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***The Two Towers Virtual Concert -- Fourth Movement: Frodo, Sam and Gollum...***


Oct 9 2010, 11:18pm

Post #1 of 22 (405 views)
***The Two Towers Virtual Concert -- Fourth Movement: Frodo, Sam and Gollum...*** Can't Post

Welcome to the 4th and Final Movement of this virtual musical experience!

This last section focused on the TTT Original Soundtrack music that is used in the sequences with Frodo, Sam and Gollum.

These are Tracks 2, 4, 7, 13, 18, and 19.

Track 19 is Gollum's Song and the Grand Finale!

I will be starting things off tonight with Tracks 2 and 4...the schedule for the rest of this section is still evolving, but all tracks will be up by sometime on Sunday.

This was a very enjoyable experience for me, personally -- I hope you enjoyed it as well.

I want to thank my Sister Conductors, Magpie and Loresilme, for helping to pull this off. We were glad to do it for TORn and in celebration of the TTT Radio City Music Hall event, and in honor of Howard Shore!



Oct 9 2010, 11:23pm

Post #2 of 22 (215 views)
Track 2: The Taming of Smeagol... [In reply to] Can't Post

Track 2 starts out with the Shire theme – a very sweet but deepened version, played on woodwinds maybe?

Then some really pretty choral music…which Magpie’s notes tell me was not used in the film…too bad, as it’s kind of a nice prelude to the Gollum music that comes up next…

Then we hear that very sneaky Gollum music….anyone know the instrument used here? The notes go back and forth and down the scale, if I got it right…which fits perfectly with Gollum’s descent down that rock face…

The struggle between the three characters features some very struggling sounding music; I hear lots of fast string playing and horns against that background…

After they subdue Gollum, the sneaky music comes in again – so you get the very clear sense that even though he's captured he’s still dangerous and not to be trusted.

My comments:

So nice to hear that echo of the Shire theme as this opens – it’s a nice counterbalance to the other themes in its simplicity, and bittersweet in a way when you know how much Gollum is going to challenge these two characters. It’s like a farewell to the theme, in its more fun and innocent form.

I loved Gollum’s film entrance here – this is spot where the film score exactly fits the visuals for me.

Your turn! What do you think of this musical reminder of the Shire…and of this musical introduction to Gollum?



Oct 9 2010, 11:30pm

Post #3 of 22 (208 views)
Track 4: The Passage of the Marshes [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's what we hear in Track 4!

1. Duh…dumm…uh-oh!

2. Lots of the quivering aleotoric string music, accented by a few deep bass notes -- this the music heard as they enter the Dead Marshes.

3. Then more bass notes (louder), string music that ends up being taken over by deep bass notes, and then the chorus comes in, sounding like a multitude of muffled voices – Magpie says this was music for Frodo’s immersion, but it wasn’t used in the film, but could have fooled me!

4. The end of this track is the music heard when Gollum remembers his real name…it’s a very fleeting kind of sequence – nice!

5. Finally, there are a few notes at the end from one of the scenes where they are following Gollum, if I’m recalling things correctly. It’s very muted—horns and drums?

My comments:

I like the times Howard Shore uses that quivering aleotoric music – it’s uncertain-sounding, and so it really suits scenes where the characters are in situations that are very unsteady…

The Gollum’s name music does really fit that scene – it’s like you are hearing bits and pieces of a tune, which mirrors Gollum reaching back and recalling a memory of long ago…

The very end of this track is a favorite of mine…it’s got a nice sense of “journeying” and “distance” about it, plus a sense of urgency. All that in about 10 seconds. Not bad, Howard Shore, not bad!

Your turn! What do your hobbit, elf or human-ears hear in the music of the Dead Marshes?



Oct 10 2010, 12:37am

Post #4 of 22 (218 views)
Track 7 - The Black Gate is Closed [In reply to] Can't Post

Track 7, The Black Gate is Closed - Frodo told Gollum to take them to the Black Gate so he did. But now he's got another suggestion.

