Friday, December 20, 2013

The Hobbit: Production Video 14

If you look closely, you may see some familiar faces in here... ;)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Smaug Samples

Everyone has clicked HERE to hear, yes?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Press Release


Featuring Original Music by Academy Award® Winner Howard Shore

With An Original Song I See Fire Performed by
GRAMMY Nominated Singer-Songwriter Ed Sheeran

2 CD Special Edition Soundtrack Also Available

(November 5, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA) – WaterTower Music today announced details of the soundtrack to “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), the second in a trilogy of films by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The soundtrack will be released on December 10, 2013, three days before the December 13 release of the film, and will be available both digitally and as a 2 CD set. A Special Edition soundtrack, featuring twelve extended tracks, a bonus track, expanded liner notes and interactive sheet music will also be available. Fans will be able to preorder the album at both iTunes and Amazon on November 5.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features the music of Howard Shore, one of film music’s most respected, honored, and active composers and conductors. "I’m looking forward to introducing you to Smaug," exclaimed Shore, who previously worked with director Peter Jackson on The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Jackson added, "Howard Shore's music soars and enriches way beyond its connection to our images, a unique sound like no other. He truly has created an epic musical world of his own."

Shore’s music for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy has been performed in numerous concerts internationally. In 2003 he conducted the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings Symphony in Wellington, New Zealand. Since then, the work has been performed nearly 300 times by the world’s most prestigious orchestras, and has been the subject of a book, The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore's Scores.

Howard Shore’s music for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy stands as his most towering achievement to date, garnering three Academy Awards® for his music for those films, two for Best Original Score, and one for Best Original Song. Shore has also won numerous other honors for his film work, including four Grammys and three Golden Globe Awards, the Career Achievement for Music Composition Award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, New York Chapter’s Recording Academy Honors, ASCAP’s Henry Mancini Award, the Frederick Loewe Award and the Max Steiner Award from the city of Vienna. He holds honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music and York University, and is an Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la France and the recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in Canada.

Included on the soundtrack is I See Fire, a new song created for the film by Ed Sheeran, the 22-year old British singer/songwriter and multi-platinum global phenomenon who was nominated in the prestigious “Song of the Year” category at this year’s 55th Annual Grammy Awards. Sheeran is also a two-time BRIT Award winner and recipient of the highly esteemed Ivor Novello award for best song musically and lyrically in the UK." “It was such an honor working with Peter Jackson on this song," Sheeran says. "Not only is he one of my favorite directors of my favorite films, The Hobbit was the first book I ever read as a child, so it means a lot that I get to produce music for the motion picture.”

Elaborating on the collaboration with Jackson, as well as filmmakers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, Sheeran stated, “I was allowed complete freedom to create what I thought was fitting for the film, which is very rare, and Peter, Fran and Philippa were always on hand to give notes and pointers. The entire team down in New Zealand was out of this world. The film is amazing, I'm still geeking out that I've done a song for a Peter Jackson film set in Middle-earth!”

"Ed Sheeran is a true Tolkien fan, and also happens to be a brilliant singer-songwriter,” offered Peter Jackson. I See Fire is Ed's emotional response to the film. It's perfect."

“It is an honor to once again work with the tremendous Howard Shore, who has created the musical voice of Peter Jackson’s iconic The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings films from the beginning,” stated WaterTower Music head Jason Linn. “And we are thrilled that the stars aligned for this collaboration with Ed Sheeran and his truly inspired original song for our soundtrack. WaterTower anticipates another exciting and successful soundtrack journey with these two exceptional musicians.”

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will be released on December 10, 2013. The track list is as follows:

1. The Quest for Erebor
2. Wilderland
3. A Necromancer (Bonus Track) *
4. The House of Beorn **
5. Mirkwood **
6. Flies and Spiders **
7. The Woodland Realm **
8. Feast of Starlight
9. Barrels Out of Bond
10. The Forest River **
11. Bard, a Man of Lake-town **
12. The High Fells **
13. The Nature of Evil
14. Protector of the Common Folk

1. Thrice Welcome
2. Girion, Lord of Dale **
3. Durin's Folk **
4. In the Shadow of the Mountain
5. A Spell of Concealment **
6. On the Doorstep
7. The Courage of Hobbits
8. Inside Information
9. Kingsfoil
10. A Liar and a Thief
11. The Hunters **
12. Smaug **
13. My Armor Is Iron
14. I See Fire performed by Ed Sheeran
15. Beyond the Forest

* Bonus track available on Special Edition Soundtrack only
** Extended Versions of these songs Available on Special Edition Soundtrack only

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The three films tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before “The Lord of the Rings,” which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

The screenplay for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.

