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***The Two Towers Virtual Concert -- Third Movement: Helm's Deep***

weaver
Half-elven

Oct 9 2010, 3:29pm

Post #1 of 16 (281 views)
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***The Two Towers Virtual Concert -- Third Movement: Helm's Deep*** Can't Post

Dims lights...closes doors to lobby...

Back to your seats everyone, it's time for the Third Movement of our TTT Virtual Concert...!

This Movement will cover Tracks 12, 15, and 17 in their entirety, and the opening part of Track 16.

The fourth and final Movement of the Virtual Concert will begin late Saturday afternoon or early evening (NYC timing)

Ok, off to post Track 12, and then the rest of them -- this is a rousing section, so get ready!

Weaver




weaver
Half-elven

Oct 9 2010, 3:52pm

Post #2 of 16 (171 views)
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Track 12 -- Helm's Deep [In reply to] Can't Post

Warg Attack!

This section begins with urgent, deep drum beats -- Danger, Danger Will Robinson!

Then we get that rising horn solo against that as Rohan rallies to the threat -- Charge!

And here comes the chorus -- this is what you hear as Eowyn and Aragorn have that last goodbye look -- it all sounds very noble, and a bit sad..it's like listening to the soundtrack of Eowyn's soul.

Arrival at Helm's Deep

The music gets stronger as they enter the stronghold -- nice!

Now, we get that nice Norwegian fiddle solo again, an echo of the military drum charge from the Warg attack, some very poignant music as that mother and her kids are reunited, then more strings -- but no horns, from what I can tell -- hmm....

Finally, we hear that very pretty "lost and wispy" female vocal part as Eowyn realizes Aragorn has not returned -- more great soul music for Eowyn.

That Rohan calvary charge music sounds like a fox hunt call to me -- am I nuts?

I keep thinking anyone who's ever loved and lost will surely relate to the Eowyn parts -- I know wish I would have had this track to listen to in college. Do you agree or do you have another way of hearing this part to share?

Why are there no horns heard when they enter Helm's Deep -- or are they there and I just didn't hear them?

What are your feelings and thoughts on Track 12?


Weaver




weaver
Half-elven

Oct 9 2010, 4:13pm

Post #3 of 16 (111 views)
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Track 15 -- The Hornburg [In reply to] Can't Post

And so it begins!

Track 15 starts with the Rohan theme again, a very slow and regal version, with lots of heart, mostly done with strings but ending with horns...what a beautiful rendition this is!

Mixed choral voices are heard as the men and boys are torn from their families and armed for war...it's very slow and very serious...

This leads into more military sounding music -- now, horns are heard very clearly, first against a background of drums, and then on their own, and then it goes into a strings again...

In this section everything builds, and then quiets down again...the score is like a meditation here, getting us ready for what is to come, but plenty of time to reflect as well....

Once the Uruks have reached the stronghold, everything starts to build up for the attack -- lots of horns, punctuated by cymbals...and a steady drum beat throughout...

Things I learned from Magpie's Appendices discussion of this part:

  • Jackson wanted to portray the lead up to the battle through pictures and music only
  • He wanted music that mirrored the emotions and decisions of the characters
  • He wanted the music to be less about the thrill of battle experience and more about what it was about -- the kids, so the images and music keep bringing us back to them
  • He wanted a steady, rumbling beat throughout the entire battle sequence (I got this out of the soundscape feature)
So, just how did Howard Shore pull this off?

Your thoughts and feelings on this track?

Weaver




weaver
Half-elven

Oct 9 2010, 4:23pm

Post #4 of 16 (110 views)
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Track 17 -- Isengard Unleashed, opening sequence only... [In reply to] Can't Post

This is a very brief section (about 2 minutes 20 seconds)...

First, we hear Haldir's death music -- In the midst of the battle music, we get this very quiet, largely vocal section, with one voice weaving in and out of an ethereal sort of multitude...everything is muted, as if we're underwater...

Then, immediately, we're back into the battle -- The music in this part goes back and forth between the different themes for the different armies -- lots of trumpets for Rohan, lots of drums and deep bass instruments for Isengard..

