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Introduction to lyrics: Poetry and emotion
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hobbitlove
Gondor


Nov 8 2008, 7:00am

Post #1 of 26 (1358 views)
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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


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


hobbitlove
Gondor


Nov 8 2008, 7:24am

Post #2 of 26 (436 views)
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"In Dreams" Lyrics for LOTR. [In reply to] Can't Post

WELCOME TO LYRICS FOR LOTR; POETRY AND EMOTION. First: A DEDICATION I thought we would launch these discussion on Howard Shore's birthday. We certainly meant to, but that was not to be. But, as fate would have it, today is someone else's birthday! To Ordinary Hobbit, my dearest friend, my 'technical advisor', the 'hobbity hubby', and a man who loved me, and the music of LOTR, enough to take me to Chicago soon after I found Tolkien. We heard the LOTR Symphony which was wonderful and met other Tolkienites, (many from The One Ring.net.), for the first time; together. An adventure in Middle-earth and it was a great beginning. So, My Dear, Happy Birthday! This is a new adventure! Second: A EXPLANATION "POETRY AND EMOTION" It is reasonable to make a connection between poetry and emotion, especially in the case of the lyrics. Defined here: From Dictionary.com "1. the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, [we would add 'or sung'] for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts." and this from thesaurus online: "expressive, rhythmic literary work" Lyrics are a type of poetry and create emotion. The score, that is the notes and the way they are arranged and played, creates emotion, also. We all know this. The poetry of music, the lyrics, works with the music to create images, feelings, and simply auditory pleasure. Besides sounds being pleasurable, which is why Tolkien created the Elvish languages, after all, they also tell the story. In cinema, the story is revealed (or obscured) via our senses - through the scenery, the sets, the actors, their spoken words, and also, very importantly, through the music and the lyrics. This is what our own Eorl says about the lyrics on his site: "Throughout the score, the songs take on a narrative role in depicting events, in representing characters, and in personifying their thoughts and emotions where it is hard to characterize and portray them into images. Whether taken directly from the matter of the books, adapted from the texts within them, or even wholly made up by the scriptwriters, the words of the songs and poems interspersed throughout the score render audibly what is occasionally impossible to render visually. And so with the score forming its backbone, the narration of The Lord of the Rings in the Books section revolves around the songs and poems used in the films." . If we don't know the words, how can they inspire out feelings. In this, I think much can be done to change this. The fact that honor was given to Tollkien's words (if this is so) and that the lyrics exist as separate and carefully thought out additions to the score, says to me, to us, that this gift, this treasure has not yet been fully revealed. Just as Tolkien's deep and complex work reveals treasures to us over time, so too the dedication, understanding, and skill of the lyricists must be explored." Now: INSPIRATION FRODO'S SONG "IN DREAMS" I:3.9 - The Road Goes Ever On... Part 2 (0:30) lyrics by FRAN WALSH, music by HOWARD SHORE When the cold of winter comes Starless night will cover day. In the veiling of the sun We will walk in bitter rain. But in dreams I still hear your name. And in dreams We will meet again. When the seas and mountains fall And we come to end of days. In the dark I hear a call Calling me there. I will go there And back again. I have always called "In Dreams" Frodo's song since the very first time I ever heard it. With so much to discuss, I will simply say, I believe this to be how it is thought of by many and it is often called informally, 'Frodo's hymn.' I do hear Bilbo's voice or story in these words now and that fits as both he and Frodo have a similar (and very different, too) tale to tell. SOME THOUGHTS: For me, most surprisingly, the exact lines for this song come from Treebeard ! in his song about the entwives. “When Winter comes...and starless night devour the sunless day; When wind is in the deadly East, then in the bitter rain I’ll look for thee, and call to thee; I’ll come to thee again!” Sam is also the one who mentions that the journey begins in winter while they waited in Lothlorien. Seas and mountains comes from a phrase in the Silmarillion referring to Aman [Finrod Felagund to Beren] "I go now to my long rest in the timeless halls beyond the seas and the Mountains of Aman..." Can we assumes that when they "fall" it is the end of the world as the elves know it? Anybody else discover this before. I certainly didn't know it. "There and back again" is, IMhO, the linking phrase. So very important. It is the summation of events between the (less serious) Hobbit and the epic LOTR. It is also the phrase most clearly representing all the themes we've come to recognize as important in Tolkien's work; courage, hope, journeying, and yes, even a comment on the theme of death and deathlessnes. This is all, of course, my opinion and completely UUT, but it seems a reasonable way of looking at it. Most will also be sure that the reference to 'starless night' and the 'veiling of the sun' covering day is a reference to the shadow over Minas Tirith, the "dawnless day". I believe that is what is meant. But there are other references too. The "starless night" is described on the Anduin, in Mordor, and other places in the books. Oddly enough, this phrase has always reminded me of Elrond's quote to Arwen (in the movies), "as nightfall in winter that comes without a star" is an echo perhaps of those more fearful words and a description of Arwen's last days. About names..."I still hear your name." Names are essential to any creatures' actual place and role in Middle-earth, (a Tolkien idee fixe or at least a favorite theory). Names are first, character second, and the name is the creature and also defines his history, his personality, his place, and his power. I don't get all that out of the song "In Dreams" = ) But it is good to consider it as I believe all the words, the lines, in the lyrics must be taken as important. "I hear your name" is not an empty phrase in Middle-earth legendarium. Dreams are a huge topic to consider. They are helpful, healing, may be warnings, and they teach or direct throughout Tolkien's stories. This would be a whole essay! (or dozens) Este brings healing in dreams as the mate of Irmo who is the master of visions and dreams. Legolas' is a source of the lines about 'end of days' - another surprise - "...For our days are ending and our years failing." Dreams are potent things and very often mentioned in the Sil, in The Hobbit, and especially in LotR. Messages come in dreams or the Valar speak to the elves and others in dreams, for example in the Silmarillion with Turgon, Finrod, Thingol, and even Earendil Bilbo gets messages in his dreams in the first chapter of The Hobbit. Boromir and Faramir, Gandalf, Aragorn...numerous instances of prophetic and guiding dreams in LOTR. Often parts or all of the dreams are true, are prophecy or real events. Sometimes, Tolkien relates semi-consciousness to dreaming as with Bilbo in Erebor, Aragorn's during the chase: “The rumour of the earth is dim and confused...comes to my mind that I heard them, even as I lay on the ground in sleep, and they troubled my dreams..." Merry and Pippin with the uruk kai are actually saved by their dreaming, which was probably semiconsciousness : "Neither Pippin nor Merry remembered much of the later part of the journey. Evil dreams and evil waking were blended..." These are also described as "black dreams". Even the Uruks dreams, but their dreams are described as "muddy dreams". Eomer: “These are indeed strange days,” he muttered. “Dreams and legends spring to life out of the grass.” A mention of Eomer's dream Legolas: "... and he could sleep, if sleep it could be called by Men, resting his mind in the strange paths of elvish dreams, even as he walked open eyed in the light of this world." Were the "deep dreams" of Merry before Pelennor and while on that forced march with Theoden a help to him on that exhausting journey or caused by exhaustion? Even the land had dreams as Faramir said: "The land dreams in a false peace, and for a while all evil is withdrawn." Theoden: "dark [have been my] dreams" The trees dream in Treebeards song: " Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold...Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is best!” Sam called the orcs "figures in a mist, only dreams of fear with pale flames in their hands." . Merry's struggle into the city when he was hurt is a dream: " To Merry the ascent seemed agelong, a meaningless journey in a hateful dream..." Later, the black breath is described as "dreams" of those affected in the HoH. Sam has "secret dreams" in Ithilien, of food and later in Mordor of water Most poignantly, and fittingly for this discussion, Frodo describes the dream-like torture: “Am I still dreaming?” he muttered. “But the other dreams were horrible...I fell into darkness and foul dreams, and woke and found that waking was worse." And later, "They woke together, hand in hand. Sam was almost fresh, ready for another day; but Frodo sighed. His sleep had been uneasy, full of dreams of fire, and waking brought him no comfort" Lastly, some comments upon Frodo's dreams and dreams in general. Frodo dreams are not always just dreams. He has dreams and he has visions and he doesn't always know which is which. Furthermore, he dreams all the time and about special things, as if touched by special forces, powers. He dreams of the sea in Crickhollow, his dream/vision of Earessea in the house of Tom Bombadil, he dreams of Gandalf at Weathertop. He thinks of his past as a dream for he says the Shire is a dream when he is traveling home. After the Old Man Willow incidence, he may wanted it to be a dream and Sam says he was dreaming. In the movie "It was just a dream" is a poignant moment in Emmen Muil. He was not dreaming however, and the movie makers (as in the books) are clear on that. He has visions. This is important when we discuss Frodo. Even before the adventure started, Frodo was a dreamer. After Bilbo leaves, "He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams." The connection may be made, finally, with Frodo and 'The Seabell' which is thought to have been written about Frodo's last days in Middle-earth. This is a last sad comment upon our 'dreamer' and perhaps, it is a small look into the psyche of this, I believe, complicated character. It is, possibly, about Frodo's greatest fear before he left for Valinor--that it would be impossible to find healing - it is a grievious view of Frodo's suffering. Well, is this an essay or a discussion? Yikes! Bit too much of a good thing I think. Tongue Dear sibs, I just wanted to begin! We'll try things and change and work on stuff. But, as a beginning, this 'study' of a song that means a great deal to me is the best I can do. I only touched on some of the issues, but, as you can see, lyrics, that is, words to music can be the poetry of life; all of this from Tolkien's legendarium, and written to tell the story through the movies. This is a deep and interesting subjects. Words are not merely for emotional impact - but to teach, to help us grow, to find real truths as we journey through life. The writers and film makers meant the lyrics as ways into and through this deep and ever affecting, ever relevant story; and they are. In my humble opinion, hob This is not my work, but a most favorite fan picture - I no longer have the original and cannot give proper credit, but I love it very much and put it here as an honor to the creator - and to so beautifully illustrate "In Dreams"


