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Music Notes - June 2010

Loresilme
Valinor


Jun 11 2010, 3:14pm

Post #1 of 18 (1608 views)
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Music Notes - June 2010 Can't Post

June 2010 Music Notes

Greetings to our many musically-minded members of TORn Movie Board!

Welcome to the second edition of "Music Notes" our Movie TORn discussion series, where we take a look at recent screencaps in our SCOD series, and discuss them from a musical perspective. A round of applause first to our score expert, Magpie, for compiling background and technical info. In addition, many links herein are from her site, and if ever you want to know all the details on the LOTR score, check out her amazing site.

Today we'll be looking at the SCOD "The Chaaaarge!" from back in April.




What a truly iconic moment from the trilogy. Gandalf and the Rohirrim save the day at Helm's Deep. A goosebumps moment, both visually and musically! Let's take a look at it from the perspective of the music used. I was surprised to learn that there are several themes packed into this relatively short amount of time. To better understand them, let's look at them in separate sections:

Section ONE: Aragorn looks up to see a White Rider at the top of the hill. The horse rears with a whinny.

AS-TTT: "Expectantly, Aragorn casts his eyes eastwards towards the rising sun, where they are met by a horse, a rider and a most welcome choral performance of a single word: “Sceadufæx,” or Shadowfax." (see note below re: lyrics)

Music: the closing notes of the Rohan Theme that started when Theoden's party rode out from the Hornburg to 'meet them'.

Reference Sound Clip: http://www.amagpiesnest.com/...MusicNotes/index.htm --- 1GandalfEomerAppearOnRidge.mp3

Lyrics: "(Ir)kat-lu(khud)". From Magpie's site: "This appears to be from The Abyss -- The Abyss was used primarily for Gandalf's battle with the Balrog. It is in Neo-Khuzdul, a language created by David Salo by using the few phrases in Khuzdul found in Tolkien's writings. Doug Adams said in the AS-TTT that its lyrics here were "Sceadufæx" but those working on the lyrics just couldn't feel comfortable with this. The TTT Live choir lyrics give the phonetic syllables KAHT LOO which could be from The Abyss: Irkat-lukhud ma. This doesn't quite make sense in terms of context, but when has that ever stopped anyone :-)."
The line, Irkat-lukhud ma, translates to "No shaft of light".

TTT-OST, Track 16, Forth Eorlingas 1:42 - although the choir does not sing the lyrics.
CR-TTT, Disc 3, Track 12, Theoden Rides Forth 0:42 - 0:46

It's interesting to see the sequence of music chosen. Just as Rohan's very valiant attempts at victory are winding down, the closing notes of the Rohan Theme are playing (are they leaving us wondering, would they have been victorious ... or not?). Then as Gandalf and Shadowfax appear, we have music signifying their sudden introduction into the unfolding events. Looking at those lyrics, though, I'm kind of wondering why the lyrics are "NO shaft of light", when Gandalf and Shadowfax are more associated with light, not lack of it. Or maybe this is just one of those instances where, like many a great opera, the melody was considered more important than what they were actually saying :-)? Thoughts?

Section TWO: Aragorn whispers, "Gandalf". Gandalf looks down at the battle. "Théoden King stands alone." Éomer rides up behind him. "Not Alone. Rohirrim!" The Rohirrim come forward. "To the King!"

AS-TTT : "Just as he promised, Gandalf the White has returned, and with him are Éomer and his 3,000 Riders of Rohan."

Music: Fellowship Theme

Reference Sound Clip: http://www.amagpiesnest.com/...MusicNotes/index.htm --- 2TheodenKingStandsNotAlone.mp3

TTT-OST, Track 16, Forth Eorlingas 1:46 - 2:14
CR-TTT, Disc 3, Track 12 Theoden Rides Forth 0:47 - 1:14

The Fellowship Theme! Now that is kind of a surprise to me. I am sure I read somewhere that in many instances, they considered the use of the Fellowship Theme in certain scenes but they always restricted it to events that were truly, well ... Fellowship-oriented, I guess you could say. So what should we make of its use here? Gandalf certainly was part of the Fellowship, but the Rohirrim weren't. Thoughts on that?

Section THREE: Thousands of horses begin a plunge down the steep incline towards the readied pikes of the Uruks.



