Thursday, June 23, 2011

Entertainment Weekly Hobbit Pics

These will be absolutely everywhere by the end of the day, I'm quite certain. They originate HERE. Bet you didn't think today would start like this!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Netherlands and Ireland Performances Announced

Time to put the official stamp on a pair of upcoming concerts!

Following the success of the Netherlands' performance of Fellowship earlier this month, The Two Towers: Live to Projection will play de Doelen on June 9, 10, and 11 of 2012. Additional details and tickets available HERE.

But before that, LOTR: Live to Projection is due to make its first-ever appearance on the Emerald Isle when the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Our Lady's Choral Society, RTÉ Cór na nÓg perform The Fellowship of the Ring in Dublin, Ireland! Look for the shows on November 18 and 19, 2011 at the Grand Canal Theatre. More details and tickets available HERE.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sabsi in Rotterdam

No spate of reviews is done until Sabsi has checked in. Read the well-informed thoughts of LOTR's resident bon vivant below, and be sure to check out her photo album afterward. Thanks, Sabsi! ;)

An old friend

A couple of years ago, I decided I want to visit every European capital and I’ve never been to the Netherlands before. So when the Fellowship performances in Rotterdam were announced, it was a no-brainer to buy tickets. To make the most of our trip, my girls (Babsi and a friend from Germany) and I decided to stay a whole week and tour around the country.

The Netherlands are… well, flat.

(By the end of the week I really wanted to see mountains again, mountains! ;-))

But the lack of variety of landscapes is more than compensated with beautiful old towns, fascinating modern architecture, romantic canals, picturesque windmills, delicious cheese and interesting museums and exhibitions. And bicycles! Seriously, I’ve never seen so many bicycles in my whole life!

We took a canal tour in Amsterdam, visited a windmill in Leiden and the Vermeer-Center in Delft, explored the old towns of Den Haag, Utrecht and Gouda (where the cheese is from :-)), spent a day on a beautiful beach (Hoek van Holland) and saw a fresh water port (Amsterdam), a historic port (Delfshaven) and the largest port in Europe (Rotterdam).

And we visited a Maori exhibition at the Ethnological Museum of Leiden. We were in New Zealand together and keep saying how badly we want to go back, so we took this as a good sign we’ll be back in Aotearoa soon. ;-)

So, long story short: It was an amazing week and the concert in Rotterdam was the icing on the cake.

Speaking of good signs: Rotterdam is packed with all kinds of sculptures and on our way to the concert hall, we saw a Dwarf and an Ent! :)

We got there 10 minutes before the performance started and were slightly disheartened when we saw the long queue in front of the building, but fortunately we got in unexpectedly fast. When I found my seat I was thrilled to realize that I was sitting next to the children’s choir!

The performance was almost flawless and the acoustic was fantastic. Ludwig was as cheery and Kaitlyn was as brilliant as always and the boy who did the moth-solo gave probably one of the best live-performances of that piece I’ve ever heard.

The orchestra did a fantastic job as well – especially the percussionists (one of them seemed to be really absorbed by the Five-beat Pattern, I’ve never seen so much head-banging during a symphonic concert….).

After the last note had faded away, some of the most rapturous applause I’ve ever heard shook the concert hall – with immediate standing ovations and much cheering and shouting. Who would have thought the Dutch are that enthusiastic. ;-)
A perfectly well-behaved audience in a perfect concert hall and a perfect concert.

Like Daan, we already bought our tickets for Two Towers next year.


Day-Ellison: de Doelen

Gary Day-Ellison, designer of The Music of the LOTR Films (and a not-at-all-unimpressive list of other works), was in attendance for Rotterdam's recent performance of The Fellowship of the Ring. His latest blog entry recounts his experiences. I've provided a taste below, but please be sure to dart over to Gary's blog and read the full piece.

LOTR: FOTR @ de Doelen

There is a fair amount to say about design, its inception, creation, execution, reactions and reception. (Let's skip occasional perdition.) Strictly speaking this blog is intended to highlight the back-stories to some of my design projects. This one ends back stage.