That is a lot of emotional territory to cover in just two minutes -- wow!

I think of this Aragorn's "soul" music -- his grief over Haldir, and the call of the battle, with no time to rest in between...

Your comments on this part?


Weaver




weaver
Half-elven

Oct 9 2010, 4:54pm

Post #5 of 16 (170 views)
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Track 16: Forth Eorlingas [In reply to] Can't Post

I am not sure I can do justice to this part, but I'll try. Listening to it, I just get caught up in it, so it's hard to talk about it or find the right words to say...

The track starts out very quietly -- with the music first heard when Gandalf the White is revealed to the Three Hunters in Fangorn -- I don't know if this part of the track is from that part of the film, or if that bit of Gandalf's music was used for when he returns at Helm's Deep also...if it was reprised here, well I never realized it until now!

Well, it's beautiful, soft, sacred music to me, no matter where it came from...

After this -- bam -- we're right into Theoden's charge out onto the causeway
Horns..cymbals...strings...go Theoden!

The Rohan theme sounds very "resolved" here -- it's very definite, clear and focused, cutting through things..and leading right into....

The Fellowship theme! Which is reprised as Gandalf and the Rohirrim return at the morning light --it's also very clear and resolved, an answer to the Rohan theme we just heard -- go Howard Shore, he gets it!

As Gandalf leads the charge down the hill with that blinding white light, the music just soars away...starting with a beautiful vocal part where one voice leads the rest (ha!), and then a cymbal crash, followed by the music swelling and crashing like the sea.

A few comments from me...

I did not care much for the Helm's Deep battle in the book...but I loved the film version. I suspect it's because Jackson focused so much on the kids and emotions in the visuals, and because Shore's score is more like the Hallellujah Chorus than the 1812 Overture to me. This track is a great example of that...

Your turn..!

Any and all comments are welcome, but if you want some discussion questions, here are a few:

What parts of this track especially stand out to you?

What do you hear, and how does it make you feel?
What different sides of Howard Shore do you hear in this part?
Does this sound like battle music to you?


This is the final Track in this Movement -- I will be back this evening to post the first part of the Fourth and Final Movement in our TTT Virtual Concert.

Weaver




galadriel
The Shire


Oct 9 2010, 9:55pm

Post #6 of 16 (106 views)
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When the Elves enter Helms Deep [In reply to] Can't Post

the music when the elves are walking into Helms Deep is one of our favorite pieces of the whole complete recordings! It is so majestic and victorious and fills the soul with the confidence that "There is always hope!"

galadriel

(This post was edited by galadriel on Oct 9 2010, 9:57pm)


Patty
Immortal


Oct 9 2010, 10:02pm

Post #7 of 16 (109 views)
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My only comment is that... [In reply to] Can't Post

The Helm's Deep theme is probably my favorite theme in this whole movie, if not in the entire Trilogy. I thought I read somewhere that Shore presented this main theme and the Gondor main theme and let Jackson pick which would be for which. (too long ago for my memory). But this music is truly stirring--and would have been worthy of the Oscar, as the other two soundtracks won, if it hadn't run afoul of rules regarding it having bits from Fellowship in it.

Permanent address: Into the West

Must. Have. The Precious! Give us the LotR EE Blu-ray Ultimate Box Set!



Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Oct 10 2010, 8:01am

Post #8 of 16 (91 views)
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I agree... [In reply to] Can't Post

... and the sad thing is, they all die. I think this fact is only but alluded to during Haldir's death, when he looks at the ground, and sees all his company lying dead. That's the only time we actually realize the fate of this small Elven company... which tinges their triumphal entry with a very subtle sadness.



Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Oct 10 2010, 8:10am

Post #9 of 16 (142 views)
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Even more than the music... [In reply to] Can't Post

... I find the winding of the Horn of Helm Hammerhand very very very very stirring. Under the rousing music and choirs can be heard this really bass *brrummmmm* that almost serves as a driving force for our heroes that uplifts their spirits and sends their hearts soaring with the promise of victory. Amazing! Cool

Of course, the charge of Gandalf and Eomer down that impossible slope tops even the previous few minutes, with the music and the choir taking on almost "divine" proportions! HEADRUSH! AngelicSly



Magpie
Immortal


Oct 10 2010, 5:29pm

Post #10 of 16 (88 views)
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"the soundtrack of Eowyn's soul" [In reply to] Can't Post

apt description

All of the singing in this track is Old English. The part during the warg attack is a translation of "Where is the horse and the rider" although this segment (and many that reference this source text) use only these two lines:

Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?

The part with Eowyn absorbing the news of Aragorn's fall is another one of those heartbreakingly beautiful vocals, isn't. The text there is "The Missing" with the two lines used below in bold.
She never watched the morning rising,
Too busy with the day's first chores,
But oft she would watch the sun's fading,
As the cold of night crept across the moors.
And in that moment
She felt the loss
Of everything that had been missed.

So used to feeling the spirit sink,
She had not felt her own heart's wish.

The vocals are by Isabel Bayrakdarian who also sang Evenstar (Aragorn's dream of Arwen). I would like to hear a full version of a 'song' from this. We'll never get it. But I'd like it. That and a full version of Eowyn's lament for Theodred.

Eowyn had a lot of loss in her life, didn't she? And just when she had started to come alive again... in response to Aragorn, she loses him, too.


In regards to the horn and drums, you make some good observations and ask some good questions. Back before any official information (other than what was mentioned in the DVD appendices, in radio or print interviews, or made in off hand comments by Doug Adams in message boards or by email correspondence), I got on a horn kick with Rohan. I'm not sure what prompted it and I can't quickly find any mention of horns and Rohan in Doug's writing. I think it came out of a conversation I had with other soundtrack fans. But I compared the horns of Rohan not to a fox hunt but to something very similar... military bugle calls. Drum and bugle are two instruments used today in the military for ceremonial purposes. But their served a distinct purpose. The drum kept cadence for long troop marches and the horn communicated signals across the field.

I even did a long search and collection of bugle calls. But I didn't ever *get* anywhere with my research and when the official info didn't mention horns.. I think I just dropped it. I might, if I searched, find some of those old comments in archived versions of my site.

But drums and horns are very much a part of the Rohan music. You asked, "Why are there no horns heard when they enter Helm's Deep." I think if we tie them into a military concept, it allows us to more closely examine when they are used and when they aren't. In this track/scene alone (I have not done a thorough look at this point over the two movies), we have:
1:59 - We cut to the streaming refugees who catch sight of Helm's Deep.
2:11 - A version of Éowyn Shieldmaiden of the Rohirrim plays. The doors of Helm's Deep open. Éowyn and the others walk in to see...
2:26 - ...the crowded hallways. A note is held as Éowyn takes it all in.
2:28 - A melancholy phrase end the Shieldmaiden Theme as the camera pans back...
lyrical music, no drums or bugle call type horns

2:40 - ...then the Hardanger fiddle plays the first three parts of the Rohan Theme as we get the aerial view of Helm's Deep.
the military drums are here over lyrical music but....

3:00 - The final phrase of the Rohan Theme is heard as Freda and Éothain find their mother.
the drums cut out as soon as we see Freda and Éothain reuinite with their mother

3:06 - The Rohan Theme begins again as Théoden and the surviving Riders enter Helm's Deep.
this version of the Rohan Theme is more robust than the spare version on the fiddle but no bugle call type horns or drums are present nor are they for the remainder

3:09 - Éowyn runs to them.
3:17 - "So few. So few of you have returned."



Remembering we heard the bugle type horns and military type drums for the warg attack and we hear soft drums as people approach Helm's Deep only in the aerial shot of Helm's Deep but the drums cut off as soon as we see refugees close up... I'd wager the horns and bugle are present only as representations of the military side of the Rohirrim and never for the refugee/common (non fighting) folk. For the aerial shot, I'd have to go back and determine just what we see, but from the music I'll guess we are supposed to get a sense of the common folk (by the lyrical music) and the military situation they are walking into (with the drums).

