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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Introduction to lyrics: Poetry and emotion

hobbitlove
Gondor


Nov 8 2008, 7:00am


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Introduction to lyrics: Poetry and emotion Can't Post

LYRICS for LOTR: POETRY AND EMOTION A humble and hopeful beginning... CrazyAs RL (real life) thwarts us, and the reality of our own limits (in time, knowledge, and ability) daunts us, still, we know that the important thing is that we are willing to journey - step into that Road - and just try to keep our feet (even if we stumble sometimes). So... WELCOME to the Introductory posts of LYRICS: POETRY AND EMOTION; A discussion of the Lyrics created for Howard Shore's brilliant score for the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. We want these discussions, which we hope to offer about once a month, to evolve and to be shaped by those here on the Movie boards who are interested in the music, and specifically in the lyrics to the score. We are not experts in languages or poetry or the books or even music, for that matter - we are simply fans - we can all learn together. Smile We would like these discussions to be about the words themselves, written for Howard Shore's score; the thoughts and feelings these words invoke, the passages from the books that these lyrics often, and, to my mind, brilliantly honor, and to discuss what may or may not have been the intent (if we can discern it) behind the words that were chosen to enhance the music and to tell the story. We are approaching Howard Shore's much loved music from a new direction - through the lyrics created for the score. We have no doubt that this will bring new insight and delight. I always hear the lyrics to any song and always have. The hubby never does. We still both love music, and often the same music. That's a good thing. Were most of you aware of the lyrics and that there are a lot of them? I wasn't aware for quite some time that there were lots of lyrics nor of the effort that went into those lyrics. I was not aware that the lyrics were as important to the writers as was the script. As much as we love Howard's score and love discussing it, and I say we're talking about one of, if not the best movie scores of all time, we believe that we have not given the music a proper look, yet. There's more that meets the ear... Since I first became aware of them, I have been deeply affected by the lyrics. I've always wanted to talk about them. When I began to find websites where others were trying to discern the lyrics to the music, well, OMG! There was more than I could have imagined! Sindarin and Quenya choral pieces! Adunaic, Dwarvish, and even Black Speech! All (most of it, anyway) right out of Tolkien's beloved books! I learned about the beauty and power of these words, and just as importantly, that there was an effort made to honor Tolkien's words and his story through these lyrics. We too wish to honor and appreciate the words of J.R.R. Tolkien. But, also, we wish to honor the writers of these lyrics, along with our dear Howard Shore, who knew how to use them to perfection. To begin: (This is great stuff, sibs!) Here's what Howard Shore says: (from an interview "...in the Darkness Bind Them" with Dan Goldwasser, from 2001. DG: Did you ever feel like there was too much pressure on you due to the hype surrounding the project? HS: That's why I mentioned the other literary adaptations. It wasn't so much a feeling of pressure as it was of responsibility. When I was working on Naked Lunch, William Burroughs was still alive, he was aware of the film and came to the set - you knew you had to create something substantial. That novel had a worldwide cult following, so you felt the same responsibility to that and you wanted to create something authentic. It's very similar to Lord of the Rings – to create something that the people who are enthusiastic about it and who are interested in Lord of the Rings would embrace. Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh were fantastic collaborators, and we were fans of the book and all Tolkien mythology as well. So not only were we trying to do it for us, and make it as good as we possibly could, but we wanted to do it for everybody who was interested in Lord of the Rings. DG: Did you work with a Tolkien lyricist for the chorus? HS: I had great collaborators on this project: Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. I spent quite a lot of time with them, learning as much as I could about Lord of the Rings and about the mythology of it, and even just trying to catch up with them - because they had spent years researching it. Philippa is a Tolkien scholar, so there was much to learn from her. She was predominantly the person that I worked with in terms of the text for the choir. There's a lot of vocal music in the score, and I'll explain why that is. There are lyrics and poems in the book. Because of the length of motion pictures, you couldn't expect to include them all - the book is written in a way where it will stop for three or four pages and go through the lyrics of a song, or a poem - it had a pace that you couldn't specifically do on film because even in three hours the story is so vast and there are so many characters with so much detail. The idea that I had with Peter, Fran and Philippa was to put the language back into the film - through the music. Philippa wrote new text for very specific scenes - she wrote pages of poems and text based on those scenes. She wrote a poem called "The Revelation of the Ringwraiths", and that's the vocal music you hear on the first part of the CD with all that gothic sound - it's Adunaic, the ancient speech of men." Quotes from Doug Adams interview with Howard Shore, 11/14/01 (re: PJ and Fran) HS: Where it came from is interesting too, because ring mythology has been around for thousands of years. Fran [Walsh, screenwriter] and Peter [Jackson, screenwriter, director] were fantastic collaborators. I could work with them as writers, so I wasn't on my own so much. They were there lighting the way, showing me all of the relationships in The Lord of the Rings. HS: We started in a more general sense and from that evolved the idea of incorporating the Tolkien lyrics, poems