But the fact is that the more involved you become with your work the more the work/life thingy blurs. One good part of life celebrates another. That is how it seems to go with me and The Lord of the Rings. Every time I get involved there seems to be a coming together of events. I have put iQuill to App before about Doug Adams' splendid book and you can read more about it via this link. And those of you who are as yet unaware the enormity of this book/film/music project may well have just missed the point, possibly got sniffy about Middle-earth and gone off to watch celebrity wrestling. Bear with me.

GDE with Maestro Ludwig Wicki

For my curmudgeonly disposition slips into pleasure at the thought of this past week in Holland. Eurostar to Brussels was superb. And through ticketed to Rotterdam for less than a train from Exeter to London - shame on you First Great Western. Towards the end of that leg of the journey we chatted with a charming Dutch cellist who had just completed her music finals in London. Onwards, switching to regular trains as we hurtled onward through the Belgian countryside I became aware of the chap next to me. As did fellow passengers. A young man with tousled curly hair was peering at an unopened Tupperware lunch box. Through a crack in the lid he stared intently and the salad within. Frequently putting it back in his bag before nervously re-examining it at frequent intervals.

"When the going gets weird the weird get going"as someone once said (who was it? Hunter S. Thompson?). [READ ON]

Groot Succes

"Fenomenaal! Heb al wel wat filmmuziekconcerten meegemaakt, maar dit was echt heel groots!"

The official De Doelen website has a write-up -- with pictures and video -- of last week's FOTR performance in Rotterdam. Visit their site HERE.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Soundscapes of Middle-earth Pt. 1

FOTR: West Coast Tickets on Sale Today

Reminder: Tickets for the West Coast Tour of The Lord of the Rings in Concert go on sale today at 10:00 a.m. local time.

Click HERE for tickets ... or HERE for additional information.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rotterdam in Review

Daan Smit has kindly sent in the below review of the Rotterdam performance of LOTR: FOTR. I'm hoping to have a couple more of these before the week is up ... and if you were there, please feel free to send your thoughts!

Right now, please enjoy Daan's exellent impressions. Thanks, Daan!

On the 4th and 5th of June 2011 the time had finally come: The Lord of the Rings Live concerts were gonna be played in The Netherlands. Starting with Fellowship of the Ring in 2011, The Two Towers in 2012, then The Return of the King in 2013, completing the trilogy. Played at De Doelen in Rotterdam by one of the great orchestras in the world, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and with the choirs Groot Omroepkoor, Laurens Collegium, Nationaal Kinderkoor and Nationaal Jongenskoor. As all the The Lord of the Rings Live concerts, the orchestra was conducted by the great Ludwig Wicki and the female vocal parts were sung by Kaitlyn Lusk. With both concerts sold out in a couple of months, The Netherlands was ready to experience The Lord of the Rings like never before.

Being a fan of The Lord of the Rings movies and especially the musical scores, I was psyched to hear that the complete trilogy was gonna be played live during the course of 3 years. Bought my ticket the day they became available and then the waiting began. The reviews on this website gave me more and more excitement, I just couldn’t wait for the show. I made a deal with myself that I didn’t want to see any videos of the concert beforehand, I wanted to experience it on my own wit no images of previous shows in my mind.

On Sunday June 5th it was finally time.

Since I’d never been to De Doelen before I didn’t know what to expect from the concert hall, it turned out pretty big and the entourage was beautiful. The moment we walked into the hall, it wasn’t as crowded but within 10 minutes the hall was jam-packed. At 14:00 pm Meastro Wicki walked on stage: it was time to begin.

Right of the bat I was blown away by the sound, and how similar it sounded to the recordings of the films, of the orchestra. Everything was played perfectly, from the powerful Nazgul’s theme to the subtle Arwen’s Prayer. For 3 hours (not counting the intermission) the players kept this powerful delivering of the music and, as mentioned before here, nothing is as powerful as hearing a musical score live. 