It would be interesting to consciously track this idea through the movies... although by ROTK, pretty much all of the Rohirrim scenes are military in nature.



LOTR soundtrack website ~ June 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
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(This post was edited by Magpie on Oct 10 2010, 5:30pm)


Magpie
Immortal


Oct 10 2010, 6:36pm

Post #11 of 16 (74 views)
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"Helm's Deep Theme" [In reply to] Can't Post

by Helm's Deep Theme do you mean Rohan Theme?

I hadn't heard that story about letting Jackson choose between the two melodies - one for Rohan and one for Gondor. There is this anecdote from the appendices material of TTT:
Peter Jackson: The Rohan Theme was the main theme that was a signature piece of TTT. It doesn’t, you know, exist at all, it wasn’t even written until after the FOTR. And when Howard started playing me his original ideas for the Rohan Theme, I kept saying to him, “I’m humming the Fellowship theme from the first film, I’m humming the Shire Theme but you’ve got to create something that’s hummable.” When I was back in NZ at the end of the year and I was driving in the car with Fran and I started to hum the Rohan Theme and she turned to me and she said, “Look! You’re doing it. You’re humming it. Howard succeeded.” You know.

So it sounds like the music for Rohan was still being determined after FOTR was either finished or nearing completion (since he says he's 'humming the Fellowship Theme from the first film'). And the Gondor theme was in place with the EE version of FOTR. But tracking comments like this isn't as accurate of a process as we'd like to think. How they talked about stuff changed over time and there are contradictions in comments.



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


Magpie
Immortal


Oct 10 2010, 7:17pm

Post #12 of 16 (132 views)
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Haldir's Lament ... and that other music [In reply to] Can't Post

My inner, crush prone 14 year old (living in a way older than 14 year old body!) had an dual crush on Legolas and Haldir. And I was addicted to the first part of this track that is Haldir's Lament. It's a shame, in my opinion, that it has to be paired with such noisy, contentious aggressive music. I could say this about a lot of really lovely music but it's this piece that I could listen to over and over but it ends so abruptly as we leave that quick glimpse of the mortal nature of an immortal race and jump back into battle.

I even kind of memorized the lyrics. There's some counterpoint going on shown in parenthesis:
Ar sindan (óriello) óriello caita (mornië)
Ar ilyë (ar) tier (il) undulávë lumbul-(bul)-ë
It's from Namarie and the English lines are:
and out of a grey country darkness lies
and all paths are drowned deep in shadow

This piece is apparently musically tied to Gandalf's Lament as hear in Lorien. The soloist for both laments is Elizabeth Fraser.

The rest is that noisy Helm's Deep music which, to tell you the truth... doesn't do much for me. I guess I'm just not one who looks forward to the battles in movies.


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


Magpie
Immortal


Oct 10 2010, 7:42pm

Post #13 of 16 (109 views)
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Gandalf the White [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
The track starts out very quietly -- with the music first heard when Gandalf the White is revealed to the Three Hunters in Fangorn -- I don't know if this part of the track is from that part of the film, or if that bit of Gandalf's music was used for when he returns at Helm's Deep also...if it was reprised here, well I never realized it until now!


Sorry, I may have set you up for this confusion since I lumped this track in with Helm's Deep music without noting that ... technically.. this first part is not from Helm's Deep. But that's a 'technically' qualification.

First, this music got labeled as a theme: The White Rider in Nature

Now, there's another 'White Rider/Gandalf the White' theme... The White Rider in the Fellowship ... also called Gandalf the White in the Fellowship. That's that fanfare type music heard as Gandalf rides out from Edoras to get Eomer and as Gandalf the White, on Shadowfax, leads the Three Hunters from Fangorn towards Rohan.

But this is not fanfare but, as you said, almost sacred music. The lyrics are Old English translations of "Where is the Horse and Rider"... although that line is not sung. It was confusing to me why Old English lyrics would be used for the reveal of the White Rider to A, L & G. in Fangorn. With more info, the reason was made clear.

