FOTR Appendices Comments

Special Extended Edition DVD disc-4:

Music for Middle-earth

 


When you see this: HS COMMENT elsewhere on the site, it means that Howard Shore (or someone involved in the movie) has made a comment pertinent to something mentioned there. Click on the link to find out what.

 

 
COMMENTS:

The Song of Lúthien
A Choir for Moria
In Dreams
Aníron
Lothlórien
The Revelation of the Ringwraiths
Isengard
The Voice of the Ring
The Fellowship Theme
A New Score

abbreviations:

HS: Howard Shore
PJ: Peter Jackson
PB: Philippa Boyens
RC: Roisin Carty (linguist)

 

The Song of Lúthien

 

PJ:  We don't really have the ability in the movies to use the songs and the poems to the extent that Professor Tolkien did in his books.  But we are, obviously trying to acknowledge that and to make that part of the texture and fabric of the movies.

 

HS: Roisin Carty, who was the linguist on the film, she would do the pronunciation.

 

RC:  When I first met Viggo Mortensen, who plays Aragorn, it was the first thing he said, he wanted to sing this song.  He's made up the tune himself. He wanted to give it a Celtic feel.  And he's taken to the Elvish language like a duck to water.  In Elvish, it's, "Tinúviel elvannui, Elleth alfirin edhelhael, O hon ring finnil fuinui, A renc gelebrin thiliol."

(listen to a sound file of Viggo singing at Gwaith-I-Phethdain)

 

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A Choir for Moria

 

PJ:  We sat around our kitchen table at home talking about the choral ideas for Moria and I thought it would be really great to weight it fairly heavily towards Polynesian singers - Maoris or Pacific Islanders - who have a, who gain another other-worldly quality to their voice.  Mines being a Dwarven kingdom would really suit having those male voices... a bit like a Welsh mining choir.

 

HS to choir: They're singing in this ancient Dwarvish language.

 

HS: So these 60 guys, you know, chanting these Dwarvish verses.  And then I augmented it in the end with actual football players.  

 

Man: They were looking for some grunty voices and they thought that a Kapa Haka flavor would fit in with it.

 

PJ: So Howard basically, you know, found himself in the Wellington Town Hall Museum with an all Polynesian Male Choir.

 

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In Dreams

 

PJ:  Fran also became involved in the music.  She wrote the lyrics for the song that is sung during the closing credits of the film. "In Dreams", it's called.  She helped Howard direct the boys' choir, it was a London school choir with a wonderful young boy.

 

HS:  Edward Ross is probably about 12 years old.   He represented the boys and  there was a boy soloist for the choir.

 

PJ:  That song was recorded in the number 2 studio at Abbey Road which is where the Beatles did all their recording.   And, as a huge Beatle Fan, I was incredibly thrilled to be there... find myself there recording a song for our movie.

 

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Aníron

(Theme for Aragorn and Arwen)

 

PJ: We wanted to have some featured vocalists within the music as well, more so than just the choirs.   And Enya's music has always been, you know, closely related to Tolkien.  

 

HS:  And I wrote the beginning of it, where you see Arwen with Strider.  I wrote that little introduction that leads into it and then she wrote that vocal piece much like the way I was orchestrating the rest of the score.

 

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Lothlórien

 

PJ:  The Lothlórien music, the music of the Elves of Lothlórien, we deliberately gave it a slightly Eastern flavor.  (The Lothlórien Theme is playing)

 

HS:  It has some very exotic African instruments playing, and some East Indian instruments playing in it as well.  

 

PB:  One of my great joys was to get to work with Howard Shore and write some lyrics for his incredible score.

 

PJ:   Philippa wrote a lot of the choral pieces that Howard needed for various parts of the film, (The music has switched to the Lament for Gandalfwhether they were Elven choral or Dwarf choral or the vocals.  We wanted a song for Lothlórien as well, although we didn't think it was appropriate to use Enya in both places because we wanted the music to feel like Enya belonged to one part of the Elvish world and we wanted a different voice for Lothlórien, just to make them feel separate.  And Elizabeth Fraser, she has the most wonderful voice and the ability to create this very ethereal sound with her voice.  

 

note: Elizabeth Fraser sings The Lament for Gandalf.  The source song for the Lothlórien Theme is Footsteps of Doom and is sung by Miriam Stockley. ~Magpie

 

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The Revelation of the Ringwraiths

 

HS: The Revelation of the Ringwraiths is a poem that Philippa Boyens wrote.  They were sent to David Salo, who's a Tolkien scholar,  he would translate them into the appropriate languages.  In the case of this it was translated into Adűnaic, which was the ancient speech of Men.

 

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Isengard

 

HS: Isengard is the industrial age and it's written in 5/4 to evoke this kind of things being a little off kilter.  I mean the 5/4 rhythm is a little unusual and it always felt a bit unresolved.

 

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The Voice of the Ring

 

HS: The Ring has many different voices in the music.  So I used the sound of the boy choir of the seduction of the Ring.  Cause I thought that that, part of the seduction of it, I thought, was the regaining of a lost life. (Seduction Theme plays)

 

For the evil of the Ring, when Gimli tries to destroy the Ring (shot of Council of Elrond) and you hear that evilness to it, and the Black Speech coming out of it (shot of Ring with whispery voice emanating from it).  

 

And then there's the, just the sheer power of the Ring. (You hear the strong beats that lead into the Ringwraith theme in prologue.) You hear it in the prologue. (Close up shot of the Ring on Sauron's hand that moves to him bashing with his mace.  Ringwraiths' Theme is playing.)

 

 

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The Fellowship Theme

 

HS:  I want to feel something when I watch the film and that's how I create music.  I mean I'm watching the film and feeling something and trying to create that in the music.  It's like the creation of the Fellowship.  As the two Hobbits leave Hobbiton and they set out on their own, and you hear the first statement of the Fellowship Theme in the cornfield.  Because it's essentially the first time the Fellowship has formed.  Finally the Fellowship being formed to support Frodo, to take the Ring, in Rivendell - it's a very magic moment in the film.  And Elrond says that, "Now you will be the Fellowship of the Ring" and the music just swells and you just hear that fully formed version of the Fellowship Theme.  You never hear that true, heroic version anymore after Gandalf falls.  It's now disintegrating, and Frodo's on the beach (shot of Frodo alone on the Anduin) and you hear the last version of the Fellowship Theme.

 

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A New Score

 

HS:  What I'm doing now is writing 30 minutes of new music.  (shots of gift-giving scene from Lothlórien)  I don't think anyone's ever done that.  It might be a first, where the composer has gone back and recorded new music for new scenes that are wonderful scenes that give a lot more back story to some of the cultures.

 

PJ:  The music for the Fellowship of the Ring is going to be related, obviously,  directly to The Two Towers and The Return of the King.  I mean I'm sure there'll be a day when it will be very, you know, it'll be an interesting day to listen to the music of all three films because I know that Howard does see this as being his... the opportunity in his life to basically create an opera.

 

HS: ...taking it out of the context of what we think of film music, and what we think of as opera.  So if you think of what you're writing as an opera piece, you don't think of it as 'in cues'.  But you think of a much larger structure.  It has to have that cohesive shape.  If you go to the opera, you've watched Fellowship, which is Act One, the curtain has come down, and you've gone out to intermission, you've had a drink or a snack or something, and now you've gone back and you're sitting in your seat - the curtain is going up for Act Two.  And that will happen December 2002. 

 

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