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Tom Bombadil Suite in Four "Old Forest" Movements - Original Music


May 25 2016, 8:07pm

Post #1 of 6 (1590 views)
Tom Bombadil Suite in Four "Old Forest" Movements - Original Music Can't Post

Hey everybody!

I'd like to share with you a project that developed in the past three months, and turned into something quite unexpected on my part.
This January, I went on off time, due to burn out syndrome and panic attacks. I retreated to a nice ressort in the mountains for psychological recovery, and learned a few things about myself.
To get my mind into the realm of pleasure, and pleasing my inner needs to express myself, I bought notation paper. I had not done lengthier and proper composing for a long time, and felt the inner fire to do so. I chose a subject so very close to my heart and soul, Tolkien. And in that realm, I always wanted to hear proper film music for the Old Forest and Bombadil, so I went for it.
As it is my habit, and my character, I hear landscapes and characters in music, so I first started writing themes. The Most important ones that is: Bombadil, Goldberry, and the Old Forest itself. At first, I had no intention of doing all of the story. I didn't get the image of a mysterious Tom Bombadil in front of a fireplace, fondling the ring, out of my head. That was the very first thing I wrote. And for it, I needed a theme for Bombadil. I could not use any other theme for the mystery of the ring than Howard Shore's. Then, once I had that scene, I could not leave it standing on its own. I started writing a piece "The House Of Bombadil", around it. Of course, this required more themes. And I thought, if I do it anyway, I want to make this Sound as if it was an unused portion of the film's score, hidden deep in a vault.
So, I went back to the FotR sheet music, which I had not done in forever, and absorbed a lot of Shore's approach to the elves, particulary Lorien, and nature, and how the score conveys that wonderful Bond between Mystery, awe, and nature.
As it is also my habit, the pieces developed themselves while writing. Thank god for my iPad with installed Notion app, so I could work on the full score anywhere.

And you know, while writing this one piece, I completely lost myself in ideas, themes, Sounds, mental Images of wonderful Scenes and dialogue, and decided to do a piece for the Old Forest portion as well. Then I added Crickhollow. Then the Barrow-downs. Six bars of a "Bombadil Theme" became 2 minutes. 2 minutes became 5, one piece became two, 5 minutes became 10, two pieces became four, and suddenly, I had 20 minutes of music on my iPad. I worked on all four back and forth, to add subtext, reinforce subtext, add references, add moments ....

When I went home, I would listen to each piece every day, forgetting bars, meters, chords and so on, and evaluating it with the pure ears. When I heard things, I added them, or changed them.
And while preparing the pieces for proper digital recording, they grew again, so that now, I'm proud to share with you over 25 minutes of an Old Forest Suite in four movements:

I. The Old Forest: Crickhollow (5:09)
II. The Old Forest: The Withywindle (5:56)
III. The Old Forest: In The House Of Bombadil (6:57)
IV. The Old Forest: Fog On The Barrow-downs (7:49)

I will give you a Breakdown of themes, but I hope you will enjoy them as music first. I only give a few examples, the themes are used in various ways, and some returning music cannot be classified as themes, but rather associations. Also, I don't want to take away the joy of discovery. Short Passages of existing themes I don't think I need to point out, you'll see.

The Awe Of The Forest: "The Withywindle" 0:22-0:33, 0:45-0:48
The Treacherous Forest: "The Withywindle" 1:00-1:07
The Lulling Forest: "The Withywindle" 1:57-2:12
The Withywindle: "The Withywindle" 1:30-1:37
Willow Man: "The Withywindle" 3:50-3:59
Tom's Antics: "The Withywindle" 5:13-5:21
Tom Bombadil/Goldberry Hybrid (Bombadils Song): "House Of Bombadil" 0:06-0:21
Daughter of Water Lillies (Goldberry's Song): "House Of Bombadil" 1:00-1:22
Tom Bombadil: "House Of Bombadil" 1:40-2:12
Ancient Barrow-downs: "House Of Bombadil" 2:28-2:45 (chords)
Eternal Renewal: "House of Bombadil" 4:28-4:45
Barrow-Dwights: "Fog on the Barrow-downs" 1:11-1:30
Cold Be Heart And Hand And Bone: "Fog on the Barrow-downs" 5:00-6:06 (Tuba Solo with Bass Clarinet, I can't record Voices of course)

I hope you enjoy!





I will post a description of what music is for which moment later.

(This post was edited by gkgyver on May 25 2016, 8:10pm)

Grey Havens

May 26 2016, 12:42am

Post #2 of 6 (1571 views)
Beautiful [In reply to] Can't Post

I just finished listening to it and I'm so impressed, I don't know what to say except "wow!". I really liked it and was especially swept away by Part III, the House of Bombadil which I found to be very magical. How wonderful that you can write music. So well done! Smile


Gold is the strife of kinsmen,
and fire of the flood-tide,
and the path of the serpent.


May 26 2016, 12:18pm

Post #3 of 6 (1558 views)
So very beautiful. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's amazing, I love it Smile

~There's some good left in this world. And it's worth fighting for.~
My website...
...my fantasy novel Seascape...
...and my fantasy novel Starscape.


May 28 2016, 5:22pm

Post #4 of 6 (1524 views)
Description for the Music as promised [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok, here are story points for the Four pieces, it may make the listening a more interesting experience.


0:00-0:20 The hobbits arrive hastily at Crickhollow After being chased by the wraith, their doom still lingers in the music
0:20-1:10 Frodo explains Gandalf set him on a mission. Ring and Gollum theme sound in the oboe as subtext, though laced with major chords, the peril is not yet clear to all of them
1:10-2:00 Frodo speaks of the riders, where they may come from
2:00-2:25 they argue about the dangerous journey, and that Frodo doesn't want his friends there
2:25-3:00 they speak about having to pass through the old forest. The Withywindle and Old Forest theme sounds for the first time, but in major. Merry and Pippin want to come
3:00-3:35 Frodo is Glad, and they convince him
3:37-4:03 Frodo can't sleep, hears noises, afraid of the rider
4:03-end Frodo dreams of a high tower and the sea

The Withywindle:

0:00-0:12 They approach the hedge, Shire theme in low registers, this is a treacherous part of the Shire.
0:12-0:22 they pass through the hedge
0:22-0:54 they gaze at the forest with awe, slowly begin to press forward
0:54-1:47 the journey begins, changing between being afraid, and jovial chatting
1:48-1:55 they come to the Open area in the forest, it spooks them.
1:55-2:37 journey Takes a darker turn
2:37-3:08 they arrive at the shores of the Withywindle. It's a gorgeous view at first
3:10-3:50 they smell something in the air, the Feet and eyes become tired
3:50-3:59 the old willow comes into play
3:59-4:27 the Willow's lullaby based on its theme introduced before on trombone. Frodo faints.
4:28-5:00 Frodo and Sam in panic try to free Merry and Pippin from the willow
5:01-5:13 they hear singing in the distance
5:13-5:21 Bombadil arrives
5:21-end Bombadil commands the willow. Intentional nod to the same moment with Treebeard in Two Towers


May 28 2016, 7:04pm

Post #5 of 6 (1517 views)
That makes listening to the music even more enjoyable. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you!

~There's some good left in this world. And it's worth fighting for.~
My website...
...my fantasy novel Seascape...
...and my fantasy novel Starscape.


May 29 2016, 10:56am

Post #6 of 6 (1508 views)
Bravo! [In reply to] Can't Post

I know many consider this to be the least interesting part of the hobbits' journey, but it has always been my personal favorite, something I truly miss in the films. Your music makes imagining what could have been much easier. Thank you! Smile


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