Friday, December 5, 2014

The Movie Bit

Great interview with Howard Shore on The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Maps To The Stars, Rosewater, his new Guitar Concerto, and much more!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Deluxe in Teal

I really should have posted this soon, but it's been one of those months. Here's the cover for the Deluxe Edition of Howard Shore's remarkable score to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. The color scheme is teal this time out ... or blue-green. Aquamarine? I'm not sure what the official name is, but I am sure that you're going to love it!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

LOTR Lincoln Center

Academy Award-Winning Scores By
HOWARD SHORE Performed Live to the Motion Pictures
st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Ludwig Wicki, Conductor
David H. Koch Theater
LINCOLN CENTER, NEW YORK TWO TRILOGIES – APRIL 8-12, 2015 Week to Include Forums and Additional Events

NEW YORK, NY — For the first time in North America, the complete film trilogy The Lord of the Rings will be presented live, in concert, at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, New York, April 8-12, 2015. Beneath a giant screen, the Academy Award-winning scores by Howard Shore will be performed by 250 musicians, on stage, including symphony orchestra, chorus and soloists, in two trilogies, Wednesday-Friday, April 8-10, and Saturday-Sunday, April 11-12. The production is created by CAMI Music, and follows acclaimed concert presentations of the first two films of The Lord of the Rings trilogy at Radio City Music Hall (2009 and 2010).

The Lord of the Rings, In Concert, at Lincoln Center, features the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus of Lucerne, Switzerland, conducted by Ludwig Wicki, which specializes in bringing films and their scores to life, and performs an annual program of film concerts at the KKL Luzern. Soloists and chorus for the 2015 trilogy performances at Lincoln Center, as well as related forums and other events, will be announced at a later date.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS, Trilogy In Concert LINCOLN CENTER – April 8-12, 2015

The epic film trilogy The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), The Return of the King (2003) – directed by Peter Jackson and based on the beloved J. R. R. Tolkien novel became an international phenomenon. Released by New Line Cinema, the trilogy is among the highest earning films of all time, and won a total of 17 Academy Awards. Howard Shore was honored with Academy Awards for Best Music, Original Score for The Fellowship of the Ring (2002) and The Return of the King (2004), and for Best Music, Original Song for Into the West, featured in The Return of the King (2004). Since 2008, more than 200 presentations of individual films of The Lord of the Rings, In Concert, have taken place in cities in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The complete film trilogy The Lord of the Rings, In Concert, was presented in Lucerne and Munich in 2011.

Howard Shore commented on the meaning of this North American premiere presentation of the trilogy, in concert: “It was fascinating to watch the performances of individual films of The Lord of the Rings, In Concert, at Radio City in 2009 and 2010. For those events, people came from all over the world: Scandinavia, Europe, the Far East. The book has been translated into 40 languages and has attracted a global fan-base. But the fan community doesn’t often have the opportunity to come together in person and coalesce around a performance like this at the highest level. The trilogy at Lincoln Center is unique and something powerful happens – a synergy is created – in bringing together the music, live on a massive scale, with the films, in a magnificent house, and not only for one night, but presented over the course of a week. To bring the trilogy to New York is meaningful as it’s a center of the cultural world, and Lincoln Center is at the heart of New York. It’s the perfect place to play the Trilogy in its entirety. We hope that everyone who travels from near or far will feel they’ve arrived at a kind of contemporary, cultural Middle-earth.” 

Wednesday, April 8, 7:30pm Thursday, April 9, 7:30pm
Friday, April 10, 7:30pm
Saturday, April 11, 1:00pm Saturday, April 11, 7:30pm Sunday, April 12, 1:00pm
The Fellowship of the Ring The Two Towers
The Return of the King

The Fellowship of the Ring The Two Towers
The Return of the King

- more -
THE LORD OF THE RINGS, Trilogy In Concert LINCOLN CENTER – April 8-12, 2015
Individual tickets begin at $59. Trilogy packages are $240 for the Hobbit Package and $400 for the VIP Gondor Package, including:
VIP Trilogy Ticket
Post-Concert Shire Reception*
Ticket to LOTR at Lincoln Center Symposium Event* Commemorative Program Book Signed by Howard Shore
Premium Trilogy Ticket
Post-Concert Shire Reception*
Commemorative Program Book Signed by Howard Shore * Locations and additional information to be announced

Tickets and packages are available online at davidhkochtheater.com, by telephone at (212) 496- 0600, or at the David H. Koch Theater Box Office. The David H. Koch Theater is located at the south side of the Lincoln Center Plaza at Columbus Avenue and 63rd Street. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fantasy Con Videos

Last week, I gave three presentations at Fantasy Con in Salt Lake City, Utah. (I also sat in on a couple of panels, and got to spend a little quality backstage time with cast members from The Hobbit and LOTR, hence the picture.) 