and texts that are in the book, but not necessarily in the film. The Lord of the Rings is the most complex fantasy world ever created, so I'm holding a mirror up to it, musically, and trying to create something that's the image of it. I had the idea of using the languages which, by putting them into the music, would express another layer of Tolkien's thinking, and put the mythology back into the film. Some of the texts came right from The Lord of the Rings book itself. I would say most of them came from [screenwriter] Philippa Boyens. She wrote a whole series of poems and texts that I used pretty extensively all through the film. I'd use pieces of them wherever I felt I wanted that sound. I thought of the choral music as another texture in the orchestra. I had strings, winds, brass, percussion, and I had a vocal sound that I could use whenever I felt, compositionally or in an orchestration sense, that I wanted to hear that sound." Also see Magpie's Nest for some of these quotes. From scoreofthering.com Choral lyrics in The Lord of the Rings films reference the past histories and broader concepts of Tolkien's universe. Several passages directly quote the author's writing, though the majority of these verses are original, scribed by Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh, David Salo and, for Enya's work, Roma Ryan. Shore often uses the texts in a nonlinear fashion, much as one would find in modern opera. Verses are often begun mid-stanza and certain syllables are repeated to create a beautiful vocal music of the languages of Middle-earth. At other times, the writing is presented unaltered with full verses acting as counterpoint to the immediate action. Seen here is the text in its original complete format, just as it was presented to Howard Shore before he set it to music. David Salo, the world's leading expert on Tolkien languages, provided the translations, resetting texts in the languages of Middle-earth. Often, however, Tolkien's concept of the languages didn't include the detailed vocabularies the filmmakers wished to use. In these cases Salo's work extended to language creation, where he found himself expanding the existing dialects to more accurately express the writing. For Fellowship, texts were translated into five languages, each representative of the cultural histories of Tolkien's world: the Elvish languages of Quenya and Sindarin; Khuzdûl, the language of the Dwarves; Adûnaic, the oldest language of Men; and Black Speech, the language of Mordor. From Magpie's Nest linked here: "...Shore often uses the texts in a nonlinear fashion, much as one would find in modern opera. Verses are often begun mid-stanza and certain syllables are repeated to create a beautiful vocal mosaic of the languages of Middle-earth. At other times, the writing is presented unaltered with full verses acting as counterpoint to the immediate action. Seen here (in the Annotated Score) is the text in its original complete format, just as it was presented to Howard Shore before he set it to music." Is choral work one of the strengths of Howard Shore's work? Why were they written? Do they matter? Is there power and beauty that we fans of the films may yet discover? Any favorites? And while we're at it, what lyrics would you like to discuss? Now an apology and a few last comments, and then it is on to our first discussion "In Dreams" that follows in the next post.Angelic This post is way too long! Sorry! Blush It was a post that grew in the making Tongue There are many who's websites are superb resources for appreciating the music of LOTR. The primary one is, of course, our own Magpie's superb site, "A magpie's nest" linked above and again here, which is the best there is, and our own Eorl's site, which is also brilliant! We also like elvish.org which though not updated, is easy to navigate and has some great Elvish language stuff; kinda fun. It was where I first discovered all the brilliant lyrics (as they were earliest known). There are others which offer much and we may list some of them in a third 'LINKS' post.Unimpressed Because others did all the hard work first and in an amazingly thorough, accessible, and enjoyable way, we believe we can use those resources as we do any reliable references (tried and tested) from the internet that has been helpful to us; just as we do a site like Wikipedia, or Doug Adam's site for his work about the score, and the screen cap library (which has been invaluable for years for the numerous discussions right here on 'Movie') created by another tORn sib, Reera The Red. Magpie, Eorl, and perhaps some others will be our resources and references. They really are some of the very best sites on the net for the music. UnimpressedIn these discussions, if we are wrong, misguided, or simply being stupid, please, correct us, redirect us, or simply shut us up. This is to be a journey of discovery, just another fan discussion, not work for a thesis. We count on you all here at The One Ring to help us understand better and appreciate the inspiration and the work done on the lyrics. There is a lot to think about, but, again, we must emphasize that we are only here to bring some of this stuff out into the open and to enjoy what the love of Tolkien's words (along with Howard Shore's musical genius) has wrought. With a focus on the lyrics of this much loved, award-winning music, we can perhaps highlight some of the special effort made to use J.R.R.Tolkien's own words; his poetry and his prose, and give a little attention to some people who have had too little notice from the fans. We speak of Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens who wrote most of the lyrics we will be discussing, and also we may learn some things about David Salo, who has also contributed to the creation of these beautiful pieces. These discussions should not be about the accuracy of the Elvish translation or the technical aspect of the music because that is done so much better elsewhere. We would like these discussions to be about the words, the thoughts, and feelings these words invoke, and the passages from the books that these lyrics often, and to my mind brilliantly honor and enhance. Please check out our first LYRICS Discussion: "In Dreams" following this. Cheers to all, Hobbitlove and Ordinary Hobbit