The concert ended with a well deserved standing ovation for the players.

All I have left say is that I was completely blown away by the power and quality of the performance of the orchestra, choirs, Ludwig Wicki and Kaitlyn Lusk. For next year they’ve added a third day because of how incredibly it was received. People who attended the concerts already had a chance to buy tickets for next year's The Two Towers and as of June 7th the tickets are available for everyone, and they are going fast! (As it should be.)

Thanks for an incredible show and see you next year!

Daan Smit

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ongoing Discussion [June 2011]

It's June now, and far hotter than it should be in Chicago. This crazy weather is making me nervous, because it feels like it's late into the summer. I have a lot of work to get through between now and the true dog days, and even though there's plenty of time on the schedule, my heart's pounding ever so slightly because my internal clock has been thrown for a loop.

We're supposed to drop from the mid-90s to the mid-60s in the next day or two, so the unavoidable hibernation instinct will probably drag me back to a steadier pace. It's all about balance.

Speaking of balance, my communication skills have been poorly balanced for the past month or so, and for that I apologize. I'm still behind on emails, so if I owe you one -- or several -- hang in there! I think things should get better soon.

The majority of my recent correspondence has been relegated to the blog ... which isn't all bad, I suppose. But with the West Coast Tour announcement and the New York Radio City tease, there's been plenty to address. And that's just the stuff I can tell you about at this time. There's still more to come ... which is why I'm toiling away at this and that. It's tremendously exciting; I'm getting to try my hand at a few new skills, which I absolutely love! You'll see ...

In the meantime, take a look at the updated calendar of upcoming performances at right. I think this is the fullest it's ever been! I've also made a few under-the-hood tweaks on the blog, including a mobile version that I think should show up on qualifying phones, etc. soon. Let me know if you see it.

Back soon,


Monday, June 6, 2011

RCMH ROTK in 2012

Via theradiocitylotrconcert.com: "Stay tuned for The Return of the King in 2012. Performance and on-sale dates to be announced soon."

Friday, June 3, 2011

LOTR: FOTR West Coast Tour!

And now this is official! ...

West Coast Premiere Tour Announced

The Lord of the Rings In Concert:
The Fellowship of the Ring
Howard Shore’s Academy Award(R)-winning score
performed live to full film on-stage by over 200 musicians
October 15 at 7:30 PM

Munich Symphony Orchestra
Pacific Chorale
Phoenix Boys Choir
Conducted by Ludwig Wicki

Tickets go on sale on Friday, June 10 at 10:00 AM
At ticketmaster.com and by phone at 800-745-3000

There is only one Lord of the Rings. Come share in the power.

(Anaheim, CA, June 2) — The Lord of the Rings In Concert: The Fellowship of the Ring will be performed on October 15 for one performance only at Honda Center in Anaheim. Featuring Howard Shore’s complete Academy Award(R) and Grammy(R)-winning score performed live on-stage by more than 200 musicians.Tickets go on sale Friday, June 10 at 10AM at ticketmaster.com and by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets will be available at the Honda Center box office beginning Saturday, June 11. Tickets range from $32.50 to $86.50.

Celebrated Maestro Ludwig Wicki, the preeminent conductor of Howard Shore’s Ring music, will conduct all performances. Joining Maestro Wicki is soprano Kaitlyn Lusk, who has toured the world as a soloist in The Lord of the Rings Symphony.

Peter Jackson’s complete award-winning epic will be projected digitally on an immense 60-foot screen using an uncompressed high definition source with two 20k lumen projectors while the combined forces of the Munich Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Chorale, and Phoenix Boys Choir bring the music of Middle-earth to life.

The Lord of the Rings In Concert: The Fellowship of the Ring kicks off a three-year celebration during which each of the three Academy Award(R)-winning films will be performed In Concert upon the tenth anniversary of its release. The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) will tour in 2011, The Two Towers (2002) in 2012, and the grand finale, The Return of the King (2003), in 2013.