Two of my three presentations discussed the still-forming music of the Hobbit. While I don't believe those will be appearing online in any official capacity, a newly revised presentation on the music of The Lord of the Rings was filmed for TheOneRing.net's streaming service. That video was divided into three parts, and may be accessed HERE, HERE, and HERE.

This presentation marked the first time I was able demonstrate a few of the connections between Howard Shore's Hobbit and Rings scores. I didn't delve into too much detail--there will be time for that later--but I hope I was able to crack the door just a little and show what lurks behind it.

Huge thanks to everyone who came and said "hello" at the event!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fantasy Con

For the past few months, I've spent most of my create time outside of Middle-earth. That's about to change. Book two--which I've teased on Twitter and in online interviews, but am not yet ready to fully announce--is now in editing. That means I'm headed back to Tolkien's world.

To kick things off, I'll be appearing at Fantasy Con in Salt Lake City over the Fourth of July weekend. I'm scheduled for two events right now, and we're lining up a book-signing as well. And hey, maybe there will be a surprising announcement or two in store ...

See you in SLC!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Maps to the Stars

Interested in hearing the first single from Howard Shore's new score to David Cronenberg's film Maps to the Stars? It's now available for purchase/download on both iTunes and Amazon. It's a fascinating, tabla-fueled glimpse of things to come!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Garden Party

This audio isn't extraordinarily clean, but I do believe you'll get the idea.

Huge thanks to Luzern and the brilliant 21st Century Symphony Orchestra for hosting. It's always a thrill to be even a small part of one of their extraordinary programs.

Let's do this again soon!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Extensions and Interviews

Two lovely bits of news today--which I'll combine in one post, since I'm still battling the remnants of jet lag ...

First, Peter Jackson has formally announced via his Facebook page that Howard Shore has scored the additional scenes in the Extended Edition of The Desolation of Smaug. The added material both looks and sounds great!

Second, tonight is the Howard Shore concert in Dublin, Ireland. Below, please find a great interview that Andrew McKimm sent in. Click the image to expand it, or see the full text below.

I'm off on another plane shortly, but I'll be back soon!


From Dead Ringers to Lord of the Rings An Interview with Howard Shore  

In December 2001, I remember watching the initial frames of the first Lord of the Rings movie with immense trepidation. I wanted desperately for the film to live up to my experience of the book but was preparing myself for yet another sword-and-sorcery disappointment. My fears were completely allayed when the cart bearing Gandalf and Frodo crossed the bridge into Hobbiton and Howard Shore’s Concerning Hobbits theme started. It’s a still-magic film moment when the viewer is pulled out of their seat and transported straight into Middle-Earth. It is an instant of innocence and wonder like being re-born or getting one’s childhood back again. When I spoke to Howard Shore recently he told me that such a reaction is precisely what the filmmakers had been trying to achieve. “That was the goal, that’s what we were attempting – the feeling that you were going to be in a story that was truthful, honest and loving”. These last words also seem to sum up the composer himself. His voice is suffused with a beguiling gentleness and sincerity. Rather like one of his own soundtracks. He appears entirely humble – aware of what he has achieved yet still with his mind resolutely set on the future. Very hobbit-like. Shore is perhaps the only film composer for whom the mantle “Symphonic” truly fits his work. Interviewing him felt like being able to pick up the phone and talk to Johannes Brahms. Mr. Shore will be in Dublin next week to introduce a programme premiering both his latest orchestral works and also The Return of the King movement from The Lord of the Rings Symphony. He is no stranger to Ireland but this will be his first visit to Dublin. I asked him was I correct in detecting a Celtic flavour in much of the music for the Shire. Concerning Hobbits is first presented on tin whistle and fiddle after all. “With The Fellowship of the Ring we were trying to design a piece of work that would seem as if it had been written five or six thousand years ago. Celtic music is very old - the ideas and sounds take you back in a historical sense to the very origins of music.”

The Concerning Hobbits melody is central to the movies and perfectly captures themes of wistful innocence, hope, heroism, and loss.

Did it take him a long time to compose such a crucial and instantly memorable tune? “I had travelled to New Zealand early in the film’s production and was inspired by the imagery that the team were already conjuring up. When I returned, I spent time walking in the oak woodland close to my home and I tried to imagine what it was like to actually live in the Shire.” Shore laughs with a quiet realisation. “I had probably been trying to do that ever since I first read the books in the 1960’s! After that the theme came rather quickly.” He adds: “While I’m writing, my environment is very important to me – ideas are germinating in the woods. I always feel connected to Tolkien through his love of nature.” 
Much of Howard Shore’s melody-writing, particularly for the elves, is riven with a fragile longing for a purer world, one that seems unattainable or in danger of being lost. These ideas are pure Tolkien. Does he feel as an artist that this is a vision that he shares with the late professor? “While I’m working on the movies, I’m always trying to connect with Tolkien’s ideas, his sensibilities, the world that he created. I try to always mirror in music the images and words of the films. His books are always open on my desk while I’m writing”. The Lord of the Rings soundtracks represent a watershed in Howard Shore’s life as a composer. From the 1979 onwards he has written the music for almost all of fellow-Canadian director, David Cronenberg’s movies. Although lacking the hummable tunes of the Rings movies, anyone who has seen 1988’s Dead Ringers or Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs will attest to how effective and creepy his music is. “I used music in a very specific – a more psychological way - to work around the edges of the screen, to deepen the story-telling. I wanted to balance all of the arts in a very cohesive way, to immerse the viewer in the drama.”

