Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fellowship of the Ring: Live July 5 - 7 in Ottawa, CA

The Ottawa Citizen is running a piece today regarding the upcoming National Arts Centre Orchestra performances of The Fellowship of the Ring. Thought these tidbits might be of interest:

[Shore] is not giving away much about his approach to the score for The Hobbit except to say, “If you like the scores to the other films, you’ll like the way I’m approaching The Hobbit.” 
He is into the crunch right now on The Hobbit with recording set to begin in August. That pressure prevents him from being in Ottawa for the performance. 
Asked whether some of the music for The Hobbit will hint at the Lord of the Rings, he’s coy. 
“I have crafty little ways of dropping bits here and there. There are characters that are in both, Bilbo, Gandalf, Galadriel and Elrond. It’s so connected to The Lord of the Rings.”

Read the full piece HERE.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rings and Contracts

Hi folks,

Apologies for being a bit of a ghost around here lately. I did indeed find my way out of the woods last week -- though met this rather ominous dragon-like branch in the process! A sign perhaps?

Weather permitting, I try to walk a few miles each day, just to keep my head clear. It's my chance to catch up on music, listen to a few books or poems, and attempt to keep my complexion at least somewhat ruddier than this blog's color scheme. (In the bleak midwinter my skin tone roughly matches my black-and-white headshot to the right.) But this was a different kind of walk. This out-of-town trip was planned as a preamble to next week's festivities. One week from this Saturday, on July 7 -- that's 7/7, presumably the luckiest day of the year! -- Jill and I will be married. I don't go into my personal life too much on the blog, but since a number of you have been so kind as to ask, I thought I'd let you all know.

Last week we stopped by the Daly Center in downtown Chicago to sign our wedding license. It was a profoundly meaningful experience for us, though hardly romantic. The clerks are didn't seem overly concerned whether or not we understood the lifelong commitment this all entails (we do), but they did make absolutely certain that we weren't related to one another (we aren't!)

Little did I realize that the trip downtown would be the first in a number of contracts I'd sign or negotiate or otherwise discuss in the following days. One of those contracts had been sitting on my desk since June of 2011. It wasn't neglected due to controversial content or untoward haggling, it was simply tied into a chain of events that required a good deal of patience. This morning, June 27, 2012, that contract was placed in the mail. I can't say much about it just yet, but suffice it to say, I have a pretty good sense how this fellow feels:

This is shaping up to be a rather nice summer!

Back soon,


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review: The Two Towers in The Netherlands

It's been quite some time since we've run a Live to Projection review, so big thanks go to Erik Ammerlaan for sending this great review of The Two Towers at De Doelen!


After a year, Middle-earth had once again returned to the Netherlands last weekend. The Two Towers Live in De Doelen concert hall in Rotterdam made Middle-earth almost tangible. Due to the tremendous success last year, when The Fellowship made its debut, the concert now even ran over three days instead of two. 

The foyer was buzzing with excitement. At multiple spots one could buy a programme and... The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films. I had already glimpsed that book at last year’s concert and it was after that, that I discovered www.musicoflotr.com and learnt more about the book. This year I was not in doubt and bought it. 

Further on, a lot of attention was attracted by a stand with Tolkien curiosa like books, helmets and Elven brooches. After having resisted the urge to buy anything, I walked into the concert hall where the musicians were tuning their instruments. Some musicians swiftly had a go at the Isengard theme. Even while tuning it sounded familiar! 

Finally, Ludwig Wicki entered the stage, whom was given a loud applause by the fans. The concert had a thunderous start with the Balrog fight. Wicki directed the musicians as if his life depended on it and the chorus quickened my pulse. It is unbelievable how the live music penetrates you. The rest of the first half – except The Mearas – was less captivating than last year’s concert. It’s not that it wasn’t good (far from it), but it’s just that I consider the musical material of TTT less interesting than that of the other movies. However, after the intermission, Kaitlyn Lusk and the children’s choir joined the musicians and made the concert an unparalleled performance! One could see that Ludwig and the musicians had a great time as well. It's great that local musicians can bring Middle-earth to life.

It’s worth mentioning the setup, because it is different from the concerts in other countries. Because the stage is smaller, the choirs are positioned at the sides of the upper circle. In my opinion, this unique setup makes the concert even better. Because the choir is on the side, they assume some kind of reflecting attitude, just like choirs in classical tragedy. Also, as an audience, one is much more immersed and actually feels a part of the whole.

Just like the Fellowship, The Two Towers was an amazing experience. Even the staff at the concert hall was elated because of the nice public and the great ambience. The people really seemed one in spirit. Afterwards, Ludwig Wiki and Kaitlyn Lusk even held a signing session. However, most people chose to quickly go to the queues in front of the cash desk, to advance order tickets for The Return of the King next year. 

I did not want to miss the signing session though! And what would be more appropriate to sign, than my just bought copy of The Music of The Lord of the Rings? So, the book already holds much value to me now. Ludwig and Kaitlyn were very friendly and really took their time to talk to the fans. 

Of course, I can’t wait for next year’s The Return of the King, but in the meantime I will enjoy your book. The book is very complete and offers many insights. On top of that, it also looks gorgeous! Certainly a must have for anyone that has the Complete Recordings

 Yours sincerely, 
 Erik Ammerlaan (The Netherlands)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ongoing Discussion [June 2012]//WQXR Interview

Howard Shore joins this conversation on WQXR's Movies on the Radio via a Skype call from New Zealand around the 42:30 mark. Enjoy!

WQXR's Movies on the Radio meets Slate's Culture Gabfest: OnThursday, May 31 at 7 pm in The Greene Space, host David Garland spoke with Slate's Dana Stevens, Julia Turner and Stephen Metcalf about music and the movies, including a conversation about notable recent and upcoming releases.
Special features included a "Film Scoring 101" segment and a conversation with Academy Award-winning composer Howard Shore, who participated by Skype from New Zealand.
Our discussion is archived below in edited form and will appear on an upcoming installment of the Slate Culture Gabfest.
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