Magpie Shiny Bits of Information:
Prelude to a Battle: I
thought it might be useful to provide a recounting of the section
that I think prompted the comments above:
• The Elves have arrived and hugs
have been exchanged. The scene jumps to 'all ready on the wall'.
• The Elves and Men are waiting
on the wall. The Uruks approach. No music is playing.
• There's a flash of lightning
and crack of thunder and it begins to rain. We hear the rain but
there is no music.
• We see an up close shot of the
Uruks marching. Quiet music begins.
• We cut to the Rohirrim on the
• To the families in the cave
(and some familiar faces). The quiet music continues as we hear the
murmurs and a crying baby.
• Outside, the horde of black
clad Uruk-hai are advancing.
• Back on the wall, Aragorn is
giving instructions to the archers in Elvish. "Show no mercy for you
shall receive none."
• The front line of Uruks advance
and stop in formation.
• As we go back to the cave, a
quiet Hardanger plays the Rohan Theme.
• Back to the wall, and
Aragorn... then the Uruk chief on the field. The Rohan Theme dies
before we cut to the Uruk-hai.
• Quiet, ascending (and basically
non-melodic) notes are played as Gimli tries to see and Legolas
pokes fun. The notes stop.
• The Uruk-hai begin pounding
their spears. The archers on the wall draw their bow. The families
wait. (close up of 'cute Rohirrim children')
• There isn't any music. The
Uruks are chanting and pounding.
• An old man on the wall looses
his arrow and it finds it's mark.
• The chanting stops. Aragorn
• The Uruk groans and then falls
to the weirdest sound. (see below)
• The music returns with a almost
sour low chord. (which sounds very familiar to me... see below)
• Now the Uruks are mad! They
advance as the martial Lothlórien Theme begins playing.
Music and Sound: Darkstone
led the discussion for the appendices material, The Soundscapes of
Middle-earth. In his thread, "Sound motif" he provided this quote
from TTT (by Chris Boyes?)
Peter's notes tended to be really
clear and direct: ‘I want this scene to start really quiet and
subtle and then build. I want it to have this structure to it —
we're going somewhere with it.’ For instance, there's a scene where
the Uruk-hai are marching on Helm's Deep, this fortress built up
against a huge rock cliff, and they're marching from afar, but there
are so many of them that they set up this incredible rhythmic pulse
as they're marching. There were certain desires on the editorial
team to have that really be big and be felt and have this huge
pulsing mass coming at you. And [Peter] came back and said, ‘No,
this needs to be subtle — so subtle that you feel the pulse, but you
also hear the breath of the warriors waiting for this oncoming
army.’ It was a really poetic way to take it, and also, since that
scene progresses into absolute chaos and mayhem, it was a great way
to start because you've got something to build with.
When I was doing TTT work for my website, I realized the chord heard
just after the Uruk-hai falls sounded very much like the chord heard
just after Haldir is wounded. Sound clip provided
below. Do you think this is intended?
Weird Sound: As I was
cueing up the movie to pull the chord mentioned above, I realized
there was a very weird sound heard as that first
Uruk-hai fell. Sound clip provided below. You'll hear three things:
1) The groan of the Uruk-hai. 2) The plop, at the end, of him
landing in the mud. 3) something that sounds like an object (think
big, hard fingernail) running down a strung piano wire. This has
nothing to do with the soundtrack but it's so weird and cool I live
for moments when I can drag it out for display.
Magpie Conversation Prompts:
A Musical Structure to Helm's
Deep: Is this shift of
focus in the music something that you were aware of? Had you noticed the shift from quiet to loud in
the sound editing? Not only are the ambient movie noises quieter in
the caves and louder among the Uruk-hai... but the sound of the Uruk
army changes in volume depending on the viewpoint of the camera: in
midst of Uruks, on Deeping Wall, in Glittering Caves. What mood does
this quiet music put you in? Is it calming? apprehensive? sad?
The Lothlórien Theme:
What do think about the decision to use the Lothlórien Theme at
Helm's Deep? Although it's not my intent to debate the decision to
place the Elves at Helm's Deep, it may be interesting to know if
one's thoughts on the music are tied to one's thoughts on this plot
change. Are these Elves all from Lothlórien? Haldir does say that
Elrond sent them but outside the movie, they are referred to as the
Naith, indicating they were strictly from Lothlórien. Was it at all
jarring to hear Elvish music in what is primarily a war affecting