The performance in Anaheim is part of a nine-city West Coast tour that also includes Glendale (AZ), San Diego, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle, Fresno, Oakland and Sacramento.

Composer Howard Shore said, “My first score for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, was the beginning of my journey into the world of Tolkien, and I will always hold a special fondness for the music and the experience.”

Shore’s score not only captures Fellowship's sweeping emotion, thrilling vistas and grand journeys, but also echoes the very construction of Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Styles, instruments and performers collected from around the world provide each of Tolkien’s cultures with a unique musical imprint. In operatic fashion, these musical worlds commingle, sometimes combining forces for a culminated power, other times violently clashing – and always bending to the will of the One Ring and its own ominous family of themes.

Doug Adams, author of the comprehensive book The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films and advisor to this In Concert presentation, said:

"The Lord of the Rings is a story of universal human themes and experiences, including perseverance, sacrifice, friendship, and loyalty. These were the backbone of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, of Peter Jackson’s films, and, of course, of Howard Shore’s music.

These live performances place the score in the spotlight, and create a wholly new and unique audience experience. Even our most ardent fans are amazed at how completely Shore recreates Middle-earth in music – and how the live score provides narrative clarity, structural complexity, and above all, a living heart to the story. There’s nothing quite like it.

This is an extraordinarily moving communal experience. It’s our chance to join the Fellowship."

In 2009, over 10,000 people filled New York’s Radio City Music Hall for the American premiere of The Lord of the Rings In Concert: The Fellowship of the Ring. The New York Times said, “The music of Middle-earth soared through misty climes and rumbled through Hadean depths at Radio City Music Hall [as] Howard Shore’s intricate, far-reaching fabric of leitmotifs surged to the fore.” Entertainment Weekly said “it was a terrific night at the theater.”

Released on December 18, 2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is the first installment of Peter Jackson’s fantasy adventure film trilogy based on the novels of J.R.R. Tolkien. A long-lost ring has been found and, through twists of fate, is in the possession of a small hobbit named Frodo Baggins.
When the Wizard, Gandalf the Grey, discovers this ring is in fact the all-powerful One Ring, Frodo must lead an epic quest to Mount Doom in order to destroy it. However he does not go alone. Frodo is joined by Gandalf, Legolas the elf, Gimli the dwarf, Aragorn, Boromir and his three hobbit friends Merry, Pippin and Samwise – the Fellowship of the Ring.

Considered one of the most ambitious projects in film history, it took eight years to bring The Lord of the Rings to the screen. The result was an artistic and popular success of the highest order. The films won a total of 17 Academy Awards(R), and are among the top-grossing films of all-time.

Calendar listing
The Lord of the Rings In Concert: The Fellowship of the Ring
Date and Time: October 15 at 7:30 PM
Venue and address: Honda Center, 2695 East Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92806

Tickets available at Website: www.ticketmaster.com

Phone: 800-745-3000

In Person: Honda Center Box Office

Ticket prices: $32.50-86.50


Howard Shore (Composer) is among today’s most respected, honored, and active composers and conductors. His work with Peter Jackson on The Lord of the Rings trilogy stands as his most towering achievement to date, earning him three Academy Awards(R). He has also been awarded four Grammys(R) and three Golden Globes. Shore was one of the original creators of Saturday Night Live serving as the music director from 1975 – 80. At the same time, he began collaborating with David Cronenberg and has scored 13 of the director’s films, including The Fly, Crash, and Naked Lunch. His original scores to Dead Ringers and Eastern Promises were each honoured with a Genie Award. Shore continues to distinguish himself with a wide range of projects, from Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, The Aviator, and Gangs of New York, to Ed Wood, The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, and Mrs. Doubtfire.