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Visit the Movie Discussions - LOTR for QTNA




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(This post was edited by Ataahua on Nov 8 2008, 7:41pm)


Magpie
Immortal


Nov 8 2008, 3:47pm

Post #3 of 26 (363 views)
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Well, now... [In reply to] Can't Post

This looks like so much fun I'm hitting reply before I check any other threads.

First you questions:

Were you aware of the lyrics and that there are a lot of them?

Yes and ... with time yes.

Yes I was aware of the lyrics. I've indicated before that the primary... absolutely single reason I started my exploration of the score in general was because I wanted to sing along. On my 'Final Thoughts' page, I wrote:
I listened to the copy that was purchased for my son’s birthday, and quickly bought my own copy. Then I bought another copy, one for the house, one for the car. It was the only CD in my car many months. I listened to it often in the house, also. And because I love music and singing so much, I wanted to sing along with those wonderful voices. That wasn’t hard with two of the songs, “May It Be” and “In Dreams”. The lyrics were printed in the CD booklet (although I later learned they contained some mistakes) and were mostly in English. “Aníron’s” lyrics were printed in the booklet, also, but required more work since they were in Elvish. I fussed over that ‘d’ sound in Aníron, till I discovered that the ‘r’ was rolled and sounding ‘d-ish’. But the lyrics for “Lament for Gandalf” didn’t seem to fit the song. And there was more singing that wasn’t printed in the booklet. I started my search for more information.
But I don't think I 'heard' (meaning, 'took note of') all the background choral until I started digging more. Btw... my early work on the lyrics was driven almost entirely by the website you linked to (elvish.org), Fellowship of the Wordsmiths ... aka Gwaith-i-Phethdain. And even though it hasn't been updated, that is the place to go for information on the language translation. I think you're right to keep this away from debating the validity of the translations. That's another sort of discussion (and one that has been quite rancorous in other venues.) I will say that David Salo has been helpful to fans in a few occasions regarding identifying texts and I consider him a gracious soul to do so.


Is choral work one of the strengths of Howard Shore's work?

I guess so. I guess I just take things as they come and either enjoy them or not. No, let me think a moment. Then I can say 'yes'. I think the voices add an extra layer of emotion. The plaintive and then sly tone of Emiliano's voice in Gollum's Song (not rightly soundtrack but it came to mind first). The purity and simplicity of the boy's choir. The gruffness of the chanting in Moria. And many places in the climax at Mount Doom where the voices pile onto all the other musical layers to create this unbelievable sense of urgency, explosion and release. Howard does use voice in the same way as instruments. It is how the voices sound more than what they are saying that drives the effectiveness. (Which leads me to a side thought I will add later to keep the flow going)

Why were they written?
I guess I always thought Philippa just had a thing for writing poetry and gave them all to Howard to use. Now I can do a head slap and realize (from your post) that Howard probably asked for most of these. Is this what you were thinking when you asked 'why'? Or were you thinking more in terms of content. What drove the content of each source text?

Do they matter?

This is something I ask all the time. Of myself and of others. I think it is what drives everything we involve ourselves in. We don't have to understand why things matter to do them or to enjoy doing them. But, at some point, understanding why they matter helps us understand ourselves better and, I think, helps us make better choices about how we spend our time and energy. It helps drive us towards the things that matter to each of us and towards a place where we feel more 'in tune' or centered within ourselves.

But in terms of the lyrics or the singing (and they can be considered two different things), I'm not sure I can articulate that yet. If we think about the movie experience, there are so many layers we have working together:
  • for many of us, we have the books and our personal history/relationship with Tolkien and the written word
  • we have the written word of the movie, the script, the dialog
  • we have the inflection and mannerisms of the actors that bring the words of Tolkien and the scriptwriters to life.
  • we have the setting, the costumes, the props, the lighting, the sound, the editing the create an atmosphere or believability to the world
  • we have 'the music' which also has many layers:
    • the melodies, the chords, the rhythms, the modes that Howard has written
    • the 'voices' that he chose to 'sing' the melodies, etc: orchestral instruments, exotic or ethnic instruments, and vocal instruments
    • the lyrics, most of which are in a language we can't immediately understand and, even with study... most of us will never translate and 'hear' (in English) as we listen to any one piece.
So, given that we can't understand most of the lyrics and even I don't think of the English translation or it's meaning when I hear the Seduction Theme or the Wounding of Boromir... do they matter? Do the actual words matter or could they have been jibberjabber.

