Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Singing The Lord of the Rings – Part 1

As Munich's LOTR Cycle draws nearer, choir member Guillaume Schneider checks in with the first installment of Singing The Lord of the Rings.

Please join me in welcoming Guillaume!


In the beginning, I had my first singing experience in my high school’s choir. The sudden urge to pledge my voice to this "not so cool" but pure and beautiful activity originates from the famous french movie Les choristes (The Chorus) from 2004, which deals with a teacher helping his students become better people by creating a choir and making them sing. So I sang. And I liked it a lot, even though I didn’t always feel very confident in the beginning. But you get used to it, you start singing a little bit louder, feeling a hint of joy, and you end up feeling the music. 

Meanwhile, the music industry didn’t stay at rest. After selling an unbelievable amount of soundtracks of Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy, they decided to meet the highest needs of the fans (like me!) by bringing out the most complete soundtrack sets created yet, the Complete Recordings. Needless to say, they quickly became the crown jewels of my music collection.

Then I learned about the LOTR Symphony, a two-hour long concert version of the entire soundtrack. At that moment, I was very disappointed by France’s leading choirs and orchestras for not organizing any of these concerts anywhere. Luckily for me, Germany (my second natal country) displayed (and still does!) a much more active fan community, a fact that eventually lead to a great number of LOTR concerts all over the country up until today. In April 2007, I went to Cologne with my dad in order to see the Symphony. As expected, the live music was a lot more impressive than I thought it would be (paradoxal, isn’t it ?), invigorating my bond with the music.

I moved to Munich for my sophomore year as an engineering undergrad in November 2010. A few months later, on January 10, 2011, the unexpected happened. While surfing on a German LOTR website, I read following news : choristers wanted for the April Live to Projection concerts in Munich. My hesitation before signing up was rather imaginary, although I was slightly concerned about the rehearsal schedule. I did have a two week trip to the US planned, which would make me skip more than one rehearsal. These news simply met my greatest expectations, and yet, this opportunity presented itself to me in such a casual manner that a question rose inside me : could I really ignore the call from Middle-earth ?

After much consideration, my decision was made. I knew I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t even try fulfilling my dream. I ended up saying to myself: I’m a huge fan, I have much singing experience, I belong in this choir ! So I sent an e-mail to the organizing person and waited. I admit I wasn’t surprised by the positive answer, after all, I did almost send him an autobiography explaining why he should accept me.

A week later, the long awaited chorus notes found their way to my mailbox and were instantly taken out of the package. A quick glance at the number of pages of each movie’s sheet music astonished me and also filled me with much anticipation: 60 pages of pure elvish lyrics for TTT and even 30 more for ROTK

Remembering futile attempts at creating new melodies on my piano, I just thought  How could anyone possibly compose so much music for a single movie ?
Slowly, while holding the sheets, I couldn’t help but noticing a smile building up on my face, because at this precise moment, I realized that this marked the beginning of my first musical journey.

[To be continued ... ]
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