Part 1 0:00 - 1:24
0:00 - We see Sam climbing up a sheer rock wall with Frodo behind him. Gollum is waiting at the top and says, "The Black Gate of Mordor."
0:06 - Blaring notes mimic the beginning of Sauron's Theme as the camera pans up so we can see the immense Black Gate.
0:11 - The music moves into a quiet but jittery, ominous piece. Sam is overwhelmed and Gollum is covering his face in fear. Frodo joins them at the top of the rock wall.
0:24 - The high blaring notes playing Sauron's Theme, for real this time, come back as we cut to a shot of Orcs patrolling the top of the Black Gate.
0:30 - Then lower horns reprise the Theme as we cut back to the Hobbits and Gollum. It dwindles away as Sam says, "We can't get past that." into...
0:38 - ...a final low note. Troops are marching into Mordor.
0:50 - Horns blow on the wall and huge Trolls begin pulling the Gate open to let in the Easterling Troops.
1:07 - Sam realizes this is their opportunity -- the Gate is opening.
1:11 - He gets set to climb down...
1:19 - ...but the rock gives way and Sam falls with it. (The music covering Sam's fall is not on the CD)

Lots of brassy, aggressive music for an overwhelmingly scary place for these hobbits. I hadn't noticed the quiet snare drum cadence around 0:50 before. Perhaps inspired by the marching troops? I'm not sure marching troops are shown right then.

Part 2 1:24 - end
1:24 - The music changes dramatically to a light, shimmering expectant melody. Frodo and Sam were trying to make a run for the Gate but Gollum has pulled them back. He's frantic that Sauron will get the Ring if Frodo goes in there.
I wrote that description years ago. Now, I do still hear 'expectant' but I also hear a sort of guileless tone Smeagol is using to talk to the Hobbits. I guess we could discuss how much of the guilelessness is real.. Smeagol having fairly innocent intentions... or how much is feigned... Gollum pullling up the Smeagol Eyes to play on Frodo's good heart. The music makes me think of Gollum's Song. Does it to anyone else?

1:40 - a very light airy statement of the History of the Ring Theme plays the frantic Sméagol says, "Always he is looking for it and the Precious is wanting to go back to him."

1:47 - But a sneaky tone creeps in as Gollum hisses, "But we mustn't let him have it."

About 18 seconds of music from the movie is missing here. The Gate is starting to close and Frodo is scrambling toward it. Gollum grabs him with news of 'another way.' Sam confronts him over the suddenness of this news, but Gollum whines, "Master did not ask."
1:50 - The strings continue their light, airy work as a lower more ominous undertone sneaks in. Sam is sure that Gollum is up to something. Frodo divides his attention between Gollum as he describes this 'other way' and the closing Black Gate. The music winds down as Frodo considers his options. Sméagol is pleading with and pawing at Frodo. Finally, Frodo decides and...
2:27 - the faint hope in Gollum's face is echoed in the music. He looks up at Frodo, sitting up straight.
2:33 - Sam is incredulous but Frodo has decided. "Lead the way, Sméagol."
2:38 - The music moves between the joy of Sméagol...
2:43 - ...and the profound disappointment of Sam...
2:50 - ...and the Black Gate closes.
I think what strikes me about this music is the same thing I get from Gollum's song. The ambiguous nature of Smeagol/Gollum. Sometimes, the Smeagol side seems virtually harmless, almost puppy doggish. We can believe this character has a chance at redemption and I, at least, can believe this character is without guile. But the evil side, Gollum, is despicably evil. There is no empathy, mercy, forgiveness, integrity, trustworthiness or anything else redeemable in him. What is the truth of this creature? Is it both? Is he two personalities fighting for control of a physical body? Or is he something in between guileless and despicable. Frodo hopes for one scenario, Sam believes another, and I'm not sure even Smeagol/Gollum knows what's in his heart.

The music in the latter part of this track plays all of this out completely. Does the fawning, pawing Smeagol pleading for his Master not to take this way which is certain death truly have Frodo's best interest in mind? If so... we hear hints of it in the music. Or, is Smeagol mostly guileless in this moment but with an nature easily persuaded to switch loyalties? If so, I think I hear that in the music too. Or is the Gollum only pretending to be Smeagol (and my names here are stand ins for a side of his nature.. not necessarily a suggestion of multiple personalities) to play this long con?

All the ambiguity in the character is there in the music for me. It's one of the reasons I find some of Gollum's music brilliant.