Shore’s music has been performed in concerts throughout the world. In 2003, Shore conducted the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings Symphony in Wellington. Since then, the work has had over 140 performances by the world’s most prestigious orchestras. In 2008, Howard Shore’s opera, The Fly, had its premiere at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris and at L.A. Opera. Other recent works include Fanfare for the Wanamaker Organ in Philadelphia and the piano concerto Ruin and Memory for Lang Lang premiered in Beijing, China on October 11, 2010. He is currently working on his second opera and looks forward to a return to Middle-earth with J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

Shore received the Career Achievement for Music Composition Award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures and New York Chapter’s Recording Academy Honors, ASCAP’s Henry Mancini Award and the Frederick Loewe Award. He holds honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music and York University, he is an Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettresde la France and the recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in Canada.

Ludwig Wicki (Conductor) began his career as a member of the Lucerne Symphony and Opera Orchestra and is founder of the San Marco Brass and the Philharmonic Brass Quintet. After studying choral conducting with the music director of the renowned Dresdner Kreuzchores in Germany, Wicki became a permanent member of the Schola Romanum Luzernsis under the direction of Pater Roman Bannwart. Wicki then went on to become the music director at the Palace Chapel of Lucerne, where he led the choir in Georgian chants and performances of Bach, Handel, Monteverdi and Palestrina, as well as the orchestra in works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and more. He inaugurated a Renaissance ensemble, Il Dolcimelo, and created the concert series Treffpunkt Haydn. In 1999, he founded the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra, which has collaborated with such internationally renowned composers as Howard Shore, Randy Newman and Martin Boettcher. In 2007, the city of Lucerne presented Maestro Wicki with a Special Achievement Award for his contribution to the city’s cultural life.

The Munich Symphony Orchestra is one of Munich’s four symphony orchestras and developed in 1990 out of the former Graunke Symphony Orchestra, which was founded by Kurt Graunke in 1945. Under his direction, the orchestra quickly achieved a high standard of perfection, not only winning favor with the general public, but also being held in high esteem by experts and the media. Today the Munich Symphony Orchestra is one of the most important vehicles of culture, not only in Munich but also in all of southern Germany. For more than half a century, the orchestra has made a considerable contribution to the cultural life of Munich with an extensive repertoire, which includes symphonic concert pieces, performances of opera, light opera, musicals and ballets as well as oratories and church music. Regular concerts in Bavaria and numerous tours throughout Germany as well as through Europe, Asia and the Americas have firmly established the reputation of the Munich Symphony Orchestra.

The orchestra is also deeply involved in working with promising young soloists and conductors, thus playing an important role in boosting the careers of talented young musicians. The Munich Symphony Orchestra has also made a name for itself in relation with its successful appearances with famous soloists, for example with the performances of singers such as Lucia Aliberti, Monserrat Caballe, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, Simon Estes, Edita Gruberova, Siegfried Jerusalem, Vesselina Kasarova, Waltraud Meier, Hermann Prey, Margaret Price, and Angelika Kirchschlager.

The orchestra has provided the soundtracks for more than five hundred films, and has become one of the leading ensembles in the field of international film music. The film The Silence of the Lambs is the best illustration of this.

Founded in 1947, the Phoenix Boys Choir has programs featuring training in voice, music theory, and performance for boys age 7 to 14. Beginning with the Training Choir, boys can progress to Cadet, Town and Tour choirs, and upon graduation, participate in the Master’s Choir. Currently, there are approximately 150 young boys and men participating, making it one of the largest and most active boy-choirs in the U.S. One of the most prestigious awards bestowed upon the Phoenix Boys Choir to date was received in the summer of 2007 during their European concert tour. The choir participated in the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival at the renowned Musikverein in Vienna, at which it won first prize.

The Choir won a 2000 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance for their recording of Penderecki’s Credo with the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Helmuth Rilling. Credo is one of eight compact discs featuring the Choir, the most recent being Joy To The World. Tour Choirs have sung in major venues in Europe, historical cathedrals around the world, and named “Cultural Ambassadors” to the European Union; while the choir has performed with the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera, Phoenix Chorale, and the Orpheus Chorus.