Well, even if many of the words were constructed by Salo within each Tolkien language, I think he tried to stay consistent with the feel and structure of what Tolkien had started with each language. And Tolkien thought about his languages very extensively and would definitely have taken the sound of the words into consideration. So we could say that using Sindarin in one case and Adunaic in another and Neo-Khuzdul in a third does contribute to this layer of effect we get when we watch the movie.

And, I feel a slight thrill when I do recognize a word and 'know' it's meaning.I realized the word 'Astaldoron' in the Seduction Theme was conncected to the name Astaldo, one of the names for the Valar, Tulkas. Astaldo means, the Valiant and astaldoron is from the line: Astaldoron mauri.... The needs of the valiant

Also, there's a place at the final battle at Mount Doom where the choir is belting out their piece and they cry out, 'Elessar... Elessar'. I love hearing it there.

But I wonder if, even when we can't understand the language if we don't get this last, ethereal, sublminal layer ... added onto the top of all the rest... of the meaning of the words. I don't know. But Howard uses dreaming to create a lot of his work
Howard Shore: I needed to know that stuff intellectually. And then I need to put it all away. And just think emotionally. Because music is an emotional language. You’re saying to yourself, “Well, what do you feel about that? What do you feel about Burroughs’s book or Ballard’s book or Tolkien’s book? What’s your expression of that in music?” And then you go on this discovery. And that process a very quiet process, very introspective. It’s very dreamy. Because essentially you’re dealing with ideas. It’s a very internal process. And it’s a creative process because anything’s possible. And you’re allowing your mind to kind of free associate. And frankly, there’s a lot of napping involved. (DG laughs) There is, because I like to use the nap as a source of intuitiveness. Because the nap places you into somewhat of a dream state. Right? You’re kind of.. you know, a napping in the afternoon is somewhat a half awake kind of thing. You’re not really soundly asleep, although I do get a good night sleep. But this allows you to go into a somewhat state of semi-consciousness and dream. And what I’m trying to do is put myself into that dream state so that I can get in touch with some feelings and ideas about what I feel about this piece.

So if Howard is connecting to his work intuitively, then why can't we?

Is there power and beauty that we fans of the films may yet discover?
Are we talking singing/lyrics here.. or in general. Let's keep this to singing/lyrics. Well, die-hard fans of the soundtrack report finding new things all the time. I'd bet anything that most of you have not consciously noticed or paid attention to certain moments in the movie where the voice is doing some wonderfully remarkable things.
Any favorites?
I resist lists of favorites. For me, there are so many it's almost cumbersome to note. I either leave out too many or I've included most.

And while we're at it, what lyrics would you like to discuss?
I figure we'll get to them all before we're done. I'm content with any order in which that happens.



Final Thoughts:

I read over what I've written in a post like this and realize some people may think this was all stuff I had in my head in a wonderfully cohesive manner and now I've spit it all out for the benefit of the masses. That is certainly not the case. I have a lot of background knowledge, but until prompted... I don't always form opinions about it. I would say that 90% of this post contains thinking that developed as I tried to answer the questions. So, first off... I am always very grateful for the opportunity to 'discuss' rather than just 'research', 'study', or 'think'. Then, I don't want one darn person to be intimidated by what they perceive as my 'advanced knowledge' or whatever you wish to label it. I see myself as a research librarian. I compile information, I know where to it is for accessing it, and I love helping others use it. But I am not an expert and it makes me uncomfortable when people see me as such. It really makes me sad to think someone might not speak for some reason to do with how they perceive me. I'm telling you all.. I would rather bow out of conversations than have people perceive me like this. So treat me like a peer... please.

I said earlier: Howard does use voice in the same way as instruments. It is how the voices sound more than what they are saying that drives the effectiveness.
This is so true that there has been a reluctance on the part of both Howard and Doug to 'discuss' what I call 'the lyrics as sung'. Many of us want to know what is actually being sung at any particular point and they don't really want to tell us. I don't think they want to keep it a secret. My sense is they just don't think 'knowing' that adds to an understanding of the work. Knowing the source text (the full body of work from which the lyrics-as-sung are drawn from) and the language of that source text can be important. But not the individual words and, in some cases, syllables. I don't think think that point has much to do with this discussion since we are, in fact, discussing the full source texts. But I thought it was an interesting aside I could throw in.

You are welcome to use everything on my website. To provide a usable link to a particular page, you must do some finessing. If you're on my site and wish to go to a page that you want to reference, instead of clicking on the link... right click (control click for you Mac nuts) and chose, 'open in new tab/window'. Now you have that page without the navigation frame and the url at the top of the page is for that direct page. If you have the navigation frame loaded, all the pages display the same address which only takes you to the main page.




LOTR soundtrack website : FOTR Lyrics Update, Oct 2008
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weaver
Half-elven

Nov 8 2008, 9:55pm

Post #4 of 26 (345 views)
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my goodness, what a Prologue! [In reply to] Can't Post

"This post grew in the making" -- ha! But it's pure hob, and I love it...

A few responses:

1. Poetry and Emotion -- that's good! Very clever of you guys, as always.

2. Your tree image is intriguing -- what is it, and why did you choose it? It looks like poetry in motion to me, so I think it's quite fitting, but I am curious as to what it says to you.?!

3. I was right! I always compared the vocals in the film to the poems in the books, and felt that they each added a layer to the story you don't find in most films/novels. This is the first time I saw something from Howard Shore stating that so explicitly. So thank you!

4. I love this line from Shore -- "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." -- and I'd say, yes, he succeeded at it. There are people who love or loathe the plot or character changes, but I've heard few criticisms about the "look" of the films, and none that I can recall at all about how they "sound".

5. I didn't realize the full level of choral music in the films until I saw Howard Shore conduct the LOTR Symphony in Montreal. Without the actors to compete with, the voices stood out more, I guess. Do you know what percentage of the films is choral vs. instrumental?

6. You are absolutely correct, Philippa and Fran don't get enough credit!

Glad you are doing this, and it will be a wonderful new addition to this board. Thanks so much!



