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What if Howard Shore wrote a score for The Silmarillion?


Feb 13 2013, 9:28pm

Post #1 of 17 (999 views)
What if Howard Shore wrote a score for The Silmarillion? Can't Post

Something just occurred to me. Howard Shore has talked about his method of composition before, wherein he goes directly to the source material and creates many themes before ever taking a look at a script. In the soundtrack for An Unxpected Journey, there's actually a fair amount of music that never even showed up on film but still is an interpretation of The Hobbit and associated background material.

This led me to an idea: What if Howard Shore wrote a score based directly upon The Silmarillion?

I think it's reasonable to assume that the Tolkien Estate has no plans to sell the movie rights for The Silmarillion. And the story would not exactly be a natural fit for a Hollywood studio. So we can safely assume that there will be no movie for The Silmarillion. But what if Howard Shore wrote a score unattached to any movie? It could be written in the same style as his music for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and he's already said he likes to work directly with the source material, so I imagine he'd be quite comfortable making a score without an associated movie. He also had seemed open to the idea of his music having a life of it's own away from the movie, as evidenced by his writing of The Lord of the Rings symphony and the films accompanied by a live orchestra. So perhaps he's also be open to doing a score for The Silmarillion?

Let's take a look at logistics. Is it legal? I'm no lawyer, but I've seen CD's that have claimed to be inspired by Middle Earth before featuring characters and events from the books as titles. I don't think song titles fall under copyright law and if these CD's have been produced, why couldn't Howard Shore do something similar? It's possible Trademarks could be an issue, but I would imagine Howard Shore would have an easier time obtaining rights from the Tolkien Estate for a soundtrack than Peter Jackson would for a movie. And Trademarks can usually be gotten around through changes in the titles.

Would a record company or studio fund the project? I think so. I know classical music doesn't sell well these days, but I've always heard that Howard Shore's scores were very popular, winning audience polls and receiving critical praise. He also has won two Oscars for his LotR scores. I also can imagine that the work could be performed live by orchestras around the world and might prove to be popular.

Would Howard Shore want to do it? I have no idea! But, as I mentioned earlier, he's been open to expanding the LotR music beyond the movies in the past. LotR seems to be his best known work. It's possible he wouldn't feel comfortable with the project since there is no movie attached or that he might want to move on from Middle Earth, but he also seems very proud of his Middle Earth material and seems to enjoy it, so perhaps he'd like to go for another score.

Would there be an audience? I think so. Naturally, there would be less demand for the soundtrack than for the scores associated with the movies, because the movie won't be there to connect audiences to the soundtrack with emotional visuals. And the movie also won't be acting as a giant marketing campaign for the soundtrack. But Shore's Middle Earth soundtracks have been popular enough to warrant the release of The Compete Recordings, so I think there's a large enough fanbase to make this a possibility. Instead of being called a score or a soundtrack, it could be presented as a symphony or some other standard orchestral work, but still be designed to fit with the movies. In addition, the darker stories in the Silmarillion should add variety to the music and might be more compatible with a classical music presentation.

What do you think? Would you buy a movieless soundtrack for The Silmarillion if Howard Shore composed it? I know I would.

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


Feb 13 2013, 9:40pm

Post #2 of 17 (788 views)
Amazingness [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sure like all his work within this universe it would sound amazing. The sounds he has created with The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are the music I listen to as I calm down from any stress, listen to while reading the books, and falling a sleep. I'm sure he'd create more music for me to mix into my life.


Feb 13 2013, 9:59pm

Post #3 of 17 (770 views)
This is a great idea! [In reply to] Can't Post

I love this idea! Not only would it give us more music from Middle Earth, it could bring more readers to this masterwork of Tolkien's.
Given that Tolkien tells us that Iluvatar used music as his tool of creation, I think it is entirely appropriate for the soundtrack to precede the film.
I know it is commonly accepted that we will never see the Silmarillion on screen, but I believe in miracles!


Feb 13 2013, 10:47pm

Post #4 of 17 (775 views)
That would be amazing! [In reply to] Can't Post

I love Howard Shore's work and I'm sure the music would be as beautiful as LOTR or TH. I would buy it.

" He has just as much reason to go to war as you do. Why can he not fight for those he loves?"


Feb 14 2013, 3:29am

Post #5 of 17 (749 views)
very good idea [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not one to get excited about the idea of a Silmarillion film, but this seems like a good idea. I'm sure Shore's score would be great.

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Feb 14 2013, 8:47am

Post #6 of 17 (748 views)
I've thought about this in the past... [In reply to] Can't Post

... and as much as I like Shore's music for LOTR, and now for The Hobbit, my general feeling is I probably wouldn't care much for it.

For the longest time back in the LOTR days, I was of the opinion that the music was what elevated the movies to a whole different level. I used to listen to the OSTs pretty much every day, and I thought Shore's music *was* Middle-earth.

Then came the Complete Recordings, with music in there that wasn't used in the movies. And suddenly, listening to those portions, I realized that if the music uplifted the films, it was also the films that lent poignancy to the music. Those portions of music that weren't used in the films were sections during which nothing Middle-earthy came to mind. They didn't make me feel anything, and they felt nothing more than like bridges between the familiar.

That's when I realized that as good as Shore's music is, for me at least, it only works in conjunction with the films - the themes reflect the imagery and the locations, the characters and their emotions - and that's what elevated the music for me. Listening to the music with those images in mind moved me.