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


Oct 10 2010, 1:20am

Post #5 of 22 (202 views)
Track 13 - The Forbidden Pool [In reply to] Can't Post

Part 1 0:00-0:46
This music comes at the end of the scene where Gollum is slithering along the boulder strewn creek trying to catch fish. Frodo had told Sam he wanted to help Gollum and Sam asked why.
0:00 - Sad music reminiscent of the Pity of Gollum theme plays as Frodo answers, “Because I have to believe he can come back.” “You can’t save him, Mr. Frodo.”
0:10 - Discomfort creeps into the music as Frodo snaps back sharply, “What do you know about it? Nothing! Nothing!”
0:15 - Hurt, Sam looks at him, then walks away.
0:21 - Contrite, Frodo apologizes. “I don’t know what came over me.” Sam confronts Frodo with the effect the Ring is having on him. Low strings vibrate under the slowly rising music. Frodo begins snapping again. “It’s my task. Mine! My own!” (The music in the movie is a little longer than on the cd.)
0:36 - A brooding phrase plays as Frodo stalks off. Sam calls after him. “Don’t you know who you sound like?”

The Pity of Gollum theme is the one we heard in Moria. This is also called the Smeagol or Slinker Theme (as opposed to Gollum or Stinker Theme which is that jittery cimbalom music). I'm wondering, while listening to this, if the Pity of Gollum theme is for Gollum or if it's starting to be a little bit about Frodo. This is about when Frodo starts snapping at Sam and turning a bit Gollum-ish himself. This music, like a lot of Gollum's music is a bit ambiguous.

Part 2 0:46-1:09
0:46 - Sam, Frodo and Gollum have been watching the Haradrim who are moving through Ithilien on their way to Mordor. Suddenly, they spy Oliphaunts. This lumbering heavy music was heard just earlier, also, as Gollum provides information about the Easterlings.
Isn't this great music? LOVE this music. Perfect for Oliphaunts.

Part 3 1:09-4:39
There's some gangrel creature down at the Forbidden Pool.
1:09 - Faramir gets news that ‘the third one’ has been found. He goes to the sleeping Hobbits and tells Frodo to come with him.
1:24 - They go outside the cave which is high on a bluff near the waterfall.
1:28 - Faramir points and says quietly, “Down there.”
1:32 - Frodo hesitates but moves to the edge...
ha... can't you just see someone inching towards the edge in that last bit there?

1:37 - ...and looks over the edge to see the pool far beneath him and the creature Gollum diving in it.
It took me a long time to realize this jittery music was drawn from the Menace of Gollum with it's trembley cimbalom/hammered dulcimer.

1:46 - Faramir tells him that “To enter the Forbidden Pool bears the penalty of death.” and he points to readied archers on both sides of them.

1:60 - Frodo looks down at Gollum in the pool. “They wait for my command.” prompts Faramir.

But then wavery arpeggios creep in which seem like they reflect the water element of the pool.

2:05 - “Shall I shoot?” A quiet phrase plays while he waits for Frodo’s response.
2:06 - In the movie, Gollum is singing a little fish song. Frodo hesitates a long time.......
2:28 - Faramir raises his hand, and Frodo says...
This music is overlaid with a bare variant of the Pity of Gollum music. This is Smeagol at his puppy dog best.

2:29 - A long held note...... “Wait. This creature is bound to me and I to him.”
Indecision. What should Frodo do? I think the long note reflects Frodo's indecision but maybe it's also a marker that this is arguably a turning point for the Smeagol/Gollum dynamic. Especially in the movie.

2:35 - This seems to surprise Faramir.
2:46 - “Please.” pleads Frodo. “Let me go down to him.” Faramir agrees and Frodo goes down.
More kind of indecision, ambiguous music.

2:56 - The Pity of Gollum plays as Frodo comes down to the pool and calls to Sméagol (who is now eating his ‘battered’ fish).

3:06 - Frodo calls him, but Sméagol is wary.
3:16 - “We must go now?” Sméagol asks.
This is all the Pity of Gollum theme.

3:20 - Gollum’s Theme is moving into other music. Frodo is insistent. “You must trust Master. Follow me. Come on.”

3:24 - Sméagol puts the fish in his mouth and follows Frodo.

3:32 - Frodo is coaxing Sméagol in a soothing voice. “Nice Sméagol. That’s it. Come on.”
3:38 - Then a hand come from the side, grabs Sméagol by the neck... and stuffs him in a sack. and stuffs him in a sack.
This is one long ascending phrase. Oddly, it doesn't sound terribly menacing or ominous. Is it a reflection that, at this point, puppy dog Smeagol totally trusts his master so there is no menace?