Weaver



(This post was edited by weaver on Nov 8 2008, 9:59pm)


weaver
Half-elven

Nov 8 2008, 10:23pm

Post #5 of 26 (369 views)
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happy birthday to the man of the hour and thoughts on dreams... [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's to you, Ohob! We're glad you're with us...Smile

Ok, you have sparked my thinking with your "essay", so here you go:

1. I did not recognize that Treebeard and Legolas were the inspiration for some of the lines of "In Dreams". Cool! There are times where they take the story, turn it on its head, and give it back in a form that fits even better. My favorite example of this is when they give Grima Gandalf's line about Eowyn (who knows what you speak in the bitter watches of the night...); the moving of the "pity" speech and Gandalf's advice to Frodo to Moria is another great creative choice. In the case of "In Dreams", here, the lines "feel" like Tolkien to me, though I knew it was not something Tolkien wrote in quite this way. So now I know why they resonate so much and work so well!

2. I've always associated this song with Frodo, too, but from the perspective of his relationship with Gandalf. To me, it's "heart" comes from the fact that Frodo is without Gandalf's guidance as he goes into the "heart of darkness"; the song is filled with the kind of sentiments people have about a loved one who has died, where the talk is often of the person "looking out for them", or of still feeling a connection to them on the spiritual level. It's a song of loss and comfort then, and in that way similar to "Into the West", though that one is more "healing", and this more "dreamy", if I can put it that way. In some commentaries on the film score, people talk of how the various themes "evolve" throughout the film -- the first time we hear the Shire theme and when it is played in the "you bow to no one" scene is a good example of this. In the same way, the lyrics to "In Dreams" feel to me like the expression of the bittersweetness of the story that is fully realized later in the words to "Into the West".

3. Loved your improvisation on "dreams" in the books/films. Frodo's dreams in particular have always been the most striking to me. I remember getting to the end of LOTR on my first read, and when Tolkien slips in that line about how "the grey rain curtain" was something he first saw in a dream in Tom Bombadil's house, I realized that I had missed a whole level of the story; Tom had seemed so "silly" and yet it was in his house that the end of the story was foretold. Tricksy guy, that Tolkien! That's the kind of thing that keeps people coming back again and again to this tale; each time you understand a layer, you find 10 more underneath...

4. Your thoughts on the power of words are excellent as well. I know that Tolkien says somewhere that he starts with the "name" of his characters and then writes the story from there. I know in the bit of creative writing I've tried to do that "naming" characters is an art, and hard for me to do. Tolkien's entire creative process, though, comes from naming. I admire that ability of his greatly.

Thanks and take a bow, hob and ohob -- and keep 'em coming!


Weaver



hobbitlove
Gondor


Nov 9 2008, 1:54am

Post #6 of 26 (321 views)
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Yes! Yes! Yes! OMG! And, wow!!! Crazy happy! [In reply to] Can't Post

You have said so much here I can barely take it in. What a mind you have!
We're started now and I'm afraid I won't be able to keep up - I knew this was too much stuff and it's all so jumbled now, with Ataahua's editing, and I can't see how anyone can even read it - but your answer is so exactly what I wanted; in spades! The astaldoron mauri?? I had no idea - just that is so exciting!
I listened to Viggo when we got the CR (of the FotR) and the words to his song were there, and that was just such a moment for me! He was singing them and the elvish was exquisite! And the elves on the way to the Grey Havens - Plan 9? ! What a piece of music that is! But then, when you hear (and see) the words and they are Tolkiens! I couldn't get over it!
The elvish on the weapons and the helms and all - this was from Gwaith-i-Phethdain! Loved it! Love it still!
And David Salo, who never gets any credit and I don't think he cares as his reward was the doing of it - he did the translations because he loved Elvish before it was cool to love it - as Tolkien loved it when he created it. He, I think is another kind and thoughtful person - shy even - perhaps not. But a treasure we have yet to admire. - perhaps!
I will look and look for more on intentions of the writers of these lyrics - as you say, they have stayed in the background or been quieter on this subject. Mmmm...never realized that. It may all be deliberate. Research is the fun and you know that, so why am I telling you.
I don't know how to bring this down to a level that we can all absorb, 'cause it's so much and I just seem to be dense or something.
To distill so much information and then share it - I'm no good - well, and I want to learn to do that - and I can. I think. With your help and our brilliant Weaver. So, hang on and I'm there with you.
It took me all day to get the courage to check this post - perhaps that is all it is - that first step - to face going out the door (or from my safe computer room) onto a discussion board and then - well, I love this stuff and I want to keep going.
I'd better take some vitamins or something to increase my brain power!
Gad, how have I ever been so fortunate to find this website and people like you, dear friend!
Treehouses, recipes, family histories, trivia, dancing, folksongs, computers, languages, and a hundred more interests - you and so many others here - Elijah that ignorant/wise/naive/jaded young man said geeks are the most interesting people and I didn't believe that at first - it couldn't be more true though - how did he know?

Thanks for the comment upon Howard's dreaming. I had read that (probably at your site) and completely forgotten about it.
This is going to be quite a ride I think; I hope.
More later. You made my whole month and I ain't kiddin'.
{{{hugs}}}
me



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hobbitlove
Gondor


Nov 9 2008, 2:20am

Post #7 of 26 (313 views)
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A million thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

You have such clear sight! Perspicacity! I think the word was invented just for you.
The tree! Yes...it is the very thing for these posts; and it was almost the last thing I found - just yesterday, in fact.
Strange, as I love it so much already, and knew it at once to be the perfect picture for lyrics. I thought it was a musical note, nature, and somehow a lyre all at once. It seemed so elvish. But, when I went to label it after I sized it, and needed a reference to remember it by, the label came out "Frodo's tree"! I just typed those words for some reason and now it is forever that in my mind.
Dunno why.Tongue

I think this was a bad start, but I am not dismayed. The thing was, and I said this in the post, the thing was just to start. To begin.
I couldn't distill the info down enough (always my problem) and it will be a struggle to learn to do this - seems like an old complaint of mine Blush, so, not a new problem, for sure, but working on these will help me learn to do better. I think these will be so worth doing, and now I do very much want to go on.
Sorry for the condensing of the posts - Ataahua had to edit them - they must have been too large. They are harder than ever to read and understand the way they appear. I suppose the need for editing is just another hint to me to be precise and organize in a better way.

Thank you again and again for posting and for your wonderful remarks. Years ago I said I always read your posts first (around tORn), and I still do, as they are always clear and always insightful. We can only benefit from your participation and know how fortunate we are that you support us.
Cheers, dear friend!
This just might be fun.Tongue

hob



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Magpie
Immortal


Nov 9 2008, 3:08am

Post #8 of 26 (327 views)
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a few humble responses [In reply to] Can't Post

well... I don't think I have to worry about seeming to be an expert. I am reminded, once again, that poetry has never been my forte. But before I go farther:

Happy Birthday OH! I hope you had a really happy birthday. (I'm still dreaming of apple salsa... yum)

The first thing that hit me with your post illustrates what I mean (in my first sentence) perfectly. I have been dedicated to tracking down direct quotes from Tolkien or lines from Tolkien that inspired the lyrics. I didn't think I had them all but when I read your comments about this song coming from Treebeard's Song of the Entwives I was gobsmacked. Why? Because I've listened to that 'song' over and over. I've got Rob Inglis' tune in my head. But I never caught the connection. That's because, as much as I love to sing, I don't always pay attention to the words. In fact, I often don't pay attention to the words.