Under Jackson’s direction, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” was shot in 3D 48 frames-per-second and will be released in High Frame Rate 3D (HFR 3D) in select theaters, other 2D and 3D formats, and IMAX®. Production took place at Jackson’s own facilities in Miramar, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand. Post production took place at Park Road Post Production in Wellington.

New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a WingNut Films Production, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” The film is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM. www.thehobbit.net

WaterTower Music, the in house music label for Warner Bros., has been releasing recorded music since 2001. Distributed through InGrooves Fontana, WTM has released over 150 titles, including the film soundtracks to “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Gravity,” “Man of Steel,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Game of Thrones,” and “The Great Gatsby Jazz Recordings” among others.


For Soundtrack information contact:
Joe Kara, WaterTower Music

For Ed Sheeran information contact:
Glenn Fukushima, Atlantic Records

Dragon Tracks

Click the image to enlarge it.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Under the Mountain

I'll have answers and more very soon, folks ... just as soon as my own schedule improves a tad. In the meantime, enjoy the new Smaug trailer. None of this is Shore's new score, but you can hear a few fragments of that in the latest VIDEO BLOG, if you're so inclined.

Thanks so much for you patience these past few months! I'm sorry I'm such a phantom right now. As ever, it's probably easiest to reach me via Twitter, if you're in a hurry.

Oh, and everyone go buy the Hobbit Extended Edition tomorrow ... if you want to see a slightly sleepy looking version of my talking-head blabbing on about songs and scores in the appendices. I'll tell you more about that in the near future as well!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Kingly Tickets

Win tickets to the Dublin performance of The Return of the King. See my Twitter account for details, or click HERE!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hobbit Questions [August 2013]

I still can't answer many Hobbit questions, but for the time being, feel free to post them here and I'll do the best I can!


There are a couple of LOTR performances coming up that I haven't yet added to the blog. Sorry! Catch-up day today!

First, The Return of the King is coming to Dublin, Ireland in late October 2013. Details and order info are available HERE.

ROTK will also be coming to the Ravinia Festival next summer ... which means I'l probably be lurking there somewhere as well! The links aren't up yet, but they've already announced it publicly, so it's safe to mention here.

Third -- and this is very exciting news for those who missed the initial go-round of the LOTR cycle -- Fellowship is returning to Wolf Trap in September, 2013. This seems to indicate that the other two pictures will follow (timeframe to be determined). Details and tickets are HERE. These performances will be conducted by the great Erik Ochsner. If you haven't heard his interpretation before, I highly recommend it!

So, get to it!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Book-signing at Ravinia's Two Towers

I will be signing The Music of the Lord of the Rings at Ravinia's presentation of Howard Shore's score to The Two Towers on both Thursday, August 15 and Friday, August 16. Watch this space for details.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 

Complete Score Performed Live by the 
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Ludwig Wicki, Conductor 


The Lakeside Singers
Chicago Chorale 
Chicago Children’s Choir 
Kaitlyn Lusk, Vocalist

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Jimmy P. on Howe

I put this on Twitter the other day, but forgot to put it on the blog. Shore's newest, Jimmy P., is coming out on Howe Records on September 10. The score, which was recorded in New York, features the Dover Quartet as well as some interesting interplay between the quartet and a small orchestra. It's currently available for pre-order on Amazon right HERE.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Peter Jackson on Shore's Hobbit

Peter Jackson has been live-blogging the final day of shooting on The Hobbit. Approximately 11 hours ago, he posted a shot from the spotting sessions with Howard Shore and spoke about the music of An Unexpected Journey and of The Desolation of Smaug.


Music spotting with Howard Shore

Midday. We're shifting from K Stage to F Stage right now, and I took the chance to spot music with Howard Shore. He's in New York, and busy writing the score for Film 2.

