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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Howard Shore talks FOTR concert tour with TORn

News From Bree
spymaster@theonering.net

Oct 10 2011, 2:10am

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Howard Shore talks FOTR concert tour with TORn Can't Post

If you go to the movies, even casually, you have been moved by his work. Assisting directors, he makes audiences laugh and cry and clench their fists. And with over 80 scores, three Oscars and more than 50 other awards to his name, Howard Shore is a master movie composer. He has collaborated with David Cronenberg, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme and David Fincher to name just a few. But it is his work with Peter Jackson on the Lord of the Rings film trilogy that has won him his widest commercial acclaim.

With a nine-city tour of The Lord of the Rings in concert: The Fellowship of the Ring to kick off Wednesday in Glendale Arizona, TheOneRing.net spoke with Shore by phone from London about the unique event that combines a film screening with a live performance of his score.


TORn: Is there an excitement about these live performances?

Howard Shore: It is very exciting, I am very much looking forward to it.

TORn: What is the genesis of this whole project?

Howard Shore: I starting working with the conductor, Ludwig Wicki a few years ago in Lucerne, Switzerland, and we started the concerts in Lucerene with his orchestra the 21st Century Orchestra. So Ludwig has been creating the sound of the film in Lucern and then he has been doing the complete trilogy in Lucerne and also in Munich, which is close by, with the Munich Symphony.

And the Munich Symphony is the orchestra who is playing all the concerts coming up in October so its very good, a fantastic orchestra he is working with and has worked with.

Then we have the Pacific Chorale, which is a fantastic chorir and the boys choir from Arizona is very, very good so we have a great assemblage of artists to play the piece. Kaitlyn Lusk is doing all the solos and she has been singing the music from the trilogy, oh for many years. Started singing with the LOTR Symphony.

Its a very new experience really, when you see the film and are hearing the music live, it is an enhanced film going experience and you hear the film in a really new way and you see the music. its a very heightened feeling to it.

The screen is very large; its 60 feet and the orchestra forces with the choir and the children’s choir are 230, so the vibration of the orchestra, that size of orchestra and the choir in the theater, and the colors of the film take on a different glow, the story becomes very heightened. Its a very interesting type of experience. Its really quite new.

A few years ago, I think in '05 or '06, I started to release all of the recordings I did for the three films and I put them out in box sets. Each year I put out another set. It actually took three years to put out the 10 CDs — all of the music that was recorded in a box set called 'The complete recordings'.

As I put this together and listened to, say the three or close to three hours of music for Fellowship of the Ring I realized I had never really listened to it in that way. I had seen the film many times but I had never heard the music edited together. When you are recording you are doing scenes and parts of the films at times. This is a way that I first heard it in its complete form and I thought, "Oh it would be wonderful to do a concert of that. At that point I was doing a concert of the symphony and the symphony is a two hour (experience).

I thought it would be great to hear the complete Fellowship of the Ring with orchestra and chorus. Once I had the idea of that, it came up about possibly doing it with the film. I had some experience doing that with Naked Lunch the David Cronenberg film. I did two concerts with Naked Lunch, one with the Ulster Orchestra in Dublin and also with the BBC Concert Orchestra in London.

So I had some experience of doing live performances of music with film and I thought it would be interesting to try that with Fellowship of the Ring and I thought maybe it could be done once or twice. But I asked Ludwig Wicki, who I had worked with before on some records of concerts in Switzerland, if he would be interested in doing it. He really created it with his orchestra and it took about nine or 10 months to really to edit the score into two large sections that could be played live. The film runs with an intermission to give the orchestra a break.

TORn: Does he have a different approach to the film?

Howard Shore: We use the recording as a guide and that is how he approaches it and he tries to recreate the sound of those recordings as much as he can live. Its very exciting. He does just a fantastic job, beautiful. Not only is he a great conductor in the music sense, but he brings out the work of the orchestra in such detail live, its very exciting. But he also has great technical skills in the way he synchronizes the music to the film.

You don't have complete freedom because you are in synchronicity to the film that is playing. You want to create the score live but you also want to synchronize it to the film. The synchronicity to the film is very specific for Fellowship of the Ring and for all the films. The moments, the gestures are very carefully done on stage.

TORn: Do you look back now and think differently about the scores?

Howard Shore: Well I think as a composer and a music orchestrator, I think you probably always do that a bit. There is always a bit of that but I am very happy to hear the live performance. I am happy to have the work performed. Only by performing it do you bring life to it each time and I am interested in the different performances of it. Its a natural part of composing music to have different interpretations of your work.