Music
: not thematic

Reference Sound Clip: http://www.amagpiesnest.com/...MusicNotes/index.htm --- 3RohirrimChargeDownRidge.mp3

Lyrics: Solo: "for thon hé wæs scea hé fæx wæs ford ealra mé du and hé fæx hlá"

from The Mearas, solo by boy soprano, Ben del Maestro -- The lyrics are in Old English (Rohirric)

The lyrics to this piece are a bit chopped up. The Source Text can be translated thusly:

Híe hine sáwon feorran : In the distance they saw him,
And hwíte sunnan in mane : White sun caught in his mane.
Híe lange hine clipodon : Long they called him,
Ac hé ne wolde cuman : But he would not come.
For thon hé waes Sceadufæx : for he was Shadowfax,
Hláford ealra méara : Lord of all Horses.
And hé ne andswarode bútan ánne. : And he answered only to one.

TTT-OST, Track 16, Forth Eorlingas 2:14 - 2:43 (breakdown of solo and choir lyrics as sung)
CR-TTT, Disc 3, Track 12, Theoden Rides Forth 1:14 - 1:42 (breakdown of solo and choir lyrics as sung)

And so just when I'm thinking (above)... oh, maybe lyrics don't matter, here we have these beautiful and fitting lyrics of The Mearas! I always loved this solo for its melody but now that I know the lyrics ... wow. I wonder if they wrote them before or after they filmed the scene where Gandalf calls Shadowfax for the first time in the trilogy (when he first appears)? I mean, I believe they wrote it for that scene, but I wonder if they filmed the scene first and then the lyrics came to them while watching it afterwards? Just one of those 'how does the creative process work?' questions that I always find fascinating :-)....

Section FOUR: Dawn sun rises up behind the horsemen, blinding the Uruks. The horses plow into the Uruk-hai and the battle resumes.

AS-TTT : "The sunlight breaks onto the darkened earth, scorching the Uruks. Gandalf and the Riders charge, laying waste to the Uruk horde. Ben Del Maestro and mixed chorus continue to sing a cresting setting of “The Mearas,” above which luminous violins perform "Gandalf the White (In the Fellowship)". The connection is complete. Gandalf, remade by Nature, has borne Its will to the Fellowship and to the Rohirrim, uniting these forces against Sauron and his minions."

Music: The White Rider in the Fellowship Theme

Reference Sound Clip: http://www.amagpiesnest.com/...MusicNotes/index.htm --- 4DawnSunBlindsUruks.mp3

Lyrics: The soloist sings his last note as the White Rider in the Fellowship music begins. The choir continues singing.

TTT-OST, Track 16, Forth Eorlingas 2:43 - end (breakdown of choir lyrics as sung)
CR-TTT, Disc 3, Track 12, Theoden Rides Forth 1:42 - 2:02 (breakdown of choir lyrics as sung)


Wow... just, wow. Overall this is really one of my most favorite scenes in the entire trilogy. It just never loses its impact.

In putting together this discussion, I found myself wondering particularly about the use of the boy's voice solo. This appears in various places throughout the trilogy. In some places there is a woman's voice solo. So I wondered, when the boy solo was chosen, what was the reasoning, what was Mr. Shore trying to convey with one vs the other. Here are a few comments he has made on the topic:

Regarding the use of boys' voices:

Howard made many comments connecting the use of a boys' choir to the Ring and to Hobbits.
He also says, in regards to Boromir's wounding (in the FOTR Audio Commentary):
"When Boromir’s dying you hear those boys singing and he looks at the Hobbits, cause he knows he’s finished. And you hear those boys singing. It’s just such a wonderful sound. And I did it all based on the shot of Boromir’s eyes as he looks at Merry and Pippin."

This comment was made in the TTT Audio Commentary during the scene where Treebeard discovers the destruction of the forest and calls the Ents to him to march to Isengard:

"In Fangorn, because the Ents were taught to speak by the Elves, we used the more modern form of Elvish, which is Sindarin. Mostly the boys' choir's actually singing and they sing in Elvish for the scenes of the Ents... the march of the Ents. And there's also a relationship between that piece and the moth, the idea of nature in Middle-earth... forms a bond between the Fellowship scene with Gandalf and the moth and the Ents."

The March of the Ents does use a boy soprano with a boys choir as back up. Howard references the choir, not the soprano. I can find no comment where Howard directly refers to the use of a boy soprano.