So I suppose I'd be glad to see what Shore can do with "scoring" The Silmarillion. But without images to back those suites, I doubt it'd move me much.


Feb 14 2013, 9:04am

Post #7 of 17 (740 views)
Lovely idea [In reply to] Can't Post

...and yes, I would.


Feb 14 2013, 12:51pm

Post #8 of 17 (743 views)
A nice idea [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know legally whether it would be possible but the chance of getting the rights to do this would be far greater than for the film as you say.

I think i would listen to it on Spotify rather than buy it as i dont need physical copies of music anymore and i only really listen to something if i am in my house or car - where i can play spotify. Obviously if i loved it then i would run out of plays on that and would eventually have to buy it, but im not that well off at the moment after years of university, lol.

I don't know how much i would like it - i expect i will like it quite a lot. I prefer the LOTR music when listening to it alone and i prefer TH soundtrack to the one found in the movie by miles. So i think i would like it. Especially if i were to listen to it at the same time as reading The Silmarillion, would make for a great experience :)

Nice idea, and who knows maybe it will happen one day.


Feb 14 2013, 3:00pm

Post #9 of 17 (749 views)
One problem [In reply to] Can't Post

If Howard Shore wrote a score for The Silmarillion, I am not sure that the earth could withstand it's majesty and beauty. It would no doubt be the most awesome musical experience known to man, and therefore the earth might cave in on itself.

While I would give just about anything to hear this score...I wouldn't really want to give up myself and everyone else in the world's life...so I must say, I hope it doesn't happen.

(This post was edited by Lindele on Feb 14 2013, 3:04pm)


Feb 14 2013, 5:51pm

Post #10 of 17 (721 views)
What a brilliant idea!! [In reply to] Can't Post

I would LOVE to experience the Sil through Shore's composition!

I can't wait for the soundtracks for each of the films to come out, because I love to listen to the music and follow the track titles to experience the story before seeing the film. This would fit into that perfectly!

Great Plan! I'm whole-heartily for it!

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I'm SO HAPPY these new films take me back to that magical world!!

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Feb 15 2013, 12:14am

Post #11 of 17 (714 views)
This is my problem as well. [In reply to] Can't Post

Not that I've listened to the complete recordings, but just the idea of not being able to associate an image with the music. One of the reasons I don't listen to soundtracks before watching a film is that I have nothing to relate the music to, no image to draw up. Once I've seen the movie, I can then listen to the music and see the movie in my head, if you know what I mean.

So I think for me, while a Silmarillion score sounds like a nice idea, I wouldn't appreciate it as well as if the score went with a film.

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and the bells in the steeple, too.
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird is popping out to say coo-coo (coo-coo, coo-coo).


Feb 15 2013, 2:43pm

Post #12 of 17 (700 views)
I filled in the blanks [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree very much that the visual images of the film enhance the music's connection to Middle-earth. However on the CR pieces that weren't in the film, I like to let my imagination run with it. On TH soundtrack I do the same - e.g., there's a very extended version of Radagast the Brown that takes what is a fairly basic character sketch in the film and fills it out with (to me) a lot of depth and potential. I think if HS were to do a score for the Silmarillion, if it was accompanied by an explanation of each piece, and the scene it's depicting musically, it would be great. For instance, I know all I'd have to read is, "IN WHICH the dying Beren hands the Silmaril to Thingol and the grief-stricken Luthien dies alongside him" - and imagine that scene in my mind, accompanied by a new, exquisite HS piece? - oh gosh, I'd be in a huge puddle of tears, no doubt about it EvilHeartEvilHeart.


Feb 15 2013, 2:49pm

Post #13 of 17 (700 views)
'tis true, but [In reply to] Can't Post

what a way to go Heart.

Registered User

Feb 18 2013, 9:34am

Post #14 of 17 (696 views)
legend.genius.brilliant.beautiful.epic.awesome [In reply to] Can't Post

i LOVE Howard Shore. that is all.

Listen to the voices on the wind

i-ngwaew asia wintar
ar i ardh iaur ú dara.
erui men úvill
gomen amdiram
orthored i wath.

lasto i lamath
erin gwaew
i lamath lin edair
avo osto!
aphada ven thanc
ar u dhir tira,
last' inn tegitha


Feb 22 2013, 5:56pm

Post #15 of 17 (653 views)
Yes! [In reply to] Can't Post

And the thing about this, since Tolkien was obviously a big music fan, it is completely within his spirit of the world and one that I think he would be pleased to experience, were he still with us today. Howard Shore has done things with music that I never would have imagined, he would be a great fit!


Feb 22 2013, 6:57pm

Post #16 of 17 (663 views)
Absolutely, yes [In reply to] Can't Post

Howard Shore's more ethereal and spiritual music concerning the elves and their fate is some of my favourite in all the scores. I am a choral singer myself and would LOVE tobe able to sing some of this work (alas, the groups I sing with are rather more traditional) To think of this sort of motifs applied to the Silmarillion is beyond awesome IMO!!!

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"

The Shire

Feb 26 2013, 1:06am

Post #17 of 17 (713 views)
Silm Film [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't care who does the score just gimme a Silm Trilogy. Hell, gimme a Trilogy of Trilogies! No Gollum,yipee! No hobbits with Scottish accents,yipee! No kill-counting in the heat of battle. Just serious, stylish, dark , atmospheric, ultra-cool, ultra-epic fantasy...wow


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