"Spotting" involves talking through edited scenes with Howard, and figuring out everything he needs to do a first pass at the music composition - where music should start and stop, what mood it should have, themes to use, moments to punctuate. That type of thing. To stay on schedule, Howard needs 10 mins of cut footage every week. This week we only have 3 & a half mins for him. Fortunately, he's very good natured about it. It's happened once or twice before!

Next week, when I'm back in the cutting room full time, Howard will be getting a deluge!

The score for Film 2 is going to be terrific. Last year, we were a little frustrated because we had to revisit so many of the LotR themes - The Shire, Rivendell, Galadriel, Gollum, and the Ring - we did this because I'm wanting these 3 Hobbit movies to have great unity with the Rings films in design, wardrobe, story and music, so it meant "An Unexpected Journey" had to acknowledge what had gone before.

But this time around, apart from a couple of Ring moments, it's all new: Beorn, Mirkwood, The Woodland Realm, Laketown, Bard and Smaug all give Howard the chance to write brand new themes, and he's knocking it out of the park!

We've now finished yesterday's work, and can start on today's scenes!


You can read more on Jackson's Facebook page HERE.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Please remind me to tell you about this later--maybe this fall sometime. Just remember the garish throw rug ... or the equally garish socks.


Friday, July 12, 2013

NZSO to Record Smaug Score

I put this on Twitter yesterday, but am just now adding it to the blog. (It is generally easier for me to post things quickly on Twitter, so please consider following!) Yesterday's big news was that the fantastic New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is going to be recording Howard Shore's score to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug!

Yes, this is a slight break with tradition--only it's not. The NZSO was actually the first orchestra to ever perform Shore's Middle-earth music. When Fellowship's Mines of Moria sequence premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, New Zealand's leading orchestra--and a male chorus full of trained vocalists and footballers--recorded the score. That performance is still in the finished film today. (They also recorded the Breaking of the Fellowship, though when that portion of the film was re-edited, the London Philharmonic re-recorded the score; the NZSO's performance can still be heard during the FOTR: EE fan scroll.)

The Desolation of Smaug will put Shore and company back in the same room in which the 2001 Cannes preview was recorded, which is actually pretty cool! It's a wonderful way to take advantage of another of New Zealand's natural resources.

You can read the NZSO's press release right HERE.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Midsummer Award

Congrats to Howard Shore on winning Colonne Sonore's "Best Music for a Foreign Film" for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Great Unknowns

Hi everyone,

As you know, I've spent the majority of 2013 on a non-Tolkien project. I'm hoping to be done with that by the end of summer, and with luck, will have more to share at that time. The upshot of that, of course, is that I've been a pretty negligent blogger as of late. True, there hasn't been much to report on lately, but I do feel bad that I haven't been able to connect with everyone.

Creative work is so odd. One dedicates years of hard, solitary effort to creating something, then finally gets to come into the sunlight and celebrate. But after that, one has to hop off the mountain and tackle the whole thing again. You're back in the foothills all by yourself--and oh, you're not allowed to take the same route in your attempt to return to the summit. The whole affair feels freeing, self-indulgent, satisfying beyond compare, and unnerving beyond recognition. I love it, but you really feel your mind straining at the seams ...

Anyway, enough of my whining. I'm actually checking in today to respond to a coupld of questions that keep popping up:

1) The LOTR: Complete Recordings seem to be very hard to find right now. The Two Towers, in fact, is listed as being out of stock, and is going for astronomical amounts on the secondary market. Will they be back, and if so when?

I've actually enquired about this, but the short answer is, I do not know the answer. The Complete Recordings have always been tricky to keep track of. Shore's company has a say in them, Reprise (the label) has a say in them, Warner Bros (who owns Reprise) has a say, CAMI (who produces the Live to Projection shows) has some say in which way stock is pushed. I, however, have no say. Thus, I don't really have any right to demand information. I can -- and have -- asked the various labels involved about what's going on, but the answers I get back usually involve a lot of checking -- again because there are simply so many fingers in the pie. If I am given information to post, I promise to post it. Otherwise, it's safe to assume that I don't know any more than you do.