When I'm at sings, I'll listen to someone sing a song... sometimes one I've heard numerous times. I might even join in on lines or on the chorus. And then, perhaps one night, someone will say.. 'That's just lovely' and start talking about what it means. Hun? I have no idea what it means because what I've 'heard' is melody and crooning. It might well have been Finnish (something I've learned bits of phonetically so I can sing along to a song I love). The words are what I need to learn to make the sound and the sound is everything to me. I do have some songs that mean something contextually to me. But I'm sad to say that more don't register than do.

So, I went immediately to the website and updated it. Not only do I love finding that connection it makes the song more meaningful to me. Again, I can sing along with it and kind of listen to the words. But thinking about the writings of JRRT that inspire it help me think more deeply about it. I'll be running to keep up with you on this discussion and loving every minute.

I enjoyed reviewing all the dream references. I hadn't read this post when I made my comment about Howard's dream work. And can you believe I wasn't even trying to connect to the song "In Dreams". At that point, I was only talking about lyrics in general.

Did something happen with the formatting? You mentioned editing by Ataahua. Are you composing in Word and then copying it into the post? If so, that may be giving you trouble. If you need some help, we might be able to sit up a time to walk through a posting together. Let me know. I have to admit I had to move it all to another program and break it into paragraphs. I have a difficult time reading long blocks of text, especially on screen.

If it's helpful, I'll put the reformatted version of the In Dreams post on the web.
http://docs.google.com/...=dchnzjvs_779nr7dfcp

I'm loving discovering this feature of Google docs. I write something and publish it as a web page and they host it. No messing with signing in and out of Geocities and going through a bunch of folders and subfolders.

But don't fuss too much over not getting it perfect. I once said, 'education is messy'. We have to willing to get in a muck around and make mistakes if we want to learn new things. It's hard for me to accept this but it's true. And I know that even if the first 3 or 4 tries don't turn out so well, the 5th one can be leaps and bounds better. And the 10th may be quite lovely.


and on that note, instead of proofing anymore... I'll live with the mistakes I've made in this post and run over to read weaver's post and your response. ta.


LOTR soundtrack website : FOTR Lyrics Update, Oct 2008
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Magpie
Immortal


Nov 9 2008, 3:22am

Post #9 of 26 (331 views)
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condensing thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

ha... this is the hardest part of writing any paper for me. How to get all these thoughts swirling around in my head down into a cohesive and succinct essay. As a graphic designer, too much text can be the kiss of death. Can you imagine anyone who wants to read paragraph after paragraph in an ad? Well, I must convince some people that they don't. And writing articles for TORn is excruciating. Writing what I want to say in one paragraph is way harder than taking 3 to do the same.

Well, you're right (and I said so elsewhere). The first step is the hardest and the first tries are often difficult to face. I always say, 'the first loaf of bread (you ever try baking) never comes out.' At least mine didn't. They were big ol' bricks. But the 4th one wasn't so bad. I started to understand that was the case with most of the things I tried to learn.

I'm glad you're not dismayed. You'll find a way to organize your thinking, I'm sure.



LOTR soundtrack website : FOTR Lyrics Update, Oct 2008
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weaver
Half-elven

Nov 9 2008, 3:55am

Post #10 of 26 (325 views)
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echoing what magpie says about condensing thoughts... [In reply to] Can't Post

Among other things, I write grants. People always think they should pay you less for the shorter ones, but the reality is, I often work harder to say less. When the grant has page limits or word count limits, you have to make every word count, and it really makes for better writing. I always start by writing long, though, and then cutting.

So, Hob, you might try that --write it all out, the way you like to, and then give yourself a word count limit and keep cutting until you reach it. Don't get me wrong -- I love your long, rambling posts as they suit you -- you write very well about feelings, which is hard to do, and feelings are not easy to contain. But if you are interesting in learning some editing skills, writing to word count limits really helped me.

If you want some more tips on editing, feel free to PM me...

And Frodo's Tree -- I love it. I thought of Frodo reading his book by the tree at the start of FOTR when I saw it -- really! -- so that is absolutely the right name for it!

Oh, and I think you had a great start...keep breathing, that's the key!Smile

Weaver



OhioHobbit
Gondor

Nov 10 2008, 12:16am

Post #11 of 26 (306 views)
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And so it begins… [In reply to] Can't Post

and what a beginning! First things first. A toast to Ordinary Hobbit and a slightly late Happy Birthday! May all your lyrics be happy ones!

A great prolog and some interesting information in the interviews with Howard Shore. Here are some general thoughts. I am going to kind of combine the two posts together.

One of the things that people like about the books is the idea that there is much, much more to the story than what you are reading. There is a complex history reaching back from the story into the mists of time. A lot of that comes from the poetry and the songs. There are a few places in the movies where someone recites poetry or sings a song. They count, but there aren’t very many of them, so that seems to be made up for with lyrics to the music. Being a book firster I am not one to judge, but I hope that the lyrics help to give that sense of more story beyond as well as lending feeling to the moment.


Quote
I always hear the lyrics to any song and always have. The hubby never does.


I usually don’t catch all of the words to a song, sometimes very few. So I usually go around singing “la de da de da” with a few words plugged in here and there. Humans try to see patterns and find meaning from very sketchy information, so a few words still add something to the “feeling” of it. It’s like looking at impressionist art, I think.


Quote
Is choral work one of the strengths of Howard Shore's work?


For me, the chorals lend weight to the movies, if that makes any sense. My big fear was that these movies would not be taken seriously, that they wouldn’t deserve to be taken seriously. Well, by the end of “Fellowship of the Ring” I didn’t see how anyone could call this silly or childish. After all that had already happened there was Boromir’s death scene, Frodo’s debate with himself, Frodo and Sam in the boat, the final scene, and Howard Shore’s music over it all and the ending music as Frodo and Sam went off into the distance. Then came that boy’s voice, Edward Ross, singing “In Dreams”. Talk about emotional overload! I was a wreck.

This is what the lyrics say to me.
First stanza – tragedy
Second stanza – hope
Third stanza – determination
At least that is what works for me.

This is a great start guys, its going to be fun!