Kaitlyn Lusk made her major orchestral singing debut with the Baltimore Symphony in 2003 at the age of 14 and has since been sought after for solo appearances with many of the nation’s leading orchestras. Since the fall of 2004, Kaitlyn has been the featured vocal soloist in Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony. She has performed this role with over 25 orchestras in the United States and Canada from the Philadelphia Orchestra to the San Francisco Symphony, and from the Houston Symphony to the Minnesota Orchestra. She has performed with many conductors including Keith Lockhart, Alexander Mickelthwate, Allaistar Willis, Stuart Malina, Nicolas Palmer, and Markus Huber.

In January 2007, Kaitlyn made her European debut with Maestro John Mauceri and the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. In the summer of 2007, as part of an encore performance of The Lord of the Rings Symphony with the Cleveland Orchestra, she once again performed with Howard Shore, who in 2005 invited Kaitlyn to perform the Academy Award(R)-winning song as part of the Grammy(R) Honors of Howard Shore in New York City. In addition to her live performances, Kaitlyn’s first studio album, No Looking Back, features some of the top musicians and songwriters in the industry today and was produced by the award-winning composer and arranger, Kim Scharnberg.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Повелитель Колец

This article from Russia's Musical Life magazine has been under construction for quite a while now. Big congratulations to Elena for seeing the piece through; she's now a published journalist! Brava!

Click the images to see them in larger scale ... and get your Google Translate warmed up ...

Timdalf's translation:

The Book They Were Waiting for….

By Elena Sinitsina

Interest in the music for the film “The Lord of the Rings” by the Canadian composer Howard Shore – who has received many professional awards, for example, three prized Oscars (in 2002 and 2004), three Grammys and Golden Globes (2004, 2005) – has not died down in the ranks of those who value film music from the moment of the appearance on the screen of the first part of the trilogy. Even in 2001 it was clear that the combined collaboration of the composer with the artists Alan Lee and John Howe (conceptual designers), Richard Taylor (visual design and special effects), and also the scriptwriters (Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson) had produced a unique audio-visual matrix, resulting in their being able to construct an effect of the “reality” of the world of Middle-earth. One of the pillars of this triad “text – graphic art – music”, was the audio and emotional, the sensual-tangible, incarnation of the heroes and events of the Tolkien books on the screen and in the minds of the viewers.

Then, at the beginning of the 2000’s, talk began about the necessity to systematize the musical material in the same way the other aspects of the film had been collected: “The Making of the Movie Trilogy, The Lord of the Rings”, Brian Sibley, Houghton Mifflin, 2002; “The Lord of the Rings Weapons and Warfare,” Chris Smith, HarperCollins Publishers, 2003; “The Lord of the Rings Complete Visual Companion”, Jude Fisher, Mariner Books, 2004; or “The Art of the Lord of the Rings”, Gary Russell, Mariner Books, 2004.

Over the course of eight years Doug Adams, an American critic of film music and journalist, in direct contact with the composer occupied himself with research into the music of the trilogy. Adams received his musical education in the realm of classical and contemporary music in the University of Illinois and Roosevelt University (Chicago), achieving a Bachelors and Masters in Music. In the 90’s he worked as an independent critic for the journal “Film Score Monthly” where he discussed the film music of such composers as Danny Elfman, Howard Shore, Phillip Glass, Quincy Jones, Elmer Bernstein, David Raksin, Elliot Goldenthal, Michael Giacchino, Don Davis, John Corigliano, and many others. Adams is well known in foreign film music circles, and is frequently invited to give public lectures world-wide.