How did he then trade in a Dead Ring for the One Ring? “All through the 90’s I became an avid opera-goer and started attending the Met on a regular basis. I fell in love with Italian Opera. With its abundance of writing for both solo and choral voices, its use of Tolkien’s invented languages, the music for The Lord of the Rings could be more accurately described as an opera than as a symphony. Film composers owe a huge debt to Wagner and his development of the leitmotif (a recurring melody that is associated with a certain character, object, place, emotion, or idea).” Shore’s Dublin concert will include the Irish Première of Mythic Gardens - A Concerto for Cello and Orchestra. Howard Shore has been writing music since he has been 8 or 9 when he took his first steps with counterpoint exercises. His work ethic and approach to writing the music to such gargantuan works as the Tolkien films is inspiring. “Even at my age (67) I still feel like a student, looking at scores and studying them. I try to write each day. It’s just a pencil moving across a page. Some days are better and some days are not so good. When I look back on my progress after a certain period of time has elapsed it’s staggering to see how much music one can produce. At times I felt like Frodo with the Ring, having the responsibility to write the music for a book that has been around for over 60 years and which has such a tremendous resonance with so many people who care so deeply about its ideas. Music is a journey. To quote Bilbo: ‘The road goes ever on…’ ”.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Shore in Dublin

After next week's performance in Luzern, Howard Shore will be off to Ireland where the RTÉ Concert Orchestra will present a concert of his music conducted by Ludwig Wicki. Shore will provide the introduction.

The program and ticket details are below. Here, too, is a short interview that Shore did with The Independent, regarding the upcoming show.

Presented by the National Concert Hall and RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Saturday 26th April, 8pm
Room: Main Auditorium
RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Ludwig Wicki, conductor
Emma Jane Murphy, cello
Chorus featuring D.I.T. Choral Society
Introduced by Howard Shore
Fanfare for Organ and Brass
Selections from Seven Pieces for Chamber Orchestra
Mythic Gardens Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
The Prophecy and The Return of the King from The Lord of the Rings Symphony for Orchestra and Chorus
Prices: €65, €55, €45
20% discount for Friends of the National Concert Hall
10% discount for Groups of 10 or more
Howard Shore In Conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea
Saturday 26th April, 12pm
Room: John Field Room
Price: €5
Tickets available to concert ticket holders only. You can purchase tickets for the talk and the concert here.
Booking available for Friends of the National Concert Hall from 26th February, please log in using your Friends log-in to book your tickets

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Hi everyone,

Very happy to announce that I'll be giving a pre-concert talk with Howard Shore at this upcoming concert in Luzern. If you're anywhere near Switzerland, I simply must insist that you attend! The program is scheduled to include the following:

18.30 Uhr, Konzertsaal: 
«Nerakhoon» (2008)
Suite für Mezzo-Soprano, Chor and Streicher 

«Mythic Garden»
Concerto für Violoncello und Orchester


«The Lord of the Rings Symphony» (Auszüge) 
   «The Fellowship of the Ring» (2001)
     The Prophecy
     Concerning Hobbits

   «The Return of the King» (2003)
     Hope and Memory
     The White Tree
     The Steward of Gondor
     Cirith Ungol
     The End of All Things
     The Return of the King
     The Grey Havens
     Into the West 

Please come say "hello" if you are in attendance!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014

Smaug Alert

Hi everyone,

Very sorry for the lack of updates and answers lately. I'm pushing myself to hit a few deadlines on another project, so haven't been on the site as often as I'd like. Also, as I've said in the past, some answers simply have to wait -- both because of spoiler issues and because I'm hoping to speak more compressively about The Music of the Hobbit Films at some point in the future and I want to leave myself something to say! ;)

However, during the past few weeks, I did manage to sit in on a couple of podcasts to talk Smaug. So, if you're so inclined, feel free to lend your ears to The Soundcast and to Tall Tale Radio.

We have one more year to go on this particular roller coaster ... and then the real fun begins! At this point, I think I'm due back in Middle-earth sometime in March, so I should be able to post here a bit more regularly ... other deadlines permitting. As ever, if you're trying to get my attention on the blog and it seems like I'm MIA, please pester me on Twitter. Sadly, I still have no more information on the Complete Recordings of Live Performances than I did last time I posted about them, but I have a feeling we'll know more in another year when the Hobbit films wrap.

Ok, see you soon!

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