VOICES IN THE DEAD MARSH - not
The sound of the Marsh
is all a bit disorienting and surreal. If one listens
carefully enough, one can hear faint echoes of voices...
presumably from across time. The faces in the Dead Marshes
were from those lost in the
Battle of Dagorlad. This was not the final battle in the War of
the Last Alliance, which we see in the prologue to FOTR. But I
think, for the movie's sake, we are meant to make that connection. In fact, if one listens closely in the Dead Marshes, one can hear
Elrond call out in Elvish, "Tangado haid!" (Hold positions)
VOICES IN THE DEAD MARSH - from the score
Voices are employed in unusual ways within the score
music for the Dead Marshes.
portamentos-- vocal slides between two pitches. -- for the
movie. The first is heard as Sam glimpses a dead thing in the water.
The second comes after he brings this to the others' attention and
Frodo sees more dead things for himself. The third comes after
Gollum gives warning about following the lights and we see even more
As Frodo walks toward the water and
becomes mesmerized by a dead Elf laying there, the notes
of the choir and strings increase in pitch. The sopranos
(and possibly the soloist) are each singing the same ascending notes in each bar but at their
own speed so as to create a aleatoric and slightly
dissonant sound. This section ends as the dead Elf opens his
eyes and Frodo falls into the water.
In the movie, the score drops out as Frodo falls into
the water but the CR-TTT and the
TTT OST contain the
music originally scored for his underwater adventure
voices -- a vocal technique between
singing and speaking that doesn't emphasize any
particular pitch. The choir is directed to either
murmur or whisper randomly words from the source text,
For more information, visit
the lyrics info for this scene.
McLennan pointed out in his TTT Analysis that the
combination of the music, voices and sound effects in the Dead
Marshes creates an effect similar to
György Ligeti' s
work. I think this is especially so of the Sprechstimme voices.