Visit the Movie Discussions - LOTR for QTNA




hob






Visit the Movie Discussions - LOTR for QTNA




hob




(This post was edited by Ataahua on Nov 8 2008, 7:42pm)

Subject User Time
Introduction to lyrics: Poetry and emotion hobbitlove Send a private message to hobbitlove Nov 8 2008, 7:00am
    "In Dreams" Lyrics for LOTR. hobbitlove Send a private message to hobbitlove Nov 8 2008, 7:24am
        happy birthday to the man of the hour and thoughts on dreams... weaver Send a private message to weaver Nov 8 2008, 10:23pm
        a few humble responses Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Nov 9 2008, 3:08am
            Thanks for the suggestions and your lovely comments. hobbitlove Send a private message to hobbitlove Nov 10 2008, 12:23am
        'In Dreams': 'We will meet again...' mae govannen Send a private message to mae govannen Nov 17 2008, 10:35am
            A million thanks for posting, mae govannen. Hope we can 'talk' a lot more about these things. hobbitlove Send a private message to hobbitlove Nov 20 2008, 6:54am
    Well, now... Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Nov 8 2008, 3:47pm
        Yes! Yes! Yes! OMG! And, wow!!! Crazy happy! hobbitlove Send a private message to hobbitlove Nov 9 2008, 1:54am
    my goodness, what a Prologue! weaver Send a private message to weaver Nov 8 2008, 9:55pm
        A million thanks! hobbitlove Send a private message to hobbitlove Nov 9 2008, 2:20am
            condensing thoughts Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Nov 9 2008, 3:22am
            echoing what magpie says about condensing thoughts... weaver Send a private message to weaver Nov 9 2008, 3:55am
                Breathing and smiling...For some reason, probably because of you and Magpie, hobbitlove Send a private message to hobbitlove Nov 10 2008, 1:01am
    And so it begins… OhioHobbit Send a private message to OhioHobbit Nov 10 2008, 12:16am
        {{hugs}}, dear friend. hobbitlove Send a private message to hobbitlove Nov 10 2008, 1:19am
    You got me with your opening lines grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Nov 10 2008, 3:46pm
        Many thanks for your beautiful and kind comments. Voices hobbitlove Send a private message to hobbitlove Nov 14 2008, 6:53pm
    Hi hob:) silneldor Send a private message to silneldor Nov 13 2008, 2:11am
        Thanks, dear sib, for posting and for your thoughts. I'll have to find a picture of all of us hobbitlove Send a private message to hobbitlove Nov 14 2008, 7:00pm
    Post posting post: intro recap. Love does mean you have to say you're sorry. hobbitlove Send a private message to hobbitlove Nov 14 2008, 8:53pm
        Lookit you... grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Nov 14 2008, 11:34pm
        Or how about ... love means having to say "I'll be back" Loresilme Send a private message to Loresilme Nov 17 2008, 2:14am
            Your kind comments are found and greatly appreciated - I'm not in the 'fast-lane' these days and hobbitlove Send a private message to hobbitlove Nov 20 2008, 6:45am
    Late as usual... Earl Send a private message to Earl Nov 20 2008, 1:03pm
        Many, many, many thanks for this beautiful post. hobbitlove Send a private message to hobbitlove Nov 25 2008, 7:40am

 
 
 

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