It's important to note that the Complete Recordings are a very high-end product aimed at a very specific audience. They're very expensive to produce, thus labels can't go and run off an extra hundred every time stock dips. I know it's easy to assume that record companies are all conspiring to take advantage of the consumer by creating scarcities -- or that they simply are content to ignore the fans -- but this isn't the case at all. When creating something like the Complete Recordings, a company generally has to produce a massive number of units just to make it worth their while. They're paying another company huge amounts of money to create the physical products -- and each commissioned run comes with a hefty price tag. If a company did a short run every few months, they'd lose huge amounts of money, and would never again back projects like this. For such investments to make sense, record companies have to do very large runs once every couple of years. There's never a guarantee when -- or if -- the next run will take place. The labels know far better than I how to judge such things. Presumably, The Two Towers is between print runs. (I don't know this for a fact -- they could have a thousand sitting in a warehouse for all I know.) The decision, therefore, becomes whether or not a new pressing makes financial sense. Past sales are considered along with presumed demand, logarithms, forecasts, politics, chaos theory, and who knows what else! The point is, they have ways of making these decisions, and no one outside of a small handful of people is ever entirely privy to them.  I have a hard time imagining that The Two Towers is gone for good ...

2) This one's a chestnut, but it bears repeating: Will The Return of the King play Radio City Music Hall?

Again, I do not know. When Fellowship and The Two Towers played Radio City, I was very involved with CAMI, the show's producers. These days, that is not the case, so I don't have the access to the same information as I once did. I continue to hear there might be more large-scale performances coming elsewhere, and certainly the LOTR Live concerts are continuing to robustly tour around the globe. The Two Towers will make its Chicago debut this August (and I think I may be appearing in some manner, so stay tuned for that), so it's not as if there's no longer interest.

If ROTK comes to Radio City, it is unlikely to be announced on this blog. The producers will rightfully want a platform bigger than good ol' MusicofLOTR.com! And were I to know about such a concert before it was publicly announced, I would certainly be asked to keep my mouth shut about it. So, until the show's producers say something, assume that I either know nothing or am ethically bound to silence. Speaking of ...

3) I get a number of emails asking for hints about upcoming LOTR performances, either Live to Projection or the Symphony.

No can do, sorry. My relationship with the concerts has always been such that I'll announce things when contacted by producers, by the orchestras themselves, or by fans who have already seen something in the press. I cannot announce anything before it's official. It's really not fair to the organizers.

So what a cheery return to posting, eh? First I moan about the rigors of the creative process, then I list three questions that I can't answer! :) Sorry, all! I actually get a heavy handful of emails each day asking about all this, and while I do have some people that have stepped in to assist with such things, I thought it might be easier to just address this en masse.

It's important to note that nothing above represents an official announcement of any kind. I'm just trying  to explain why I don't know what I don't know, but I'm acting purely as an outside observer.

Back soon,


Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Hi everyone,

Just checking in quickly while posting the ROTK De Doelen review. If you've been following my Twitter feed (which is where I'm doing most of my mico-blogging during this busy spell), you may have noticed that I was scheduled to give a lecture at Boston's Berklee College of Music tonight. With the recent tragic events in Boston, it seemed best to hold off for the time being. We will reschedule in the fall when Berklee is back in session, and when Boston has had time to heal.

Boston is a beautiful city. I have many dear friends there. Shore attended Berklee, and I met my wife when she was a student there. If anyone is interested in helping Boston back onto its feet, please consider donating the The One Fund. You can read more about the organization HERE, but the short writeup below outlines its purpose:

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Menino today announced the formation of The One Fund Boston, the purpose of which is to raise money to help those families most affected by the tragic events that unfolded during Monday’s Boston Marathon.
“I am humbled by the outpouring of support by the business community and individuals who are united in their desire to help; The One Fund Boston will act as a central fund to receive much needed financial support,” Governor Patrick said. “At moments like this, we are one state, one city, and one people.” 2013.
Thanks, all!
More soon ...


ROTK De Doelen Review

April 21st 2013, the city of Rotterdam.

For the third year in a row I'm gathering up for a great event: The LOTR live on screen: the films of LOTR accompanied by a live symphonic orchestra, full choir and children's choir! Today will be the last one in the row: The Return of the King.