So hmmm, no specific mention of the solo, only the choir. We cannot go directly to Mr. Shore for a complete explanation of why a boy solo was used. We have to come up with our own interpretation as to why that particular sound was felt to be right, rather than some other, such as an adult voice solo.

What are your thoughts?

Mine, to start ... my UUT (Utterly Unsupported Theory), is that the child's voice represents a time of purity or of innocence, that when it's used it is to refer back to an ancient time where there existed such purity, such as before Numenor was destroyed, or even further back, to when the Ents themselves were young. That would fit its use, for example, in relation to The Moth (at Isengard in FOTR), and at the March of the Ents, and for Gandalf's Arrival at Helm's Deep (from The Mearas). And if it is also used in relation to The Eagles (when, first the moth, then the Eagles arrive at the battle of the Black Gates), then we have a pattern of it representing natural elements, of a time absent the influence of Men, or Elves.
Now, what about the song "In Dreams", also sung by a boy soloist. I'm not sure if there's anything in those lyrics to support the above. I have to admit, I am unclear on the lyrics to this particular song. I can't really tell what it is supposed to be about. (Suggestions?) However there is a difference, because this song is in "Westron/English", as opposed to an Elvish language. I wasn't sure so I asked Magpie to confirm, if the boy solo lyrics in the above instances are all in Elvish. And she found the following:

Languages:
The Moth (heard when the moth appears in Isengard): Quenya
The March of the Ents (heard when the Ents destroy Isengard): Sindarin
The White Rider (heard when Gandalf repels the Nazgul on the Pelennor Fields): Sindarin
The Eagles (heard at the moth's and Eagles' arrival at the battle of the Black Gates): Sindarin
The Mearas (heard at Gandalf's arrival at Helm's Deep) : Sindarin

Yes! So then I would say the use of a boy soloist in In Dreams is for another reason, artistically speaking. So there is my totally unsupported, simply-a-fan opinion on why a child's voice was used in those other instances. That it is meant to represent an ancient state of existence, that either at the moment is influencing current events, or maybe is always influencing current events in the background but is clearly stepping in at that particular moment. To me there is something so gripping about those solos, something that just grabs my attention completely, everything 'seems' to happen in slow motion when I hear it. As if something outside of normal time or normal human events is stepping in at that moment and intervening. What are your thoughts?


I hope you've enjoyed "Gandalf and the Rohirrim's Arrival at Helm's Deep" from a musical perspective :-). Please share your thoughts and observations and feelings as well! How do you feel about how the music used affected this scene? Did you recognize any of the themes used? Did the music enhance or take away from the action on screen? Looking forward to reading your thoughts and comments :-).


Cheers!

Loresilme



______________________
Abbreviations:

SCOD
Screencap of the Day. Series on Movie TORn that discusses screencaps from the trilogy in chronological order. Currently in discussion: The Two Towers.

CR
Complete Recordings. Sets of the movies' entire soundtrack from start to finish. Includes 3 CDs of soundtrack, one Audio DVD, and liner notes. Each film has its own CR set. The CR plays the movies' complete soundtracks in the order in which it appears in the film. (
more info)

OST
Original SoundTrack. The soundtrack CDs, one CD for each movie. Includes selected pieces of music from the films, generally not in the order in which they appear. The OST CDs both omit music which was used in the films and includes some music which ultimately was not used in the films.
(more info)

AS-TTT
Annotated Score-The Two Towers. Refers to a free PDF download of the films' score, authored by Doug Adams. There is an Annotated Score paired with each of the three Complete Recordings. They include a track by track discussion of the music (as heard on the Complete Recordings), the source text for lyrics used in that movie, and instruments and artists heard in that movie. (
link to AS-TTT pdf - click to open, right click to download)

TTT-EE
The Two Towers-Extended Edition. The films' Extended Editions contain additional features, such as commentaries. This discussion quotes some of the "Audio Commentary" from the Extended Editions.

Understanding Soundclip References
Example: CR-TTT: Disc 3: 0:32 - 0:41
This means the selected piece of music appears on the Complete Recordings of The Two Towers, on Disc #3, starting at 32 seconds into the disc and ending at 41 seconds. All DVD times stamps are
NTSC Standard

Dialog and scene descriptions are from
The Council of Elrond


Legalize_Athelas
Lorien


Jun 11 2010, 5:17pm

Post #2 of 18 (588 views)
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No Shaft of Light, Fellowship Theme [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks again for posting! Great stuff, as always.

