Friday, May 25, 2012

Cosmopolis Score on Facebook

I'm not sure how many of you are on Facebook, but you should be aware that Howard Shore's score to Cosmopolis now has its own Facebook page. Become a fan today!

And while you're there, be sure to 'like' The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films ... he said repetitively.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Here Comes the S.U.N.

Available July 10, 2012
Howard Shore began writing the score for the massive multiplayer online role-paying game,Soul of the Ultimate Nation (SUN) in the summer of 2004. In November of that year, Shore was in Moscow conducting The Lord of the Rings Symphony at the Kremlin with the National Philharmonic of Russia and Victor Popov’s Academy of Choral Arts. Following the Moscow concerts he traveled with the orchestra and chorus for another three concerts in Tokyo.
“I was still composing the music for SUN at this time and while in Japan I decided I wanted to write the piece specifically for this orchestra and chorus,” said Shore. “I wanted the chorus to sing in ancient Korean as a way to express the world of SUN. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring together the western and eastern concepts at play. The pieces were composed as tone poems to express the different characters, cultures and the world of this wonderfully detailed game.”
The game SUN has gradually made its way around the world although the music has only been released in parts of Asia. Now for the first time, as the second Collector’s Edition series of the Composer’s work, Howard Shore’s original score for SUN is available to a worldwide audience.
Visit Howe Records HERE
Preorder at Amazon HERE

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Shore on PRX

I spoke with Edmund Stone last autumn when I was helping with the LOTR West Coast tour and thoroughly enjoyed our chat -- though I was intimidated and humbled by the pictures of musical luminaries past and present that lined the walls of the studio.

Howard Shore recently sat down with Stone to talk about The Lord of the Rings, Silence of the LambsHugo, and more. The embed codes don't seem to want to play nice, so you can access the interview right HERE instead.

I believe this interview is from late December, so don't expect any heavy scoops on Cosmopolis -- which is great! -- or The Hobbit -- which is going to be great! -- but it's an excellent conversation nonetheless.

New Shore Piano Work to Premiere on June 19

Attention New Yorkers:

US Launch of
Petrushka Project
The Juilliard School's Paul Hall
June 19, 2012

70 New Piano Works by Composers Worldwide
Debut in Four Concerts Taking Place
in New York, London, Mainz, Beijing

Michael Brown and Christopher McKiggan Premiere New Works from Robert Beaser, Hans-Jürgen von Bose, Gavin Bryars, Chaya Czernowin, Atsuhiko Gondai, Thomas Larcher, Andrew Norman, Bernard Rands, Howard Shore, Alvin Singleton, Morton Subotnick, Stewart Wallace, Peteris Vasks and more

Petrushka Project, an unprecedented international live concert and commissioning initiative presented by the Strecker-Foundation, a leading music foundation based in Germany, lands in the US on June 19, 2012 at The Juilliard School's Paul Hall featuring pianists Michael Brown and Christopher McKiggan. Petrushka Project boasts the premieres of 70 new solo piano pieces by a wide range of composers worldwide. The Project affords a rare and unique opportunity for a wholesale international infusion of a huge variety of new piano music into the repertoire, all of it viewable from the Petrushka Project website beginning July 14 and on a dedicated "Petrushka Channel" on YouTube.
All 70 new piano works will be published by Schott Music in a printed collection and made available for download via Schott’s digital download platform, notafina. Soloists Christopher McKiggan and Michael Brown will perform 21 of the new works on the program at Paul Hall. Mr. McKiggan will premiere works by Robert Beaser, Hans-Jürgen von Bose, Viktor Ekimovsky, Atsuhiko Gondai, Ryo Kunihiko, Thomas Larcher, Emile Naoumoff, Howard Shore, Peteris Vasks, Stewart Wallace and Harald Weiss. Mr. Brown will perform works by Gavin Bryars, Chaya Czernowin, Andrew Norman, Albena Petrovic-Vratchanska, Bernard Rands, Alvin Singleton, Viktor Suslin, Morton Subotnick, Yoji Yuasa and Jing-Nuo Zhou.
Michael Brown, described as a “vividly characterized and rhythmically free-spirited” pianist by The New York Times, was the First Prize Winner of the 2010 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition. Noted for his “great confidence and rhythmic flair” by Gramophone, he has appeared in many major venues including Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, and has appeared as soloist with the Juilliard Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall under the baton of New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert. He regularly participates in the Marlboro Music Festival and recently toured the US with Miriam Fried and Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute. In the 2011-2012 season, Mr. Brown performed recitals at Carnegie Hall as part of the Concert Artists Guild Winners Series, the Gilmore Festival’s Rising Stars Recital Series, Market Square Concerts, Bay Chamber Concerts, and the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock. Mr. Brown attended The Juilliard School completing dual Master of Music degrees in Piano and Composition. He studied with pianists Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald, and composers Samuel Adler and Robert Beaser.
Hailed as a pianist to “keep your eyes and ears on” (Harper’s Bazaar Thailand) Christopher McKiggan was a finalist at the prestigious 2012 University of South Africa International Piano Competition. His playing has been praised as containing “astounding technique… [with] startling poise and control” (Kansas City Star) and “astonishing virtuosity and piano coloration” (The Citizen). His list of awards includes a Gold Medal from the Seattle International Piano Competition, Second Prize in the Solo Division and Third Prize in the Senior Concerto Division at the Kingsville International Music Competition, First Prize in the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, and many others. On May 19, 2012 he will open the Beijing Modern Music Festival performing Robert Beaser‘s Piano Concerto with the National Center for Performing Arts Orchestra under conductor Lv Jia. McKiggan graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and begins the DMA program in Piano Performance at Rice University under Prof. Jon Kimura later this year.
Petrushka Project features three additional concerts in London (June 8), Mainz (July 14), and Beijing (June 14). 