Mixed feelings; looking forward to the concert, but it's the last one...

When entering the venue, the excitement get's me right away, the big screen, the great Rotterdam Philharmonic orchestra with the choirs right and left. As soon as the film starts and the orchestra starts to play, you'll right away be transported to Middle-earth, to this great imaginative world. Mr. Ludwig Wicki, the great conductor of this show, leads the orchestra over mountains and great landscapes and exciting adventures. And again, I'm thinking: "How did Mr. Shore made this, how did he manage, and not only that, it is, as Peter Jackson says, really the very soul of this film?" And also, the film is so good, and the music fits so well, that watching the movie I sometimes forget to look to the orchestra! There's nothing to say, this orchestra is so good! And of course the lovely and great soprano Kaitlyn Lusk, she sings the score so easily, she really is Elven-kind! As you see, I'm still excited of the performance.

It was a while ago when I listened to the music of the LOTR, but as soon as you hear it again, it strikes you! Howard Shore, thanks for your great music for this films! I again know why your music made me a film composer too! And of course Rotterdam Philharmonic, Choirs: Laurens Collegium Rotterdam Vocaal Talent Nederland, Ludwig Wicki and Kaitlyn Lusk.


Arjan Kiel

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Howard Shore to Score JIMMY PICARD

Howard Shore has composed the score for Arnaud Desplechin's new film, Jimmy Picard, which will play at the Cannes Film Festival later this spring. Shore recorded the score in New York this past winter.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Shore's Hobbit Wins Colonne Sonore Award

For Immediate Release:

Winners of ColonneSonore.net Award, the prize awarded by the readers of ColonneSonore.net, announced!

ColonneSonore.net is proud to announce the winners of ColonneSonore.net Awards 2012, the first edition of a special prize to the best music written for film and television voted by the readers of our website. The public survey has encountered the enthusiastic participation of both our loyal readers and workers of the Italian film/TV music industry.

Online voting began on February 2nd and closed on February 28th, seeing the participation of more than 1,000 film score enthusiasts submitting their own preferences over selections spread over six categories. The nominations were submitted by ColonneSonore.net staff editors, who chose names and titles through internal votes and ballots among the overall eligible works released through year 2012. The goal was to represent at best the eclectic and high-quality work in film and television music by both Italian and foreign composers.

Here are the results of the public survey:

In the category "Best Music for an Italian Film", composer Paolo Vivaldi won for the captivating score Maternity Blues, written for the intense melodramatic film directed by Fabrizio Cattani.

Young talent Andrea Farri has been recognized both as "Best Italian Composer of the Year" (thanks to his outstanding work in films like Gli sfiorati and 10 regole per fare innamorare) and for "Best Music for Italian TV Fiction" for the score of the acclaimed series Squadra Antimafia: Palermo Oggi 4, broadcasted successfully on Mediaset channels.

A surprising tie resulted in the category "Best Original Song for an Italian Film": young and talented singer-songwriter Thony won for "Time Speaks" (written for the film Tutti i santi giorni, directed by Paolo Virzì), and Elisa and Andrea Guerra got recognized for "Love is Requited", the main theme song of Roberto Faenza's Un giorno questo dolore ti sarà utile (Someday This Pain Will Be Useful).

A win tie is also found in the category "Best Music for a Foreign Language Film": Howard Shore won for his monumental score to The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey, while the legendary John Williams got recognized for his poignant musical score for Steven Spielberg's Lincoln.

John Williams was also elected "Best Foreign Composer of the Year", thanks to his exceptional work on the Steven Spielberg film.

All winners will receive a certificated plaque.

You can see the results of the public survey to the following link:

We hope this is only the beginning of a long and lasting tradition aimed to recognize the art of applied music both in our country and all over the world. Thanks to everyone who participated and voted and made this possible!

The full list of winners of the ColonneSonore.net Awards - 2012 Edition

Best Music for an Italian Film Music
PAOLO VIVALDI, Maternity Blues

Best Italian Composer of the Year

Best Original Song for an Italian Film
ELISA and ANDREA GUERRA, "Love is requited" - from the film Un giorno questo dolore ti sarà utile (Someday This Pain Will Be Useful)
THONY, "Time Speaks" - from the film Tutti i santi giorni

Best Music for Italian TV Fiction
ANDREA FARRI, Squadra Antimafia: Palermo Oggi 4

Best Music for a Foreign Language Film
HOWARD SHORE, The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey

Best Foreign Composer of the Year

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Saturn Award Nomination

Congratulations to Howard Shore on his Saturn Award nomination for Best Music for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey! See the complete list of nominees HERE.