I have seen it in London and in Lucerne. I don't go to a lot of concerts; most of my time is spent composing. I am trying to stay close to my work but the few times that I have seen the work - I have seen Ludwig conduct it in New York at Radio City, which was very exciting and wonderful and particularly exciting in London. He conducted the London Philharmonic which is the orchestra I wrote the piece for. In London the performances were at Royal Albert Hall and the original performers did the concerts. That was really exciting to have the London Philharmonic and the London Boys Choir, that was fantastic.

TORn: Are you surprised by the longevity and popularity of these scores?

Howard Shore: I think it all goes back to Tolkien's writing and his work. The books have been published and people read them all the time, they read them every year. I think the interest is in Tolkien's work and I think the films have created something that people love and they want to keep viewing them and seeing them. There is a lot of depth in the storytelling and in the film making. I think that accounts for its longevity.

TORn: When you hear the music or see a performance do you still feel a connection to Tolkien?

Howard Shore:
Always. The book is the single most important part of the work and what he created in the book is something we all, as filmmakers all felt really strongly about and wanted to create as truthfully and honestly as possible in our own work, our own writing, our own composition. So, I still feel very close to it and as you probably know I am still reading a lot of Tolkien every day.

TORn: What can viewers expect new from these live shows?

Howard Shore: The experience of the performers. In playing this music, its been so many years now, how they developed the very fine points of it. I think anybody who is interested in the films and in the music will love the live performance. To hear it created live with such detail is really wonderful. Ludwig recently conducted a live performance with his orchestra, the 21st Centruy Orchestra in Luscerne and that has just been released this month. (You can find it right here.)

Ludwig and Kaitlyn Lusk do all the live performances. So the group that is playing now has been playing this music now for four or five years and have great experience in performing it. To me, as the creator, the composer, I feel like its in great hands.

TORn: Before we go, I must ask, how are things going on The Hobbit?

Howard Shore: Well, we are just in the middle of the work. We will have a lot more to talk about a little further on but we are really getting into the middle of it now.

TORn: Do you think we can look forward to a Hobbit score performed live with the film someday?

Howard Shore: I guess we will see how everything progresses.

TORn: Thank you for your time

Howard Shore: Thank you. It was nice speaking with you.

More information about the tour can be found at www.lordoftheringsinconcert.com.

The tour schedule is as follows:
Oct 12 Glendale, AZ
Oct 13 San Diego, CA
Oct 14 Las Vegas, NV
Oct 15 Anaheim, CA
Oct 18 Portland, OR
Oct 19 Seattle, WA
Oct 21 Fresno, CA
Oct 22 Oakland, CA (2:00pm)
Oct 22 Oakland, CA (8:00pm)
Oct 23 Sacramento, CA

Shore's work on the LOTR films is cataloged in excellent detail in the book The Music of the Lord of the Rings by Doug Adams. You can read TORn's review of that book here.

(This post was edited by entmaiden on Oct 25 2011, 8:44pm)


Nightingale
Rohan

Oct 10 2011, 9:01am

Post #2 of 13 (451 views)
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I remember when [In reply to] Can't Post

the Royal Albert Hall in London had live screenings of all of the films. I missed it sadly, but hope that they will do it again soon. Friends who went said it was amazing. Failing that, Mr. Shore should bring his tour to the UK. Wink

Thanks to TORn for the great book review though - I might just have to buy that while I'm waiting for more lotr concert screenings this side of the globe!


weaver
Half-elven

Oct 12 2011, 3:47am

Post #3 of 13 (323 views)
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I highly recommend the book... [In reply to] Can't Post

I am not a person who understands much about how music 'works' -- but the Doug Adams book is a wonderful way into gaining understanding of how Shore constructed the film score. It's written in a way that makes it very accessible to folks like me, but there's a lot of depth there for people who get the nuances. It's much like LOTR in that way -- lots of layers. Very enjoyable!

Weaver




weaver
Half-elven

Oct 12 2011, 3:56am

Post #4 of 13 (418 views)
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I've not gone to the film/concert events, but I did get to see Shore conduct in Montreal... [In reply to] Can't Post

..it was the LOTR symphony and it was glorious. We splurged and got seats very close to the stage and it was worth every cent. This was the concert filmed for the Making of the LOTR Symphony DVD, so it was especially cool!

On the opposite end of the spectrum, our local high school did selections from the LOTR score at a year-end concert a few years ago. Not quite the same, but memorable in its own way.

And now I'm curious as to how many folks here have...