Section One: Lyrics
This is a bit of a stretch, but I feel the "No Shaft of Light" lyrics are an all too blatant reminder of the death and destruction that awaited the army of Rohan just hours before: victory was beyond hope until Aragorn sees the sunlight stream through an upper window. Perhaps, as the King made his last charge to almost certain death, riding toward their own Abyss of sorts, these words rang in the heads of the Rohirrim. It's an interesting contradiction, to be sure... perhaps the next line was edited out at the last minute? "No shaft of light? Think again, bub."

Section Two: Music
I've always thought that the interpretation of "fellowship" in the Fellowship Theme here was more of the literal definition than strictly referencing our 9 Walkers. A quick check on the interwebs defines fellowship as "The condition of sharing similar interests, ideals, or experiences, as by reason of profession, religion, or nationality." Sounds good to me. We begin by hearing from Aragorn and Gandalf, two very original members of the band. Our theme is progressing nicely, without any surprises or turns. Fortunately for us there were others involved with Aragorn and Gandalf that share similar interests at this point in time. As the dialogue shifts to Eomer and then Theoden, the fellowship theme comes to a close, but does NOT resolve to the root as we would expect. There is something new, something foreign. It's still part of the Theme, but it hasn't been introduced before. The King and his nephew are part of the theme, but they're something new. They've signed on as free agents to our Starting Nine. At the same time, this ending chord progression has us begging for more, and boy are we rewarded.

Got Necroquestions? I'll give you Necromanswers.

(This post was edited by Legalize_Athelas on Jun 11 2010, 5:18pm)


Legalize_Athelas
Lorien


Jun 11 2010, 5:47pm

Post #3 of 18 (610 views)
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The Lord of Horses; Take It Away, Violins. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for tuning in to Part Two of our regularly scheduled responses.

Section Three: Slow-Motion Horses
So just as the Fellowship Theme wraps us up in a minor key, hinting at a dramatic change, we are pulled back from the rush of excitement by a moderately paced score with a soaring solo voice. I much prefer this method to the blast of a cannon as the Rohirrim charge down the hill, as it prolongs our suspense. I'm no actor, but in a way the lyrics to this scene remind me of when the set of a play suddenly goes black, the spotlight shines on our protagonist, and he shares his intimate thoughts with the audience as the rest of the cast is still and unawares. (There is a term, but I'm usually the guy in the pit, not on stage.) We see this amazing charge with thousands of horses and we should be hearing screams! Shouts! Howitzers! Fearful orcs! We do hear these things (minus the howitzers), but they are not at the forefront. The Voice is. The lone voice of a boy singing the words of Gandalf's great steed. This IS Shadowfax's (insert fancy acting term here). Everyone but the audience is oblivious to it, and as soon as it's over we're again rewarded with enormous swells. Internal monologue over, we're back to the action.

Section Four: Uruks Without Sunglasses
Our tempo remains the same, however the luminous violins mentioned kick things up a notch or ten. Here be the enormous musical swells mentioned earlier. All of the previous tension we felt should now be released as we shout at our televisions, "YeeaaaHHHH!" right along with Gandalf. A very fun, satisfying moment.

Got Necroquestions? I'll give you Necromanswers.

(This post was edited by Legalize_Athelas on Jun 11 2010, 5:48pm)


Loresilme
Valinor


Jun 11 2010, 6:37pm

Post #4 of 18 (582 views)
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Expanded fellowship [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Section Two: Music
I've always thought that the interpretation of "fellowship" in the Fellowship Theme here was more of the literal definition than strictly referencing our 9 Walkers. A quick check on the interwebs defines fellowship as "The condition of sharing similar interests, ideals, or experiences, as by reason of profession, religion, or nationality." Sounds good to me. We begin by hearing from Aragorn and Gandalf, two very original members of the band. Our theme is progressing nicely, without any surprises or turns. Fortunately for us there were others involved with Aragorn and Gandalf that share similar interests at this point in time. As the dialogue shifts to Eomer and then Theoden, the fellowship theme comes to a close, but does NOT resolve to the root as we would expect. There is something new, something foreign. It's still part of the Theme, but it hasn't been introduced before. The King and his nephew are part of the theme, but they're something new. They've signed on as free agents to our Starting Nine. At the same time, this ending chord progression has us begging for more, and boy are we rewarded.