The climatic music heard as Sméagol struggles and Frodo pleads for him not to struggle is not on the soundtrack.

3:40 - Trembling strings play under a quietly, plucked harp. Gollum is soothing the sobbing Sméagol is sobbing. “Why does it cry, Sméagol?”

3:50 - On the CD, lyrical strings begin a playing with the Pity of Gollum theme.
In the movie, the trembling strings and plucked heart continue in a vein similar to that heard just previously at 3:40. Sméagol responds to Gollum: “Cruel men hurts us. Master tricksed us.” Gollum answers matter-of-factly, “Of course he did. I told you he was tricksy. I told you he was false.” So... a decision was made not to reference the Pity of Gollum here. Any thoughts why?

4:05 - The movie now picks up the lyrical version of Pity of Gollum we’ve been hearing since 3:50 on the CD. Sméagol asserts, “Master is our friend... our friend.” Gollum, more insistently, “Master betrayed us!” Sméagol’s getting annoyed with Gollum. “No, not it’s business.”

Now we get the Pity of Gollum Theme. Maybe the previous moments had too much Gollum and not enough Smeagol to initiate the Pity theme.

4:16 - The music is ascending in pitch and intensity. Gollum pleads, “Leave us alone.” Gollum’s getting mad. He pounds his fist. “Filthy little hobbitses! They stole it from us!” Sméagol won’t believe it. “No... no...” Faramir jumps in, “What did they steal?”

4:29 - In the movie, the music ends abruptly. But on the CD, the ascending phrase continues while Gollum slowly turns, and comes then comes to climax as he growls, “My... PRECIOUS!! Ahhh!!”

Part 4 4:39 - end of track
Faramir has come to Frodo to see “the Ring of Power within my grasp.”
4:39 - Soft choir begins singing the Seduction Theme. Faramir is contemplating the Ring. The chance for a captain of Gondor to show his quality.
In the movie, we only hear the first few lines to 4:55 when it is replaced by the unearthly sound of the Ring. None of the rest of this track is heard in the movie.

I especially like the Mumakil music on this track and the wavery Forbidden Pool music. And I'm a sucker for the Seduction Theme. I worked so hard at those lyrics I can kind of sing along with them.

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


Oct 10 2010, 1:58am

Post #6 of 22 (223 views)
Track 18 - Samwise The Brave [In reply to] Can't Post

Track 18 - Samwise The Brave
Sam gives an encouraging speech. Faramir sees things Frodo's way. Gollum argues with Sméagol that Frodo has betrayed them.

Part 1 0:00-2:56
Frodo has just held Sting to Sam's throat in Osgiliath. He comes to his senses, drops Sting and collapses against the wall, saying, "I can't do this Sam."

0:00 - A quiet, intro plays is heard as Sam replies, "I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here."
0:12 - Sam walks to an archway. "But we are."
0:19 - Sam watches the Nazgûl fly away, off toward Mordor.
0:27 - A melody is picked up by more of the orchestra. "It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy?"
There's something very pure and simple in this intro. No more menace. No more ominous. No more ambiguity. I think we're back to good old Hobbitness.

0:43 - A Hymn Setting of the Shire B melody plays as Sam continues, "How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened."
0:52 - Théoden yells, "Victory! We have victory."
Now, we've got two terms being applied to the music here. Shore has categorized a lot of the Shire music by setting.
THE HYMN SETTING of the Shire theme pairs the familiar melody of "In Dreams" with slow, chord-like notes. It "grieves the hobbits' loss of innocence as it celebrates their resolve in the face of adversity." To me, the scenes with this music are ones in which a Hobbit's love for the Shire--or for the things or people of the Shire--is particularly strong. It is, however, only used for Frodo and Sam, not Merry and Pippin. When the feelings are more simple affection, the Pensive Setting seems to be used.
Shire B is a term I began using and did not drop when the more official sophisticated analysis of the soundtracks came out. Think of the song, "In Dreams". "When the seas and mountains fall, and we come to end of days". That's the music we often hear for the Shire Theme. But the chorus is, "But in dreams... I can hear your name. But in dreams... we will meet again." Well, that second... or B part of the Shire Theme isn't used so often. And although Doug Adams doesn't address it (although maybe he does in the book), I felt it was interesting to note when the A phrase got used and when the B phrase got used. I can't tell you I've come to any great theory but there's more info HERE, if you're interested.

