing about became all I thought about for years to come with repeat viewings of each trilogy, and then even more when the extended editions were released. Everything about the Lord of the Rings universe in front of and behind the camera amazed me – the story, the characters, the locations, the themes, and all the hard work that went into bringing what were thought to be un-filmable books to life.

As someone who has always been a fan of film music, going back to my childhood with all the wonderful scores John Williams created, I thoroughly enjoyed the scores to all three Lord of the Rings films. I listened to the two CD releases each film got (theatrical and complete recordings) again and again, and took in the scores’ themes for all the music highlighting the different characters, places, and themes. Whether in quieter moments of deep thought or the thrill of epic battlefields, I was captivated. The more I listened to the scores, the more I heard something new in them each time. Just when I thought I had almost gotten these scores figured out, your book showed me that I had barely scratched the surface.

You have accomplished what is arguably the most attentive and thorough analysis of a film score I have ever read. I only wish all my favorite film scores could receive the same treatment you brought to this project. I was astounded by the subtle observations regarding the placement and variations of leitmotifs and the feelings they reflect with the rest of the films. You have turned the scores into their own entity – one could listen only to the scores and know exactly what is happening in the story, as well as what feelings are associated with each part. I played the music in my head as I read through each track description, often waiting for the music to catch up before I could move on! While I do not know how to read music, nor was I familiar with some of the terminology in the book, the context you provided made everything perfectly clear to me. I am hearing these scores in a completely new light now, and I can’t wait to watch the films again soon (after practically wearing out the DVD player a few years back with so many viewings). Once I finished the book, I felt like I had been on a great and personal journey – the same way I felt after finishing the books and films. Thank you so much for all the wonderful work you’ve done on this. Bring on The Hobbit!

Post-Holiday Request

If you received The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films for the holidays, please consider sending in an image for the Show Us Your Book album seen to the right. You can send your image either to me or to Magpie, our generous steward.

I've received emails and short notes from around the world over the past months, and would love to show just how far our little project has come!

Friday, December 24, 2010

One Ring

In a year that's been almost entirely about rings for me, I'm happy to announce that we've just introduced one more into the mix. My wonderful Jill, who many of you have met on this year's adventures, has just agreed to be my wife.

One ring to rule them all.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

-Doug & Jill

Thursday, December 23, 2010

TTT Live in Lyon, France this June

Yes, this is old news, but since I'm playing catch-up this week, I'm tossing this log on the fire as well! And with that unintentionally tepid introduction ...

The Two Towers: Live to Projection is coming to Lyon, France for a five-date stay this coming June. The Orchestre national de Lyon, under the baton of Maestro Ludwig Wicki, will perform Howard Shore's music on June 23, 24, 25, 27 and 28, 2011. Click here for additional info, should the inclination lead you.

... Now if someone would please just remind me to title next year's post 'Lyon King' when the third leg of the trilogy is scheduled ...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Vienna Flashback

I don't think I ever posted this last fall, but since most of that season is a blur to me, I'll risk the redundancy. Anyway, it's a well assembled video, and a pleasant distraction as holiday responsibilities draw to a head. Enjoy ...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CinemaMusica Review

Basil Böhni has kindly sent us over an early version of CinemaMusica's review of The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films. It's in German, but I've included a rough translation below. Be sure to click on the image to see the original article. Thanks, Basil!

Good things are knows to come to those who wait. One can safely to say that Howard Shore's scores for The Lord of the Rings trilogy are among the best-documented contemporary music. The single-disc soundtrack releases are now seen as modest beginnings. These were followed by Special Editions with several bonus tracks. But even these were just the tips of the iceberg. Next were the Complete Recordings boxes, which together were comprised of 10 CDs and 3 DVDs. And now an appealing new book by author Doug Adams has appeared: The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films.

Adams' book is a pure treat for fans. The author takes up the threads of the booklets of the Complete Recordings and weaves these strands together and expands them – as is adequate for such a musical universe. The book has three main parts. In the first, Adams illuminates and dissects each of the more than 90 themes, variations and motifs. In second part, he devotes his attention to the individual compositions in the Complete Recordings by analyzing structure, orchestration, and contextual meaning. He also discusses early and alternate musical ideas (some of which are on the enclosed Rarities Archive CD). The third and final part, The Recording Sessions, consists of diary-like posts.

