First, let's look at Challenge #2
for this weeks quiz:
What scenes are these clips from?
Scene 1 (TTT - Dead Marshes 1:
entering the marshes)
Scene 2 (FOTR - The Watcher in the Water attacks)
Scene 3 (TTT - Dead Marshes 2: Frodo falls under their spell)
Scene 4 (TTT - The White Wizard is found)
Now, Scenes 5-8 presented
challenges for one of two reasons. 5, 7, and 8 were not in the
movie. Since a lot of this unused music, as heard in either the OST
or the CR, is set in the middle of used and familiar music, our
brains often tell us it's in a certain scene even when it isn't
heard in the movie. But, unless you've listened to the CDs a lot,
you might not have made this inference. For those three clips, I
mixed the CR or OST music with the sounds and dialog from the movie.
#6 was extra credit for a
different reason which I'll attend to in answering Challenge #1.
Extra Challenge Clips
Scene 5 (TTT - Frodo Faces the
Witch King at Weathertop-not in movie)
Scene 6 (TTT - Look Mr. Frodo, Oliphaunts! - not a strong example)
Scene 7 (TTT - Attack on Orcs' Night Camp - not in movie)
Scene 8 (FOTR - Face off at the Bruinen - not in movie)
One of the first general hints I gave was that all these scenes are
from FOTR and TTT. That leads us into Challenge #2.
What do all these clips have in
The answer is: they all contain
Now, I am a magpie and magpie
love bright and shiny (interesting / fascinating) things and
'aleatoric' was a bright and shiny word I found among Doug Adams'
writings. The word 'aleatory' means: "pertaining to luck", and
derives from the Latin word alea, the rolling of dice. Aleatoric,
indeterminate, or chance art is that which exploits the principle of
Latin aleatorius, from aleator
‘dice-player’, from alea ‘a die’.
Aleatoric music (aleatory or
chance music) is music in which some element of the composition is
left to chance or some primary element of a composed work's
realization is left to the determination of its performer(s).
We had a side conversation at
another forum about the aleatoric music in the LOTR movies. One
poster wrote this: "Shore certainly gave guidelines for what he
wanted the performers to do (i.e. stay within a given set of pitches
or key, crescendos and decrescendos, duration, etc.), but it's
mostly aleatoric, I think. Remember, 'aleatoric' doesn't necessarily
mean completely random, only that there is an element of chance and
indeterminacy in the performance."
Now, I did not expect anyone to
provide the name 'aleatoric' nor an understanding that such a
concept existed in musical composition. But I thought you might pick
up the chaotic sounding nature of all the clips. And I thought for
those you might find this concept, complete with it's own cool name,
as bright and shiny as I did.
My first general clue said that
all these clips were from FOTR and TTT. Why no ROTK clips? For the
simple reason that I referenced Doug Adams' writings, primarily the
liner notes for CR-FOTR and
CR-TTT, for finding instances of
aleatoric music. There are bound to be some examples in ROTK, but
they would be too much work to find. Clip/Scene #8 is not on the
CR-FOTR nor in the movie but is found on the
FOTR-OST. A comment
from a moviemusic.com post by Doug was my introduction to the term.
Below are the pertinent comments
from Doug and a little more info on each clip. For the Complete
Recordings, A, B, or C refers to disc 1, 2, or 3. Information in
parenthesis was needed to put context to the pertinent comments, but
refer to music heard before or after the clip of aleatoric music.
All comments are from the pertinent CR liner notes and were written
by Doug Adams.
Scene 1 (TTT - Dead
Marshes 1: entering the marshes)
A-10 The Dead Marshes
0:39 - 1:00
...a veil of gauzy tones descends as the trio enters the bog,
knots of aleatoric strings, timpani and the metallic wails of a
bowed tam-tam tangling the sickening air.
Scene 2 (FOTR - The
Watcher in the Water attacks)
B-11 Doors of Durin
5:01 - 5:34
from Annotated Score-FOTR
The music for the Watcher in the Water’s attack is almost
Scene 3 (TTT - Dead
Marshes 2: Frodo falls under their spell)
A-10 The Dead Marshes
The veil of aleatoric strings and timpani again lowers and Frodo
is bewitched. He falls into the murky waters where he’s wrapped in a
smear of Schönbergesque Sprechstimme voices, half singing, half
speaking the text “The Dead Marshes.”
Scene 4 (TTT - The White
Wizard is found)
A-13 Gandalf the White
2:00 - 2:12
Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas turn to attack the interloper, but
their assaults are effortlessly turned away...(an) intense white
light engulfsthe trio. Following one last tuft of aleatoric strings,
the music dissolves into clear, pure brightness (meaning the
vocal triplets of The Call).
Scene 5 (FOTR - Frodo Faces
the Witch King at Weathertop-not in movie)
1:41 - 2:31
When Frodo places the Ring on his finger and experiences his
vision in the Shadow World, Shore introduces a tangle of aleatoric
woodwinds, strings and bowed cymbals that was replaced by sound
effects in the final film.
Scene 6 (TTT - Look Mr.
Frodo, Oliphaunts! - not a strong example)
B-06 The Forests of Ithlien
3:5 7- 4:21
...two elephantine beasts emerge following the soldiers...Weighty
lines in the depths of the orchestral palette...sway beneath a
prickling haze of aleatoric flute and clarinets, discordant harp
glissandi and sizzling dilruba (bowed sitar.
Scene 7 (TTT - Attack on
Orcs' Night Camp - not in movie)
A-8 Night Camp
As the Orcs are slaughtered by the Riders, Shore’s score whips
into a paroxysmal stampede of pounding percussion, knifelike trumpet
lines and the
yelping howls of high, aleatoric French horns.
Scene 8 (FOTR - Face off
at the Bruinen - not in movie)
B-3 Give Up the Halfling
Shore recorded an ending that included a wild panic of aleatoric
French horns heard just as the Wraiths reach the river’s edge.
READ MORE COMMENTS FROM GAME PARTICIPANTS