Interesting! The Fellowship has expanded and evolved to include others beyond the original Nine, here expressed in musical terms. It is wonderful to have someone with your musical training weigh in with that type of analysis -- e.g., musical ideas such as it not resolving to the root, leaving a sense of un-finality, if you will... and the ending chord progression leading to the feeling of .... 'wait, there's more'! ... That does feel right, a very satisfying explanation to its appearance in this pivotal moment.


Loresilme
Valinor


Jun 11 2010, 7:06pm

Post #5 of 18 (609 views)
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"Shadowfax's internal monologue" [In reply to] Can't Post

LOL, that is excellent! Very fitting ...

Also, it seems then to be saying, all these big armies, all this "stuff"... it is not all that is going on. As if a curtain is pulled back and here is Shadowfax and all he represents, suddenly inserted here out of somewhere else, and then it's over and we are brought back to the mundane, the men, the battle, etc. As if to say, something else is also going on here, that you are all unaware of.

You know also you have got me thinking about another solo voice at a big action moment when it suddenly is 'all about me' -- the female solo when Gollum tears the ring from Frodo in Mt. Doom. There we are, all of the free world massed to save Middle Earth, all the forces of darkness massed on the other side, volcanoes exploding, world coming to an end, mass hysteria :-) ...and then Gollum gets the Ring and all attention becomes this pinpoint, laser beam focus on one thing. Hmmm... I do not know what the lyrics translate to, on that solo when Gollum claims the Ring.


And yes, if a sunglass company could ever, ever, ever, get rights to that scene, it would make for one of the best advertisements, ever Cool.


Magpie
Immortal


Jun 12 2010, 4:00pm

Post #6 of 18 (583 views)
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sometimes it feels good to stretch! [In reply to] Can't Post

I like your stretch on "No shaft of Light". It does make sense. It will be interesting to see if Doug Adams' upcoming book addresses some of these trifling mysteries. We do know that Howard tried to make the source text fit the scene but was not overly interested in providing a word by word match of the lyrics to the scene. (Thus his comfort with breaking the words up into fragmented syllables so that they contribute sound but no real meaning). So discussing these two little syllables may not have made the cut for the book.

re: the Fellowship Theme here: my thoughts are just random wanderings and do not reflect any 'official knowledge' I would be privy to. But this segment starts with a declaration that seems to have been intended to reference Shadowfax. Then we get the Fellowship Theme. Then some non thematic singing with lyrics glorifying the race of The Mearas (of which Shadowfax is a member) and then the White Rider in Nature theme.

So the all segments other than the Fellowship Theme (FT), reference Gandalf & Shadowfax. That makes me wonder if Shore is really putting the spotlight on the White Rider here and the Fellowship Theme is used to mark his return to the Three Hunters.

I took a look at the uses of the FT in TTT before this moment. Mostly, it's used for scenes with Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli. Addditionally, It's heard when it seems (from Eomer's comment) the Hobbits might have been burned along with the Orcs. It's heard when Theoden says, 'leave the dead' after the warg battle - presumably to honor the loss of Aragorn. It's heard when Aragorn hugs Haldir - interesting choice there which supports your comments, Legalize_Athelas. And it's heard when the Three Hunters and Gandalf approach Edoras for the first time.

I have always thought that the sung Fellowship at the Black Gate (in ROTK) certainly celebrates how the whole of the Free People - as represented by those at the Black Gate - have combined to *be* the Fellowship at that point. So, in my mind, we get there in the end so it works to accept it before the end.

I had never thought about the non-resolution of the FT you bring up. That's the sort of stuff I love about discussing the music and seeing it through other people's eyes and experiences and knowledge. It just gets richer every time!

and btw: it occurred to me that Loresilme and I didn't really discuss in any way the theme: The White Rider in the Fellowship (sometimes referred to as Gandalf the White in Nature). There is another theme: The White Rider in Nature (also sometimes called 'Gandalf the White in Nature'). If anyone is perplexed by this theme and wants more info, let me know. It's not as well known as themes like the Shire, Fellowship, or Rohan.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ May 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
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Magpie
Immortal


Jun 12 2010, 4:04pm

Post #7 of 18 (583 views)
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woah... your posts are a delight to read! [In reply to] Can't Post

You have a gift at expressing the music in words.

