Friday, April 29, 2011

Luzern Lecture IV: Wheaton Overview

During the months of March and April, I provided a series of five lectures for the Luzern presentation of Howard Shore's LOTR Cycle. Over the coming days I will be presenting the content of those lectures.

If you've looked ahead to the embedded videos, you've no doubt noted that you're not looking at Luzern, Switzerland. Instead, you're looking at Wheaton College in Illinois. My "Overview" lectures in Luzern and Wheaton were very similar, but Wheaton had the added advantage of a PowerPoint presentation and, more importantly, a piano. You'll hear the volume of my voice slide up and down as I turn my head to operate the laptop -- and you'll notice I bobble the piano playing here and there because my head is craned backward to look at the screen! -- but overall the sound is pretty good on this one.

Luzern is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I could write a dozen posts on nothing more than the landscape. Heck, I may even post some of my Mount Pilatus videos during a future content drought. Wheaton, however, has something very unique and special -- the incredible Marion E. Wade Center -- which houses books, papers and artifacts from seven British authors, including J.R.R. Tolkien. They also boast one of the most comprehensive Tolkien libraries imaginable ... including, now, two copies of The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films. It's pretty amazing to think that this book now resides on a shelf not too far from Tolkien's own writing desk. If you're ever in the Chicago area -- maybe next summer for Ravinia? -- and have the time to take a tour, I promise it will be a rewarding experience.

In the meantime, the full Wheaton lecture is below. This was an incredibly enthusiastic -- and, as you'll note, vocal -- audience. I thought it would consist of primarily college students, but there were some middle-school kids and older folks in attendance as well. I was still a bit jet-lagged at the time, but their enthusiasm helped fuel me, so I'm incredibly grateful. This was a truly fun lecture to give and, in many ways, maybe the best one yet.

Next up is the grand finale in the Luzern lecture series. This, too, was a bit of an overview lecture, but our special guest provided a rather unique perspective.

Preview below. See you next week when this runs.

The Great and Powerful Oz? Photo by Basil Böhni.
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