Cello Concerto Review

I'm catching up on posts today, so please forgive the fact that this is a slightly out-of-date.

Shore's new Cello Concerto premiered in April, and Allison Silvieus provided a short write-up in The Millbrook Independent:

Cellist Sophie Shao followed Marcovics’ performance in Howard Shore’s 2011 world premiere, Mythic Gardens. The concerto was commissioned for Shao, made financially possible by Linda and Stuart Nelson.  
Shao, native to Houston, Texas, studied with Shirley Trepel, former principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. She received a B.A. in religious studies from Yale and an M.M. from the Yale school of Music. She is a faculty member at Vassar college and Bard College’s Conservatory of Music.  
Shao performs throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. The New York Times praised her “eloquent, powerful” interpretations. According to Peter Laki, visiting professor of music to Bard, she will appear this year as soloist with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Keith Lockhart in performances of the Elgar and Shostakovich concerti two-week tour. She can also be heard on EMI Classics, Bridge Records and on Albany Records.  
While Howard Shore is most well-known for his score of Lord of the Rings, he is an expert in concertos as well. Mythic Gardens “is based on the composer’s feelings upon visiting three sumptuous gardens in Italy—Cimbrone in Ravello on the Amalfi coast, the Medici gardens in Florence and the Villa Litta near Milan,” according to Peter Laki, visiting professor of music to Bard. 
The first movement, Cimbrone was peaceful, yet displayed Shao’s impressive finger movement with sections of quick-tempos as well. The second peace, Medici was similar to Brubeck’s in that it was slow and mellow, achieving a depth of musicality by the orchestra and feeling by the audience. The final Visconti Borromeo Litta ends with a vibrant, full orchestra accompanying Shao.  
The evening ended with two full orchestra concertos by Lutoslawski and Bartók. Hearing the two concertos in one concert was a rare opportunity because one affected the other. Bartók composed in total freedom, whereas Lutoslawski composed during the communist regime of Stalin. ASO performed both well and the connection between the two was evident.  
While the whole night was filled with musicality, Marcovics and Shao were the highlight. Their naturalness as musicians intrigued the audience, who responded in loud praise to both musicians.

The review of the full concert -- which also included a new trombone concerto by Christopher Brubeck, son of the great Dave Brubeck -- can be read HERE.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ongoing Discussion [May 2012] -- Cosmopolis Edition

The soundtrack for Cosmopolis reunites composer Howard Shore and the band METRIC for another cinematic collaboration. While writing the score for David Cronenberg’s film adaptation of the Don DeLillo novel Cosmopolis, Shore conceived of a particular live sound to achieve his vision and invited METRIC to perform the score and co-write three songs. The music was recorded in November 2011 at the band’s own Giant Studios in Toronto, produced by Howard Shore and METRIC guitarist Jimmy Shaw, and mixed by John O’Mahony at Liberty Studios in Toronto and Electric Lady Studios in NYC. The result is an atmospheric, urban soundscape of analog synths and layered guitars featuring the hypnotic vocals of METRIC lead singer Emily Haines. The Cosmopolis soundtrack also features “Mecca” by Somali Singer/Rapper K’NAAN with lyrics by the artist and Don DeLillo. 

The soundtrack album features the songs:

“Long to Live”
Written by Emily Haines, James Shaw, Howard Shore
Performed by Metric

“I Don’t Want to Wake Up”
Written by Emily Haines, James Shaw, Howard Shore
Performed by Metric

 “Call Me Home”
Written by Emily Haines, James Shaw, Howard Shore
Performed by Metric

Lyrics by Don DeLillo and K’NAAN
Performed by K’NAAN

Preview tracks are available HERE
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