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.