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


hobbitlove
Gondor


Nov 10 2008, 12:23am

Post #12 of 26 (295 views)
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Thanks for the suggestions and your lovely comments. [In reply to] Can't Post

The reformatted version in Googledocs was almost exactly as I had posted it here originally. The only difference was mine had the pictures as I wanted them placed near the appropriate text, and the itemized list (nicely done in Google) was paragraphs.
The pictures are important in a post for me. Besides loving and noting lyrics, I note pictures. They say so much to me...why I use so many, I guess. Anyway, this was a test run - as you say, the first time out - the first batch of bread.
The format for these will be changed drastically, and a few sleepless nights have given me insight into organization. You can't say everything all at one time. = )
Anyway, the point of all this is that I will now strive to be more precise. I do, always, but in this, I should not get overwhelmed with all that there is you want to say, but focus on what is important to say.
But, also, and this is going to be important for me personally, I want to use my own thoughts and words. I have always made posts to try to be about others' comments, holding back opinions and ideas so as not to thwart or stifle others, as these boards should be, to a degree, and post of a discussion especially. In doing so, I can't always say what I'm thinking. As you say, this stuff just gets you going and you could talk and write about it endlessly - and we have, haven't we; in various ways and at various times?
Thanks for letting me think out loud and now I'd better stop as much of this should be left to e-mail, PMs, and personal conversations (which we do not have enough of and that's another thing that needs to changeSmile)
As you said, you learned something (Treebeard!) and you shared something (about Howard) in a very cool moment of serendipity (as a lot of this seems always to come) and that was just a tiny bit of what this is all about. Thinking about the next step - and feeling very excited.
Cheers,
me

PS: and because I never said it before a zillion thanks for that fun, fun stuff on the Halloween post. I spent over an hour just on that and I was hurrying. You are great)
PPS: The salsa recipe is coming - the hubby sent it to me days ago to send to you (and I will) and he says to thank you for the kind wishes.



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hobbitlove
Gondor


Nov 10 2008, 1:01am

Post #13 of 26 (313 views)
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Breathing and smiling...For some reason, probably because of you and Magpie, [In reply to] Can't Post

this didn't make me crazy. Well, not very, anyway.Tongue
I've been trying to find an 'engine' (an impetus of ideas) to get this 'train' of a discussion going - well, and I didn't find a good one yet, it was bulky but not dynamic. So, yes, less is more (as it perhaps always is), and I was pushing instead of pulling. At least the 'train' is on the track and ready to move ahead... Unimpressed
LOL! Crazy
I need tips on editing, plus tips on thinking and organizing, and throw in there a liberal education! My dear Weaver, even Gramma Moses knew her limits! Well, maybe not, and Tolkien certainly didn't start out with a firm understanding of how to write the greatest story of the century; not that a superlative of any sort is what this is about. Still, doing is better than not doing, and trying is it's own joy. Good enough is still good, and a goal; even a laudable goal? Even if this may be just for enjoyment or simply expressing one's self, it will be okay.
We'll learn as we go, and enjoy the journey. Wink
Thanks for your help. I will be asking for more of it, I'm sure. And again, (and again and again), thank you for your unswerving support.Smile
hob



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hobbitlove
Gondor


Nov 10 2008, 1:19am

Post #14 of 26 (303 views)
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{{hugs}}, dear friend. [In reply to] Can't Post

This quote from you is exactly what I was trying to say that Fran, Philippa, and Howard were intending:
"hope that the lyrics help to give that sense of more story beyond as well as lending feeling to the moment"
Our research, (and Magpie thinks there is a reason not much info is out there. She thinks Howard wanted the voices themselves to 'speak' the meaning more than the words) came up very short on the why and wherefore of the lyrics.
I know I've read about the need to use the beautiful words and songs of Tolkien's that don't fit into the movie. We'll dig as much of that out as we can. This motivation justifies it all to me, and further, it makes what they have done, a treasure, somewhat hidden, I think, that we have yet to fully uncover and thus fully enjoy.
More later, and thanks for posting. You are just so right about the emotional impact of the movies - the last part overwhelming - and then that song...
We are allowed to recover while we hear it - I think - it is, finally, optimistic. The whole movie in a little song??
{{hugs}} to you, dear.
hob

PS: Thanks from ohob too and hugs to your partner in crime, too



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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Nov 10 2008, 3:46pm

Post #15 of 26 (299 views)
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You got me with your opening lines [In reply to] Can't Post

as you step out onto this road. You are the epitamy of the spirit here... for our love for Tolkien, Peter's films, and TORn that inspires us to go out onto that road. Bless you... both of you.... and thank you so much. I'm so proud of your efforts. No... your achievements :)

Here goes... my meager, uneducated ear that is so overwhelmed by the beauty of Shores music and Tolkien/Philippa/Fran's lyrics.

1. Were most of you aware of the lyrics and that there are a lot of them?

Yeah. I'm one of those who is aware that lyrics express, describe or enhances the story or intent of a scene... not just the sound of the music. It seems like most of the music of LotR has lyrics either imbedded/intertwined within it if not the highlight.


2. 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?

You can tell that the voices of the chorus was used as part of the instrumentals for the films. I loved how Shore used a specific sound for each kindred so that, later on, you could tell which "kind" of Middle-earth was in action simply by the instruments and voices used. Some are very specific and only found for a certain event (i.e. Moria/Khazad-dum). You can especially appreciate this when listening to the soundtracks. Just the music carries you through the story with the same intensity and beauty as the visuals.

Favourites? I lean towards the music with the voices that tell a part of the story. Khazad-dum; Arwen's vision (Grace); Sam and Frodo above the lavaflow; Gandalf and Pippin waiting for the Trolls to break through; Haldir's Lament; Gandalf's lament after his fall in Moria; In Dreams; May It Be; Into the West … and Bilbo's song. I really think of it more as Frodo's song since it's at the very end of the RotK extended editions' credits when the fan's names scroll by….and there goes Elijah Wood's name near the end during that sweet music… LordOfTheRings.net's very first member. It's Frodo's song to me.


Oh hob… I love your premise for this discussion about the lyrics. This is totally about the joy of the music and those who have created it. I've never experienced so many emotions just from music as I do for these films. Your choice of topics for us to share are always spot-on.
Thanks so much!




sample

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.



TORn's Observations Lists


silneldor
Half-elven


Nov 13 2008, 2:11am

Post #16 of 26 (283 views)
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Hi hob:) [In reply to] Can't Post

I have the hardest time understanding lyrics to songs, always have. I do dearly love Howard Shore's music and i'd love to understand more of it. I love your energy and your savvy. I just know there is always very much more to a 'landscape' than meets the eye.
And i do love Frodo's tree. It is rather beautiful. Trees that recover from 'stresses' of life have such personality to them.
I will love to see how this develops. I don't know if i can contribute since i know little in this direction but i'll tune in with fascination.

"Tolkien, like Lewis, believed that, through story, the real world would become a more magical place, full of meaning. We see its patterns and colors in a fresh way. The recovery of a true view of the world applies both to individual things, like hills and stones, and to the cosmic - the depths of space and time itself. For in sub-creation, in Tolkien's view, there is a "survey" of space and time. Reality is captured on a miniature scale. Through stories like The Lord of the Rings, a renewed view of things is given, illuminating the homely, the spiritial, the physical, and the moral dimensions of the world."

Tolkien and C.S. Lewis- The Gift of Friendship -Duriez


May the grace of Manwë let us soar with eagle's wings!