Monday, February 11, 2013

New LOTR Performances!

The Lord of the Rings Live to Projection concert series has just added a huge number of 2013 performances in cities around the world. See the formidable list below!

Fellowship of the Ring

Nurnberg, Germany: March 21 - 22, 2013

Munich, Germany: March 25 - 28, 2013

Stuttgart, Germany: March 30 - April 1, 2013

Perth, Australia: June 21 - 22, 2013

Vienna, Austria: May 16 - 18, 2013

Calgary, Canada: May 16 - 18, 2013

Singapore: June 6 - 8, 2013

Perth, Australia: June 21 - 22, 2013

Wolf Trap, Virginia: Sept 6 - 7, 2013

Hong Kong, China: Oct 26 - 27, 2013

The Two Towers

Paris, France: June 26 - 29, 2013

Melbourne, Australia: July 12 - 13, 2013

Ravinia, Illinois: Aug 15 - 16, 2013

Brisbane, Australia: Oct 5, 2013

The Return of the King

Rotterdam, Netherlands: April 19, 20 & 21, 2013 

Sydney, Australia: Sept 27 - 29, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

ROTK to De Doelen in April

Attention Netherlands-based readers: Howard Shore's The Return of the King: Live to Projection is playing Concert Hall De Doelen in Rotterdam on April 19, 20, and 21!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bilbo Primer

Hi everyone,

I've received a number of questions regarding Bilbo's material in the AUJ score, so perhaps a simply sketched guidebook is in order. Below is a listing of Bilbo's major thematic connections. These titles are just placeholders for the moment, so don't start canonizing them just yet!


The theme heard at 0:15 in the whistle in "The World is Ahead" relates to Bilbo's adventure. (A-B-C#-E-E-G#-G#-A-E-C#-E-D). This theme is first heard in "My Dear Frodo" at approximately 0:37 and comes right on the heels of a gesture in the strings and woodwinds that hints at the History of the Ring theme without ever fully articulating it (Bb-D-F over Bb-major; F-F# over B-minor, etc.) In my opinion, really sets the tone for the score to come. SPOILERS: You also hear this theme near the end of the film when Bilbo leaps in to protect Thorin from Azog.


This two-part theme is easily heard in "Dreaming of Bag End." The Baggins phrase appears at 0:10 and the Took phrase takes over at 0:33. It's kind of a single theme and kind of not, which is why I've been hedging my bets and referring to it as one-and-a-half themes. It relates to Bilbo's two primary impulses in the story: the urge to return home and the urge to go adventuring. As his character develops, the two halves begin to function independently. The Took phrase is often orchestrated for solo French horn, which is an unusually bold sound for Hobbit-based music.


The "Fussy" Bilbo theme is the triple-meter figure that alternates between D-minor and A-major. That major chord is what I'm on about in the Tracksounds podcast (which you can hear HERE, if you haven't already). It's a more classical sound that we're used to in Middle-earth ... more a part of historically functional harmonies, whereas Middle-earth usually traffics in modes or chromatic leaps. It's just a bit stuffy and put-upon sounding. This theme shows up about half-way through "Axe or Sword," but you also hear in the Trolls sequence.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hilary Summers Interview

I'm very late with this, but Earl over at TheOneRing.net interviewed Hilary Summers regarding her experiences working with Howard Shore on "Gilraen's Song" in The Fellowship of the Ring. An excerpt:

At the time they were looking for vocalists I’d been working a lot with Michael Nyman and had done a few soundtracks with him, and the agent or ‘fixer’ who had been in the sessions happened to take my details. Luckily for me she was asked if she knew anyone with a low voice and she sent a demo cd over to Howard Shore and I was booked. A fax was sent with the music (only a solo line and the text) and I went to the recording session and did my stuff.

Do check it out at your convince right HERE!
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