I know that concious decisions were made to keep certain scenes quieter rather than louder. The one that pops right to mind is the wounding of Boromir which makes my heart ache to watch as the visual and the musical combine in such an effective way.

This scene is on a different scale than that one but I totally get what you mean about the comparable on stage and it's an apt description.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ May 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
magpie avatar gallery ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


weaver
Half-elven

Jun 12 2010, 4:22pm

Post #8 of 18 (568 views)
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wow, a music buffet here... [In reply to] Can't Post

So many neat things to pick from -- thanks!

Some meandering thoughts...

1. Thanks for the breaking out the "charge" music into its components -- I'm one of those people who need to have it pointed out to me that the themes used here were used other places; when I hear them all together, I focus more on how how they go together than on the individual components. So it's interesting to hear that this section blends and builds on four themes we've heard before...

2. On the Fellowship theme's use here, I like it, even though it's not applied to the 9 original members. Gandalf, though, is a member -- so perhaps the message to get here is that the story is moving from the smaller fellowship to the fellowship of man, or at least a fellowship on a bigger scale, with Gandalf as the bridge between the two? The smaller Fellowship was there to help Frodo, the larger one is there to fight the battles taking place so Frodo can fulfill his tasks. Just as Gandalf had to fall and return, the smaller Fellowship had to fall apart so the larger one could be forged? My UUT about Shore's thinking, anyway!

As an aside to back up my thinking, I offer this...I know from working on a lot RL projects that this is really a big step in most projects -- you have to get past the original group, and get others to embrace and support an idea for the idea to move into action, or to really have an impact. It it's always a bitter sweet moment, as you lose the personal intimacy you have at the small group stage, but the small group could never accomplish what the larger one can. And typically there's someone like a Gandalf, who plays the role of bridging those two stages of a project.

Now, no one usually sings when this happens, and the process isn't usually accompanied by blinding white light, but it's definitely a step that has to be taken, and a process that naturally happens, when something has to get to a bigger level to succeed. And often there's someone, like a Boromir, who's at odds with the change, and who "falls" out of the picture, sometimes peacefully, sometimes after a struggle.

Ah well, I digress -- on to one more comment!

3. On the boy soloist, well I don't know why Shore chooses to use male voices here and female voices there, but I do think that the moments when soloists are used mark the point where the spiritual/higher power side of things comes into play. The solos are often brief, and they tend to occur when a kind of clarity or turning point is reached for a character, or some action in the story. The moments where the "truth" is singing out, so to speak, and to me, the solo voice that breaks free and rises above everything is very effective at conveying this.

The larger choral works seem to me to be more the voice of history/culture/heritage, in the same way the poems in the books tend to relate to things that happened in the past, so that the reader understands that the present moment is built on all that went before and connected to it; they are sort of pause and reflect moments for the reader to take all that in, they offer the kind of reflective experience you get in RL from looking away to the horizon or up to the stars, from walking in a cemetery or looking at photos from the past...

In the films, they can't stop and recite poetry, so the choral works are more like a Greek chorus, I guess, more of a sideline commentary on the main action...since the languages are different, the words don't confuse us and take away from the focus on the moment, but they do add a layer of depth, that conveys that what's happening here is part of a bigger picture and a larger context.

Weaver




Magpie
Immortal


Jun 12 2010, 4:30pm

Post #9 of 18 (567 views)
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wow. more great thoughts from another perspective/experience [In reply to] Can't Post

I tell you, my site is full of 'facts' but I love when I can link to insights into the music like are erupting in this thread. I love your thoughts on the solo vs choir and it was fascinating to think of that process of going from small group to large group.

Sorry... out the door in 15 minutes so can't respond more fully right now. But I had to shout out my enjoyment.

Btw: I love UUT in regards to Shore's music. They're the best kind, imo. ;-)

And that reminds me of a quick note I wanted to make in another thread.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ May 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
magpie avatar gallery ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Loresilme
Valinor


Jun 12 2010, 11:06pm

Post #10 of 18 (617 views)
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And yours is a dessert tray, as well :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

So many tidbits to munch on thoughtfully :-)!