In the air, among the clouds in the sky
Here is where the birds of Manwe fly
Looking at the land, and the water that flows
The true beauty of earth shows
With the stars of Varda lighting my way
In all the realms this is where I stay
In the realm of Manwë Súlimo
By El~Cugu (From the website: 'The realm of Manwe')










hobbitlove
Gondor


Nov 14 2008, 6:53pm

Post #17 of 26 (272 views)
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Many thanks for your beautiful and kind comments. Voices [In reply to] Can't Post

as instruments is the fundamental point, I think. The voices are so important to Howard, and he says so - we will be exploring that. With Fran and Philippa's love of Tolkien's text, his words, and using those words for the singers, well, the lyrics become as meaningful as the visual elements - the scenery, the lighting, the costumes, the actors', etc.
Like the costumes (which we have been fortunate enough to have Arwen's Daughter help us learn about here) and everything else in this production, for that matter - thanks to PJ and co. - there is certainly more to the lyrics than merely nice sounds.
You may have a unique perspective around here as you so often listen to the soundtrack without the movie visual. Your brain probably knows it better than anyone. We look forward to hearing more of your insights.
It seems important to me to understand why this music score has such a hold on us, such an impact. As you say "I've never experienced so many emotions just from music as I do for these films". There are very many others who would say the same thing, including us.

{{hugs}}
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hobbitlove
Gondor


Nov 14 2008, 7:00pm

Post #18 of 26 (252 views)
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Thanks, dear sib, for posting and for your thoughts. I'll have to find a picture of all of us [In reply to] Can't Post

at breakfast that time in Atlanta and you with your boom box and playing the soundtrack - we wanted Howard's music with us as we gathered, didn't we?
I have reached the conclusion (a bit late to be sure, but better late than never) that we need more trees around here. I've suddenly found myself looking for and thinking a lot about trees. You always did, and I'm beginning to understand why.
Love to you and yours,
hob and ohob



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hobbitlove
Gondor


Nov 14 2008, 8:53pm

Post #19 of 26 (386 views)
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Post posting post: intro recap. Love does mean you have to say you're sorry. [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, this is not a love story, just a post,Wink and I always hated that song. It spoiled that entire movie for me.
At any rate, with a love for (good) lyrics, and love (well, love might be too strong a word, but work with us here) for doing these posts, and especially because we love all our sibs and hanging around on The One Ring.net., we have to say we're sorry. There was a bit of trouble with this first effort of the "LYRICS" discussions. Tongue
Sorry!Unsure
We're not sorry for the post, but that it was too much of a good thing; too much 'stuff' crammed in.
TPTB had to reformat the post and thus, as it appears now, it is nearly unreadable (except by the most determined sibs).

Still, much was shared, discussed, and enjoyed about this first post (as it turns out, we are a bunch of determined sibs), and so, we have, for the most part, with joy, begun, which was the important thing.Smile

A quick overview of the post and some highlights and we're off to work on more of this good thing.


First: There is more than one way of appreciating the lyrics written for Howard Shore's score.
Second: There's more to the lyrics than we may all have been aware, and there is still much to learn and enjoy about discussing them.
Third: There's information out there to be gleaned, but it is hard to find and this, surprisingly, may be on purpose.
Questions:
Did the lyrics' writers and Howard Shore mean to be very subtle about the lyrics? Was this so the listener would be able to better hear the full emotion of the vocals? Is the impact of the music, even the storytelling itself, best conveyed through the total effect of voice, notes, languages, and thus, delineating the words may be looking too closely at the 'bones of [this] soup'?

We love this definition of LYRICS: (good ol' "Dictionary online" didn't let us down for a change)
"1. the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, [we would add 'or sung'] for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts."
And,
"Thesaurus online": "expressive, rhythmic literary work"

Some quotes revisited:

From Howard:
"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."

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..."

From Magpie:
"...Howard does use voice in the same way as instruments. It is how the voices sound more than what they are saying that drives the effectiveness.
This is so true that there has been a reluctance on the part of both Howard and Doug to 'discuss' what I call 'the lyrics as sung'. Many of us want to know what is actually being sung at any particular point and they don't really want to tell us. I don't think they want to keep it a secret. My sense is they just don't think 'knowing' that adds to an understanding of the work. Knowing the source text (the full body of work from which the lyrics-as-sung are drawn from) and the language of that source text can be important. But not the individual words and, in some cases, syllables. I don't think think that point has much to do with this discussion since we are, in fact, discussing the full source texts. But I thought it was an interesting aside I could throw in."


From Eorl:
"Throughout the score, the songs take on a narrative role...Whether taken directly from the matter of the books, adapted from the texts within them, or even wholly made up by the scriptwriters, the words of the songs and poems interspersed throughout the score render audibly what is occasionally impossible to render visually."

Finding text references and understanding (trying to, at least) the thoughts which may have led to their use in a piece of music is worth the trouble to do, in our humble opinions. Also, there is a thrill of discovery when a word or phrase from the elvish or 'Neo-Khuzdul' or Adunaic is heard and understood.
Finally, there is the sound of the language itself which is the heart of Tolkien's own love of language, and essential in Tolkien's world.
We want to find the connection with the words in the book to the music. Not every syllable, or not every syllable as placed in the music, but what words (or thoughts) 'fit' the emotions of the music.

Many other connections will be found, and there are always geeky, serendipitous discoveries such as Magpie's recollection of Howard's own description of writing music after reaching a dream state.
Weaver thinks of the vocal music as comparable to the poems in the book and there is a lot to explore in that.
Gramma describes the voices as part of the instrumental music itself and Howard says this. All that can be explored here, as well as the question of whether the vocal music is as important as the dialogue of the actors. What emotions were the composer, the librettists, the director, etc. trying to convey, and many, many other questions can be asked in these discussions.


Some summary:
As we said, "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.. honor and enhance."

We have begun, and though the form and style of these posts will change, we hope they will be fun and informative. Above all, we wish these discussions to bring understanding of the story, enlarged and fulfilled through Howard Shore's music for the trilogy.

A KISS for luck and we're on our way...Crazy
a promise to 'keep it simple, Shirefolk!'


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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Nov 14 2008, 11:34pm

Post #20 of 26 (252 views)
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Lookit you... [In reply to] Can't Post

Wham, Zap, Powie and you keep us on track. Thanks!!!




sample

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.



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Loresilme
Valinor


Nov 17 2008, 2:14am

Post #21 of 26 (253 views)
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Or how about ... love means having to say "I'll be back" [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok, totally wrong context for that particular line from that particular movie, but .... whatever Crazy Laugh.

But I just wanted to say that this is a wonderful start to a very in-depth and utterly fascinating topic and that I need, must, have to, read everything that's in the entire discussion, so much so that I am having to print it all out so I can really appreciate it all. Thank you and even if my comments don't make it in until they're too late to find (dropping off the first page), be assured I am avidly following and greatly appreciating this discussion. Thank you, thank you!