All this detail is complemented by countless pictures, film stills, and – especially interesting – printed score excerpts. The book is, therefore, both a visual treat and an extensive detailed work, written in plain language and terminology, which enhances the 11 CDs of the Complete Recordings. After this reading this book, one will listed to The Lord of the Rings with even greater amazement.

Doug Adams' The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films is the result of years of work. The novelty of the content may be drawn into question be at this point, due to the previously published booklets and Annotated Scores. Despite this, the book receives an unrestricted recommendation to all completists and fans of this music.

The book’s new details, the planned recording of The Lord of the Rings Symphony, and the upcoming December 2012 and 2013 releases of The Hobbit films means Howard Shore’s music for Middle-earth will accompany us for many years.

My Kind of Town

A huge thanks to everyone who braved the frigid Chicago weather last week in order to attend the Music of the LOTR Films events on Wednesday and Friday! That said, I'm not sure that we had a whole lot of bloggees in attendance ... and for that I was quite thankful.

That sounds bad ... hear me out! While it's always slightly scary to hold events such as this without your friendly faces in the room, it's also quite exciting. A room full of new faces means a room full of the uninitiated. Time and again this past week I heard "Oh, this is a perfect gift for Relative X! I didn't know this existed. Great!" and "I can't believe someone has finally done a film music book like this! I've been looking for something like this for years!" I love to think that each time we head out into the public we're reaching a fresh group -- readers/listeners for whom we're illuminating Howard Shore's work anew.

Now this said, there's 'uninitiated,' and there's 'UNINITIATED." Friday's event at the vast McCormick Place was full of the former ... musicians young and old who may not have known that the book existed, but who knew what Howard Shore had accomplished with his music, and who understood how this book was relating to it. Wednesday, on the other hand ... ah, Wednesday ... While I can't speak for the majority of Wednesday's crowd at Borders, I can, without the faintest shadow of a doubt, assure you that one or two attendees fell into the latter, all-caps 'UNINITIATED' camp. I say that with a bit of a chuckle, but I was sweating up there!

I think the experience is, perhaps, best summed up by the embedded video below. Please let me point out, I am not posting this to mock the unseen individual who is asking questions. I'll let you decide for yourselves what may have inspired his less-than-keenly-focused queries ... I certainly have my suspicions. But frankly, with my deer-in-the-headlights deadpan and nervous cackling, I don't know that I come off any better than he does! Enough preamble, here you go:

Ah, showbiz ... will the glamor never end? I'll be honest, I walked away from the event muttering to myself, "What just happened!?", but now I find the whole thing pretty darn funny. And since the week ended on such a overwhelmingly positive note, I'm really just glad to have accumulated such an excellent anecdote. I think the crowd back in New York certainly got a kick out of it. At least one email appeared with the subject "Are You Tony Blair?"

Speaking of New York, we're now locking in the final details for our January reprint. There's some amazing news coming up regarding next year. Those worried that this project will fade into the background until The Hobbit emerges will have to think again. It looks like 2011 will keep both projects running full steam. It's a good time to be in Middle-earth, let me assure you

Back soon with at least one more pre-Christmas post. See you on the boards in the meantime!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Deutche Tolkien Gesellschaft e.V.

While I'm here prepping for tomorrow night's Chicago shindig, a new German review of The Music of the LOTR Films has just been brought to my attention:

"Doug Adams outlines a magical, almost supernatural musical journey that, for many Tolkien fans, paved the way to Middle-earth and the [LOTR] films in a enriching and unforgettable way.

I recommend this book warmly for the sophisticated design and the CD's unreleased material, and with the hope that many more Tolkien fans will appreciate this musical analysis of impressive trilogy."

Read the full review right here ... and feel free to clean up my sketchy translations above. In the meantime, hope to see many of you in Chicago tomorrow night!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Chicago Roundup

My Chicago events -- the signing sessions at Borders on Dec. 15 and the Midwest Band and Orchestra clinic on Dec. 17 -- are now less than a week away. Just to keep the events on the tips of as many tongues as possible, I thought I'd round up of the recent internet chatter:

Chicago Reader
A Casual Stroll to Mordor
Tolkien's Collector Guide
Find Book Signings.com
Library Thing

I'm incredibly excited to finally have an event close to home, so help spread the word!

Ongoing Discussion Thread [December 2010]

I'm late posting this month, but since no one's December is anything less than a mad-dash these days, I won't attempt to complain about my schedule.