I was so taken by the solo and orchestral crescendo at the end of this scene that I was largely unaware of the other themes and musical ideas that lead up to it, until putting together this discussion. And it lends even more to such an already powerful scene when the layers are added - the fellowship, the expansion of the fellowship, the 'declaration', you might say, of Shadowfax' presence.... it adds so much to the whole picture of just exactly what is going on here, in that charge down the slope and the ultimate victory it all brings. There is much, much more going on than meets the eye.

That is an incredible parallel you describe, to the work that you do. I think that is a really excellent example of why LOTR is so important to so many people and why so many people say, for instance, that it has helped them through difficult times. There is a lot in it that relates to 'real life', which may surprise some people, who think, how can a story that is ostensibly about magical rings and such, be something that can help a person in 'real life'. But what you describe is exactly it, the concepts, the characters, are things and individuals that are encountered in people's lives. Thank you for sharing that example, you have such a gift for finding these nuances of meaning and expressing them with such clarity.

<<I do think that the moments when soloists are used mark the point where
<<the spiritual/higher power side of things comes into play. The solos are often
<<brief, and they tend to occur when a kind of clarity or turning point is reached
<<for a character, or some action in the story. The moments where the "truth" is singing out...


I totally agree here, this was what I was reaching towards also...the solos, are used as moments when something 'other' or other-worldly, is impacting the events. And it is *so* effective, it is such a gripping departure, because they are used sparingly, when they appear, they just grab your attention to what is happening, take you out of time for a moment, and then when it's over, you have that coming back to real time feeling ..."and now we return you to your regularly scheduled space-time continuum....".... :-)


One Ringer
Tol Eressea


Jun 13 2010, 2:01am

Post #11 of 18 (686 views)
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Whoa, can it be? [In reply to] Can't Post

I was just listening to "Forth Eorlingas", and I recalled the Music Notes on here and was wondering if a discussion had already taken place on it or not, and what to my amazement do I find? Well, I think we all get the picture.

What I think works so well with this piece is that it is the embodiment of the movie's "climax". Though it certainly isn't the end of the action, it definitly gives the audience everything they've been waiting for. An enormous swell of music that invokes the sense of wonder and awe at such a beautiful image. The choir works distinctively well, providing that very angelic vibe for the riders as they make their descent.

Definitly one of my favorite pieces throughout the entire trilogy. Thank heavens I was able to get my word in on this before it was lost in the web pages. Smile

"Welcome. Wilkommen to Kino Das Bang Bang Boom Boom 1970 Gjong Hai Ich Habe Diese Nacht Wilkommen, 2004."


dijomaja
Lorien

Jun 13 2010, 11:46am

Post #12 of 18 (581 views)
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a few general comments [In reply to] Can't Post

First, congratulations again on a great idea; I'm still taking in the specifics. I'd be interested in a discussion of the Gandalf the White In Nature theme, particularly as Gandalf doesn't otherwise have a theme of his own.

It seems, in general, that music trumps logic (as it should). I'm impressed with the architecture of the score and the way the themes change or combine to reflect the development of the story. Still, there are times when a piece of music works beautifully even though it doesn't make literal sense. A good example of this is the melody that became 'Into The West' showing up first under the scene with Sam carrying Frodo. It was just too good not to use in both places.


Magpie
Immortal


Jun 13 2010, 3:34pm

Post #13 of 18 (756 views)
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Gandalf's themes [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf has two themes (copied from my site):

THE WHITE RIDER (IN NATURE), (alternately called, Gandalf the White (in Nature) in the AS-TTT),
is a theme associated with Nature. This theme is particular for Gandalf and represents his relationship, not to the Fellowship&#8212;as in The White Rider in the Fellowship&#8212;but to Middle-earth as a whole. (Doug Adams, CR--FOTR liner notes, page 19).

This is the music heard in the movie as Gandalf the White is revealed in Fangorn Forest. It features a series of ascending triplets using Rohirric lyrics from "The Call". Even though we have essentially 6 different versions of the music, it is heard only once in the movie--in Fangorn Forest. Originally written for Gandalf's arrival at Helm's Deep, it was used first as a temporary, and then as a permanent musical cue for the Fangorn Forest scene.