Prior to the appearance of his researches, there appeared a unique site on the international Internet called Magpie’s Nest, where the first attempts to systemize the musical content of the film “The Lord of the Rings” were presented. Using only their own auditory experience, enthusiasts made their observations and discussed the most complex interrelationships of the leitmotivs and thematic structures, advancing in this way original ideas that there were subconscious manifestations of musical elements, motives, from the works of other composers. However, Howard Shore himself frankly speaks of only a single, fully obvious, audible allusion to the music of Richard Wagner at the conclusion of the third film. This factor may be of special interest for music historians and those who study its psychological aspects. But work gained “by ear” without any access to the written score, is of benefit to professionals only from the point of view that a sufficiently large number of observations found on the site coincide with the material presented in the book by Doug Adams “The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films; A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore’s Score”. This book, so long awaited by the world of film music, was published by Carpentier in October of 2010. Interest in its contents attained such a high level that as early as the beginning of 2011 it became necessary to issue a second printing.

The book contains a complete survey of the musical content of the film: the thematic and leitmotivic complexes, their development and interrelations. This research is one of the few, and even rare, cases when film music has been subjected to such thorough study as are other more academic genres [of music]. The splendidly illustrated book provides an opportunity for a deep and detailed acquaintance with the composer’s creative thought, his style of working on this tri-partite film-music work. In the introductory sections (Foreword, Introduction and Prologue) the stages of the appearance of both the music itself and the book about it are described.

In the Foreword, Shore writes:

“I was first aware of Doug Adams’ writing as a film music journalist. His work consistently stood out. It was always thoughtful and insightful. I enjoyed the fact that he would place his subject’s work within the context of one hundred years of film music. As a result, when I began writing The Lord of the Rings, I invited Doug to write an article documenting the work on The Fellowship of the Ring.

“My work entailed studying the books [of Tolkien], watching the film, and composing. The book was continuously open on my desk. It took nearly four years to create in music an image of Tolkien’s writing. Doug followed that process during the entire period. The score eventually resulted in eleven hours of music for symphony orchestra and chorus. After the trilogy was completed and after so much had been written about the films and the music, it became important to me to have one person organize and present a cohesive view of the score. Thankfully, Doug agreed to write this comprehensive account.”

There are more than 400 pages in the book, with several sections comprising the musicological analysis (14 large thematic complexes, 101 themes and leitmotivs), a description of their structure and their interrelationships: their mutual influences and mutual interpenetration; musical examples, the composer’s autographs, personnel from the film and graphic artist-designers, complete linguistic vocal texts of the solo and choral numbers, a full track by track review of 12 discs of all the published music, a description of the process of recording, facts about the performers; an epilogue, appendix and an audio-disc of added rarities, including a conversation of the author of the book with the composer.

As Doug Adams rightly notes, the composer approached the creation of the music of Middle-earth from an anthropological point of view. Each of the important cultures of the Tolkien world is represented by a musical style unique, natural, to it alone: the hobbits “are given voice” through a Celtic coloration, the Elves and Mordor appear through chromatic harmonies and have a light echo of the “orient”. Isengard and its oppressive relationship with Nature and its industrialization are characterized by a metallic sound – strokes on anvils and the heavy tread of the lower notes of the brass instruments. The music of a people with its minor mode thoughts filled with anxiety for the present and the future.

In connection with this, Howard Shore creates a whole “collection” of leitmotives. His Middle-earth is built on the framework of more than ninety specific themes, which clearly surpass the needs of the usual film. But “The Lord of the Rings” is not a typical film. Thus the approach to its musical content demanded something special. The qualities of the musical themes of the composer are extremely flexible, and among them one rarely finds something that was not a variation altered in conjunction with the demands of subject-matter and the conductor-composer’s vision.

Thus the most active and complex element in the score is the image of the One Ring. It has four themes characterizing the multidimensionality of its nature: The History of the Ring, The Evil of the Ring (Mordor/Sauron), The Seduction of the Ring, and The Fate/The Destruction of the Ring. In the first part of the book’s trilogy [“The Fellowship”] the orchestration, the tonal resolutions, the characteristics of these themes do not undergo any changes, in a word, the Ring “sleeps”, awaiting its awakening. In “The Two Towers” the changes begin on various levels – from orchestration to an intonational “intertwining” with the musical characterization of a character like Gollum. As the Ring nears Orodruin the musical fabric of the film more and more experiences the influence of this thematic complex.