Heart Loresilme


mae govannen
Tol Eressea


Nov 17 2008, 10:35am

Post #22 of 26 (266 views)
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'In Dreams': 'We will meet again...' [In reply to] Can't Post

I am not often able to understand the lyrics of the songs I love so much, but I have avidly tried to from the start, and grabbed eagerly any piece of information about those lyrics, from the covers of the CDs and whatever magazine I first managed to find, although far from all those things, stranded out here in South India as I am.
Now with the blooming websites of other LOTR music geeks here, I can relax and enjoy discovering it all bit by bit, knowing where to go when I need more!...
'In Dreams' came too early for me to really appreciate its lyrics at the time, hard as it was already for me to assimilate and digest all the totally overwhelming amount of beauty and emotion that had poured on me from that first film.
Now, with the distance of the years, and with the added perspective of all the three films, what best sums it all up for me - the hope, the inner certitude of Love in spite of all the sorrow - is those words that, I realize it now, resonate in both that first song and the last one:
'We will meet again...'
'You and I will meet again...'
Thank you already for making me discover this through this great new-born thread and topic! Heart

'Is everything sad going to come untrue?'
(Sam, 'The Field of Cormallen', in 'The Return of the King'.)


hobbitlove
Gondor


Nov 20 2008, 6:45am

Post #23 of 26 (238 views)
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Your kind comments are found and greatly appreciated - I'm not in the 'fast-lane' these days and [In reply to] Can't Post

time is always my issue - not enough of it. I hope to learn to use it more wisely, as the saying goes. I'm always getting behind with things; always.
So, you don't have to worry about posting late. We haven't got a strict timetable, and we're taking our time here.
But, we love doing these, and hope to do the lyrics justice. As we plumb the depths of the lyrics I think we will find gems. So, whenever you can join in, we will be here and looking very forward to your comments.
{{hugs}}
hob and ohob



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hobbitlove
Gondor


Nov 20 2008, 6:54am

Post #24 of 26 (274 views)
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A million thanks for posting, mae govannen. Hope we can 'talk' a lot more about these things. [In reply to] Can't Post

I so love the comparison with Into The West. I think we should begin with this for our next post. Smile
Thanks so much for this insight. Your comments are another (and very apt) perspective, which we had not looked ahead (to other songs) far enough to see yet.
Wow! Cool!
Well, as you can see, for all our long posts and tons of words, we've barely touched the surface, so...
More to comeWink

{{hugs}}
hob and ohob



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Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Nov 20 2008, 1:03pm

Post #25 of 26 (232 views)
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Late as usual... [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been meaning to join in, but fate it seems, is conspiring against me Pirate

I had a (rather lengthy) reply all typed out about a week ago and then *blimp... pshewww* the electricity went off and my computer shut down. It was a cumulative effect. Here where I am in India we have severe power shortages (7 hours a day) and our inverter it seems couldn't keep up. Plus, we need a new UPS for our computer. There really wasn't any way out of the situation... it was like a disaster waiting to happen. And it did, right when my thoughts were nicely collected within TORn's little message box. Anyway, I've been trying to find the time to sit down and reply again but RL keeps getting in the way. So here's my attempt at getting back at fate.

As 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).


Both of you, Hobbitlove and Ordinary Hobbit, set such a great example to follow (at least for me) when it comes to leading and participanting in discussions like these, and really, my only motivation for replying again is due to the efforts you've put (and will be putting) into this.

Were most of you aware of the lyrics and that there are a lot of them?


Without counting "In Dreams" and "May It Be", the only lyrics I was aware of the first time I watched FOTR were Gandalf singing "The Road Goes Ever On..." and Arwen's "What grace is given me...". I heard lots of choral voices throughout the movie but I thought they were just syllables being sung. Soon after, I bought the soundtrack and the booklet showed that there were in fact proper songs being sung. That's when I realized that maybe there was more to the "syllables".

Is choral work one of the strengths of Howard Shore's work?


I'm not at all familiar with Shore's work outside of LOTR. But as far as LOTR goes, heck yeah Tongue The vocals on these tracks send chills running up and down my spine. They make me want to sing along (loudly) and sometimes (like in ROTK) they're just plain overwhelming. I listen to them before sleeping at night and sometimes I cry myself to sleep... with bittersweet tears... because not all tears are an evil.

Why were they written?


I think the beginnings of these lyrics lie in PJ, Fran, and Philippa's love of the books. They may have added to, removed from, or changed bits and chunks in the movies here and there, but at the end of the day, I firmly believe that honouring Tolkien was at the top of their minds and at the core of their hearts. They looked for ways in which they could "include Tolkien" throughout these movies - dialogue of course, but even set pieces, armoury, language, pronounciation, homages, and music.

When it came to music and the need for lyrics, it seemed proper that they would turn to Tolkien's own texts. But the filmmakers, and Shore, didn't stop there. The easiest thing would be to use the lyrics as they were written (at least in scenes where there existed Tolkien's poems) but they strove to "make them better". Not with the intention of slighting Tolkien, but with the intention of adapting his work to blend with their own, and I think that process helped them write their own lyrics in a vein that was very Tolkienesque.

Before the end, their own emotions and experiences found their way into the writing, and the lyrics that already contained Tolkien's themes were layered with many more, they developed a poignancy that lended itself to the plethora of emotions interspersed within the covers of these books.

Do they matter?

The beautiful part of these lyrics is that they all don't always matter at the same time. There's times when a particular lyric can be percieved as emotive because a certain experience in your life make you find a different meaning, or see it in another light. I read your thoughts about "In Dreams" and I'm smiling. That was one of the first of many magical songs from LOTR that convinced me I'd found my fantasy. Yes. The lyrics matter. They do if you pay heed to them.

Is there power and beauty that we fans of the films may yet discover?

Definitely. You just did it for me with your thoughts on "In Dreams". You exemplified the oower and beauty of that simple lyric. Imagine the depth it has. You drew a parallel to the Song of the Entwives. But "In Dreams" is sung for Frodo and Sam. Does this mean that they will meet the same fate of the Ents and the Entwives? The Ents found their happiness in the forests. The Entwives found their in the open meadows and fields. This caused their sundering. And their only hope in meeting eacg other again was after the end of all days. Frodo and Sam met the same fate. For Sam found peace and happiness in the Shire, but not Frodo, all Middle-earth grew dark to him. He had to leave. It caused their sundering. But "you and I will meet again". They met after the end of their days, so to speak, away in the West, which for mortals is agin death. I honestly never thought of the significance if "In Dreams" this way. I thought it was a song of blessing and hope to Frodo and Sam on their Quest. But it extended its blessing for them even beyond the sundering seas. Oh my god, I'm gulping and tearing Evil

Any favorites?

I think I answered something like this somewhere here on TORn. No favourites for me. I'm an extremely subjective person. But come Christmas, "Arwen's Song" and "Bilbo's Song" always take on a special significance for me, I'm not sure why.

And while we're at it, what lyrics would you like to discuss?


All of them Wink I trust you to choose the lyrics you see fit. I believe you both will be able to lead these discussions because you "feel" these lyrics, they affect you, and you are glad to allow yourselves to be affected by them. That's all that matters. Let it flow from your hearts Heart


Crows and Gibbets! What is The House Of Eorl but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek, and their brats roll around on the floor with their dogs! You are but a lesser son of greater Sires.

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