THE WHITE RIDER (IN THE FELLOWSHIP)
is a thematic counterpart of the Fellowship theme in the Fellowship of the Ring category. This waltz time melody represents "the reincarnated Gandalf the White and his relationship to the Fellowship of the Ring." (Doug Adams, CR--TTT liner notes, page 23)



And for what it's worth:


Quote
A good example of this is the melody that became 'Into The West' showing up first under the scene with Sam carrying Frodo.


It actually shows up earlier than that during Gandalf and Pippins discussion of death. Gandalf says that death is a journey an at the end is, "White shores... and beyond. The far green country under a swift sunrise."

It's been identified as the Grey Havens' Theme


LOTR soundtrack website ~ May 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
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Loresilme
Valinor


Jun 13 2010, 9:59pm

Post #14 of 18 (589 views)
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One of my favorites also [In reply to] Can't Post

It is a spectacular climax for TTT, which manages to be uplifting for a film which is generally fairly somber, and which interrupts the downward emotional trajectory we've been on. Events seem to not be going well at all ... Frodo's condition, the battle at Helm's Deep, seemingly so hopeless, the Elves lost...and then here is that 'angelic vibe' (nice, OR! I like that!) as if reminding us "there is always hope", we don't really know everything that is going to come together to alter the outcome.


Loresilme
Valinor


Jun 13 2010, 10:27pm

Post #15 of 18 (559 views)
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The many ways the music works beautifully [In reply to] Can't Post

I also love how different pieces of music work when they don't make literal sense, and especially when they weren't even originally intended for where they appear. A favorite of mine in that sense, is in the ROTK EE Houses of Healing scene, where Arwen's voice is heard singing in Westron/English. I was so surprised to learn that this piece was in no way supposed to originally be in that scene (it was originally created for Arwen's vision of her son). And yet, to me, at least - and defying all logic - it speaks to me very powerfully in the HoH scene. I thought it very appropriate after the completely life- and world- altering events of the previous battle, for Arwen to be singing in the language of Men, symbolizing her committment to that world now, and I thought the lyrics were so fitting for Eowyn's state of mind at that moment. When I hear that song in that scene, after the pivotal battle, it is as if the ancient world, of Elves and legend, and their language along with it, is dissolving in mists, and the world of Men, the early modern world, is becoming clearer and clearer. I may not be in the majority of opinion on this one, but it just works for me. Somehow that is the feeling - defying logic - I get when I hear that music with that scene, it fits so well.
Sorry I have digressed on that a bit! I was just taken by your statement "There are times when a piece of music works beautifully even though it doesn't make literal sense." I really agree!


Arwen Skywalker
Lorien

Jun 14 2010, 2:13am

Post #16 of 18 (570 views)
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HOH [In reply to] Can't Post

I found that Arwen's song in the Houses of Healing made literal sense for that particular scene because of the lyrics. When I heard that it was originally written for her vision of her son, I was floored. I agreed with Liv Tyler's commentary that it didn't quite go with her vision of Eldarion. This was probably the best accident to happen for the filmmakers.

For her to sing in the language of Men and her becoming part of that world, I never thought of that connection before. Much has been said in the commentary about how the song connects Aragorn to two women who love him. But this also connects Faramir to Eowyn ("I want to hold you closer").


One Ringer
Tol Eressea


Jun 14 2010, 8:09pm

Post #17 of 18 (552 views)
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Probably the purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

I think what you're saying is interesting. I doubt this moment would've had as much of an impact had the movie not been so downbeat. Another point I forgot to mention, is the diversity of the piece as well. The enormous swell when the light flows over the riders and they make contact with the front lines, here it's used in a very positive element, but in something like the super trailer for the trilogy, it's almost used as a more downbeat element. When you take into account something such as that, it makes it all more impressive.

"Welcome. Wilkommen to Kino Das Bang Bang Boom Boom 1970 Gjong Hai Ich Habe Diese Nacht Wilkommen, 2004."


dijomaja
Lorien

Jun 15 2010, 7:30pm

Post #18 of 18 (597 views)
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thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll get to the White Rider themes in detail when I have time to think. I remember the other appearance of the Grey Havens theme; it worked beautifully on its own and as a foreshadowing of the later scene. I mentioned the use of the theme at Mt. Doom as an example of something that worked musically even though the themes didn't really connect to the scene. I seem to remember someone (HS ?) coming up with an explanation but it didn't click for me.

 
 

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