The theme The History of the Ring becomes the central theme of the entire score. It is heard during all the significant moments of the transfer of this “character” through space and time (for example, when it changes hands). The very wave-like structure of the theme – imitated in the rise and fall of the melodic line – suggests the process of measured breathing that concretely equates the Ring to a living being. Delving into the details one can notice that on the level of the harmonic underpinnings the very melody of this theme presents a chromatic layer – two [harmonic] variants in a single sound. And this further affirms the falseness and duplicity of the promises made by the power of the Ring to its next, temporary “keeper”.

From the point of view of genre-stylistic transformations the theme of Lothlórien – the mystical, hidden realm of the Elves – is interesting. It is “given over” to the timbres of such ethnic instruments as the monochord, ney flute, and the sarangi. The music of Lothlórien is neither sad nor joyful, neither active nor passive. It is dispassionate, alien. “This is a more mysterious world of the Elves [than Rivendell],” says the author through the words of the composer, “they could be bad; they could be good, you’re not really sure.” And Adams continues: “The music of Lothlórien in particular demanded a very specific style of vocal performance: an unaffected clear tone with little vibrato; long arcing phrases drawn in natural contours that would lend the music an ancient tone. ‘The voices carry it,’ Shore comments. ‘This is Middle-earth of thousands of years ago. When I started doing research, I started thinking about Gregorian chants and so on.’”

In the films the Lothlórien theme appears in four guises. In the first instance – as characteristic of the mystical, enigmatic realm of the Elves’ Golden Forest and its mistress. The second time taking on the qualities of a march, it depicts the Elves as warriors coming to help mankind fight at Helm’s Deep. Also there a third variant is introduced – a comforting death which is heard at the moment the Elvish march-warden Haldir perishes. And finally in “The Return of the King” we again hear it when Frodo penetrates through the lair of the monstrous spider Shelob, when he illumines the space of the caves with the light of Elendil – a gift of the Lady Galadriel and he has a vision of her.

It is interesting that the Lothlórien theme utilizes elements of oriental music not only on the level of the timbral choices, but also from the point of view of its modal structure. Its modal foundation gains slight changes from the Arabian maqam hijaz. As Doug Adams notes, its specific sound is not used for its evocation of any oriental “exotic otherness” but to create a sense of even more ancient layers – the other epochs of Middle-earth. One notes that all the non-European elements of the score are harmoniously integrated into it rather than having a character of something imposed from outside the Euro-centric musical tradition.

The themes and leitmotivs are not only connected by their inner meanings, as complexes “with a single root”, but act on each other in an antagonistic manner, as expressions of “hostile” contradictory phenomena. Thus the themes of the Shire and the theme of the Seduction of the Ring are related to each other by their principle motives (distinguished only by the modal coloration). The significance of this is found in that the destiny of the Hobbits and the Ring are inseparably interwoven in just the choices “of this tiny world” – in the aspect of light (major) and darkness (minor) determine the further destiny of all of Middle-earth. The theme of the Fellowship of the Ring and theme of Isengard are in an analogical way contrasted with each other, but as well on the level of the micro-structure of the basic intonations: diatonic versus chromatic. Similar to the basic intonations the timbral choices of various themes linger in the memory of the viewer-listener, forming an impression of the musical material of the scarcely perceptible kind telling us of the unique reality in the world of film.

Just prior to completing his researches Doug Adams answered the question, “Why are you writing this book?” by saying: “Because I believe in the [high] quality of this music, intimately bound with ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ It is unique and deserves study. Film music is developing rapidly and demands the same sort of in depth study and understanding of its meaning as other genres of academic art: symphonies, ballet, chamber music, opera and so on. I believe that this work offers something new alike for the student who is seriously studying music, and also invites young musicians to pursue their travels into unexplored labyrinths of the most fascinating of art forms which film is.”
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