So instead of bellyaching, I'll offer up a little gift. Please enjoy the following bonbon -- a quickie arrangement assembled by me and me alone (not Mr. Shore, to whom I apologize in advance): Gondorian Merry Gentlemen. 

Similar silly efforts from years past are linked below. Enjoy with a bit of holiday cheer ... they may go down smoother that way. :)

Back soon with more Chicago news.

Click to Download Gondorian Gentlemen (Dec 2010)
Click to Download Christmas Comes to Mordor (Dec 2009)
Click to Download The Twelve Days of the Ring (July 2009)
Click to Download Shire Bells (Dec 2008)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Streets of Chicago

Recently espied on the streets of Chicago ... almost as if something were coming soon! :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Five Golden Rings

I'm happy to announce that The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films has earned a spot on TheOneRing.net's 2010 Tolkien Gift Guide ... and a rating of five-out-of-five rings!

Click here and browse through the "Books" section to find our familiar friend. And maybe pick up a few stocking-stuffers while you're there!

Back soon with some holiday goodies of our very own!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chicago Redux

I'm posting this again, because the original press release listed the wrong address for the Borders in Lincoln Park. And anyway, it never hurts to post these things twice!

The Music of THE LORD OF THE RINGS Films by Doug Adams could easily be one of the most significant and important books ever written on the analysis of a film score.” – AintItCool.com

Author Doug Adams Announces December Appearances in Chicago

(November 22, 2010—New York, NY) The Music of Lord of the Rings Films book has been receiving rave reviews since its early fall release by Carpentier and Alfred Music Publishing. The perfect holiday gift for any fan of The Lord of the Rings, the book is a 416-page full-color volume featuring a Foreword by Howard Shore, an Introduction by The Lord of the Rings screenwriter/producer Fran Walsh, original sketches by John Howe and Alan Lee, and numerous images from the films. Also included in the book, courtesy of Howe Records, is “The Lord of the Rings: The Rarities Archive” a CD presenting 21 tracks of previously unreleased music created for the films, and an audio interview with Howard Shore. Its author, Doug Adams, will be making several appearances in the Chicago area in support of its release.

Jon Burlingame of Variety describes, “Doug Adams' The Music of 'The Lord of the Rings' Films ranks as one of the most detailed examinations written of one composer's immersion into classic literature.”

“Adams breaks down Shore’s work in a way that any movie, or music fan without a music degree can understand,” describes Daniel Schweiger of Film Music Magazine. “Adams’ writing is as meticulous as it entertaining.”

Doug Adams, a Chicago-based author and musicologist, was invited in 2001 by Howard Shore to observe and document his work on Peter Jackson’s motion picture trilogy. Adams attended recording sessions, examined the original scores, and was given complete access to the composer’s archives. As an acknowledged authority on Howard Shore’s music, Adams has become a regular fixture at concerts and events across the globe. He runs the popular blog, www.musicoflotr.com, which documents his work on this project and brings fans together in ongoing discussions.

“Howard Shore’s [LOTR] music has touched millions of people the world over,” said Adams. “It’s been my great pleasure to assemble a piece that chronicles the creation of this music, and examines exactly how it tells this classic story.”

“Doug was a detective uncovering clues, tracing how one theme or character related to another,” said Shore. “He not only shows the themes and motifs for characters, cultures, objects, and their connection to Tolkien’s work, but also the ideas that were sometimes buried deep inside the writing.”

“Researching Shore’s music has been a true adventure,” described Adams. “His work is every bit as intricate and passionate as Tolkien’s Middle-earth.”

December 15, 7:00PM BORDERS - Lincoln Park (2817 North Clark St., Chicago IL)
Doug Adams will be participating in a Q&A and signing books. http://www.borders.com/online/store/StoreDetailView_101

December 17, 1:00PM THE MIDWEST BAND AND ORCHESTRA CLINIC (McCormick Place West, Chicago IL)
Doug Adams will appear for a book signing at the Alfred Music Publishing booth at the Midwest Clinic. Attended by thousands of teachers and musicians, this international music education conference is held annually to develop and improve teaching methods and techniques for music teachers around the world. http://www.midwestclinic.org/conference/

Alfred Music Publishing is one of the world’s largest music publishers. Alfred is based in Los Angeles with domestic offices in Miami & New York as well as around the world including Australia, Germany, Singapore & the United Kingdom. 


For more information or to arrange interviews with Doug Adams, contact: Beth Krakower, CineMedia Promotions, 212-533-6864, beth@cinemediapromotions.com
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