1. Gone to a film/concert event like the FOTR being promoted now?
2. Heard something from the films at a local school or other community concert performance?
3. Seen Howard Shore conduct his LOTR Symphony?
4. Been in an orchestra or band that played some of the Shore LOTR score?

Would love to hear comments on your experiences if you've done any of the above!

This is probably a better question for the Pollantir, but I'll try it here first...

I Heart Howard Shore!


Weaver




shadowdog
Rohan

Oct 12 2011, 2:15pm

Post #5 of 13 (303 views)
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TV spots [In reply to] Can't Post

They have been running TV spots for this on the Vegas TV stations for the last couple of days. Smile


Nightingale
Rohan

Oct 12 2011, 2:59pm

Post #6 of 13 (342 views)
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Ooh lucky you [In reply to] Can't Post

for seeing Shore conducting his own symphony! Thanks for adding your recommendation on the book. I am a musician and a lotr geek (of course), so I think this is a must.

I haven't been to any concerts where the music was featured, but I know my university orchestra plays excerpts from the score at nearly every 'movies' concert they do! Always popular....


weaver
Half-elven

Oct 12 2011, 3:29pm

Post #7 of 13 (303 views)
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it was a fantastic experience... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and what's really neat is that since they filmed it, I can now watch it and see the show from the perspective of the musicians, facing Howard, after having been in the audience enjoying it from the other side. And since Shore is Canadian, he was playing to a home town crowd as well, which I have to believe impacted the experience as well.

In the category of "2 seconds of fame" they did a pan of the audience at the very end of the DVD and we were able to spot our family in the crowd...along with at least one other TORn-member who I found out later was there as well. We had a fun time trying to spot each other on the disc once we realized we had both been seated in the area they showed on screen.

If you ever get a chance to see Shore conduct, it is worth the time and money to go if you can, especially if you are a musician. I hope that happens for you sometime. And if you get the Music of LOTR book, do share your thoughts on it. I'm tone deaf, and have no understanding of musical construction, so I could only appreciate a small amount of the content. I would be interested in hearing what folks like you, who are musically trained, think of it. What instrument do you play?

Weaver




Nightingale
Rohan

Oct 12 2011, 3:46pm

Post #8 of 13 (333 views)
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That sounds great fun! [In reply to] Can't Post

My main 'instrument' is actually singing, but I also play trumpet, and a variety of recorder and early music instruments.
(I always thought that crumhorns would be the perfect instrument for the dwarves in the hobbit)...


weaver
Half-elven

Oct 12 2011, 4:09pm

Post #9 of 13 (404 views)
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I married a trumpet player... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and am raising a tuba player! Gotta love those brass guys...and gals. My guys are pretty much one instrument folks, so good for you for being so diverse in your areas of interest!

The experience of watching large groups of musicians perform often moves me to tears at some point...it must be something to be one of the people inside the song, so to speak.

Weaver




Aragorn's Lady
Registered User

Oct 22 2011, 5:07am

Post #10 of 13 (423 views)
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Lord of the Rings in Concert Las Vegas [In reply to] Can't Post

My hubby and I went to Las Vegas so he could play poker and I could go to the concert. I have to say it was the most amazing experience.
I had goose bumps from the first note and it lasted until the concert ended. Seeing some of the props from the movies was an unexpected surprise.
I am wondering will they do the other 2 movies and if/when it will come to Canada? (this is my first post....I hope I have done this correctly)


Bombadil
Half-elven


Oct 23 2011, 2:08pm

Post #11 of 13 (260 views)
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You did fine! [In reply to] Can't Post

I saw The Lord of the Rings symphony over 5 years ago. But, this did not have the Movie Running in the Background, Sigh...I loved it, but my two friends who I bought tickets for, weren't very impressed...I think this new way to show Clips and listen to it, is a much better product....Also, if Howard Shore could conduct, I just might Die filled with JOY! xoxoxOld Bombadil


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Oct 30 2011, 11:03pm

Post #12 of 13 (248 views)
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I absolutely love this man [In reply to] Can't Post

His music is just as important as the film, imho. The two have created such a powerful escape!

I'm so happy they're beginning to circulate the film with live concert again, but I dearly wish we could have finished the trilogy as we're still waiting for RotK. *sigh*

His passion and love for Tolkien's work is so heartwarming and inspiring.

sample

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




TORn's Observations Lists
Unused Scenes



Magpie
Immortal


Oct 31 2011, 12:30am

Post #13 of 13 (433 views)
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lol [In reply to] Can't Post

Some people have finished it. ROTK Live has played in a couple of locations. just not in NYC. :-)


LOTR soundtrack website
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