This music was not originally intended to be used for the reveal of the Gandalf the White in Fangorn. in fact, it was written for the moment when the heroes, as the final survivors of Helm's Deep, decide to "Ride out to meet them". It start as Gimli says, "The sun is rising" and we hear Gandalf's voice telling them to look for his coming at dawn, first light on the fifth day.

To download a mash up of this music with the movie's sound (you have to mentally tune out the music that is present in the movie) go HERE. This clip is only available for 7 days.

So the music isn't part of Helm's Deep but it was intended for Helm's Deep. Personally, I think it's really effective in the Ride Out to Meet Them scene.


Part 2: The small charge on the causeway
Here the Rohan Theme is played on that bugle like trumpet... hearkening back to the discussion weaver and I had about horns used in conjunction with Rohan. It's definitely a bugle charge here, isn't it?

By employing the horn in the Fellowship Theme we get this nice tie in between the Fellowship members and Rohan.

Part 3: The large charge down the hill
This is the boy soprano, Ben Del Maestro, singing from "The Mearas" so the singing is all about Shadowfax. Nice he got a little credit through the music... kind of like the Eagles. Non-humanoid creatures get good credit in the book and it's hard to depict that in the movie but we get a some nods to it in the music.

This piece is spectacular. At the end (2:43), it goes into a really heroic version of the White Rider in the Fellowship theme.





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


Oct 12 2010, 1:58am

Post #14 of 16 (63 views)
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'favorite piece' [In reply to] Can't Post

I started to realize that I have an awful lot music that I can label 'my favorite piece' . I used to say, "This is one of my top ten favorite _____. And I have more than 10 in my top ten list."


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


Loresilme
Valinor


Oct 13 2010, 12:16am

Post #15 of 16 (51 views)
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Whoa, that is *really* interesting [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote

But this is not fanfare but, as you said, almost sacred music. The lyrics are Old English translations of "Where is the Horse and Rider"... although that line is not sung. It was confusing to me why Old English lyrics would be used for the reveal of the White Rider to A, L & G. in Fangorn. With more info, the reason was made clear.

This music was not originally intended to be used for the reveal of the Gandalf the White in Fangorn. in fact, it was written for the moment when the heroes, as the final survivors of Helm's Deep, decide to "Ride out to meet them". It start as Gimli says, "The sun is rising" and we hear Gandalf's voice telling them to look for his coming at dawn, first light on the fifth day.

To download a mash up of this music with the movie's sound (you have to mentally tune out the music that is present in the movie) go HERE. This clip is only available for 7 days.

So the music isn't part of Helm's Deep but it was intended for Helm's Deep. Personally, I think it's really effective in the Ride Out to Meet Them scene.


___________________________________________________________________________

So.... I just listened to this clip and then had to go back and watch this scene of the movie again with the actual music used. I had to watch the movie again because the music in the clip fit the scene so well, I couldn't even remember what music actually *was* used in the movie. So ok, the music actually used, was that the music that was in some of the Ent scenes? I am so totally confused now :-). I agree with you totally, that music in the clip was great for the Ride Out to Meet Them scene, it gave their actions sort of a self-sacrificing, or suspenseful feeling, like you don't know if they're going to get slaughtered when they crash through that door, it gave it more of a 'riding out to meet their doom', type of feeling. In all of the other instances where you've shared with us what was originally intended for a scene and compared it to what was finally used, I have always felt that what they went with was always better. I guess there's always a first time for everything though, because this is the first instance where I think the music in that clip as originally intended, was more impactful than what was ultimately used. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on it.







Magpie
Immortal


Oct 13 2010, 1:41am

Post #16 of 16 (138 views)
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That whole affair was confusing to me! [In reply to] Can't Post

I know, in the end, we had like 5 versions of Gandalf the White in Nature and we were trying to sort out which version was intended for what scene. It was one part I got terribly obsessive about.

That music that was used in the movie for "Ride out with me" was indeed the March of the Ents music. In fact, if I read my notes right, it was 'tracked in' which means it wasn't even a different take of the music. It was the same music. Doug didn't, in the AS-TTT, discuss why the decision was made to use the Nature Theme (March of the Ents) rather than Gandalf the White in Nature.


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

 
 

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