0:58 - The Hymn chords continue under A Hobbit's Understanding. Sam's encouraging speech is heard as a voice over for action at Helm's Deep and Isengard. "But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow." Aragorn goes to Éowyn.

1:01 - "Even darkness must pass. A new day will come." Aragorn and Éowyn hug. We cut to Isengard, which is being flooded by the River Isengard.

1:06 - "And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you." Merry and Pippin on Treebeard look a little stunned at the fury and strength of the Ents who are now standing firm in the floods of Isengard.

1:16 - "That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why." Cut to Saruman on his balcony. He looks distressed and slinks back into his tower (backwards... like Farmer Maggot's dog) Cut to a wide shot of Isengard.

1:22 - "But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now." We can see the water filling up the plains of Isengard.
Now we have another Shire Theme. You know how I said I broke the tune "In Dreams" into A and B. Well, there was something that started with the B phrase but developed into something more. Something more in a musical sense and something more in an emotional sense. Sing, "But in dreams... but in dreams... " twice, making the second higher than the first, then wander off into some really lovely music and you have what I called the B+ theme and Doug called "A Hobbit's Understanding".

We heard it when Bilbo had quiet words with Frodo at the Long Expected Party.... and when Frodo said, “I wish the Ring had never come to me.” and Gandalf encouraged Frodo that he was meant to carry this burden... and at Parth Galen after Frodo wishes the Ring had never come to him.... and when Frodo hauled Sam out of the water and into the boat and Sam chastised him for trying to leave him behind.

And we heard is at the end of FOTR as the Three Hunters ran off to follow Merry & Pippin and the camera cut to Frodo & Sam climbing Amon Lhaw on the opposite bank where, on the rise, the two Hobbits contemplated Mordor and their separation from their friends.

This is, along with the Nature Theme, some of the most emotional music in the movies.

1:27 - We leave A Hobbit's Understanding as the camera cuts back to Sam in the archway. "Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something."
1:43 - Frodo doesn't look convinced. "What are we holding on to, Sam?"
1:47 - Sam helps Frodo up.
1:54 - "That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for."
2:00 - Frodo thinks a moment
More lovely, lovely music.

2:03 - A Hymn Setting of the Shire A Theme begins as Frodo lets out his breath a little, as if he'd been holding it. The light is back in his eyes. He is ready to continue. We cut to Faramir...
2:10 - ...who walks towards the Hobbits...
2:16 - ...and takes a knee.
2:21 - "I think at last... we understand one another, Frodo Baggins."
Here's the more familiar phrase of the Shire Theme.

2:30 - The Shire A Theme ends as one of the Gondorians reminds him that he is disobeying the laws of Gondor and his father. His life will be forfeit if he lets the Hobbit's go.
2:38 - Faramir pauses a moment, which alarms Sam and Frodo. "Then it is forfeit."
2:42 - "Release them."
You know, this was one of those pieces of music I always thought I'd heard somewhere else and I could never figure out where. (waves at Loresilme)

Part 2 2:56 - to the end
Sam and Frodo's conversation about the 'great tales' that will be told about them is not on the CD.

Smeagol and Gollum are in cahoots.
2:56 - They finish and call for Sméagol who has gone ahead.
uhoh... the ominous music is back.

3:03 - But Gollum is having a talk with Sméagol. A particularly sneaky, skulking version of the Menace of Gollum is heard as Gollum tries to convince Sméagol to betray Frodo. "Master betrayed us! Wicked, tricksy, false!"

3:19 - "We ought to wring his filthy little neck!"
Can't you just see one of those French burglars with the striped shirt, beret and mask tip toeing with exaggerated leg movements?

3:23 - "Kill him! Kill him! Kill them both. And then we...
This quick little moment between the skulking Menace of Gollum and the (upcoming) History of the Ring themes is reminiscent of the lyricism of the Pity of Gollum. Is this a signal that Smeagol has been subsumed by Gollum?

3:30 - ...take the Preciousss and we be the master." We hear a subtle rendition of the History of the Ring Theme.
3:35 - The track ends with some music that's not in the movie.
A little reminder of just who is in charge here... ultimately, it's the Ring.

I think the last track, Gollum's Song which contains some credit and finale music, will get posted tomorrow.

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


Oct 10 2010, 7:30am

Post #7 of 22 (201 views)
Track 19 - Gollum's Song [In reply to] Can't Post

I am so honored to have had this opportunity to post not only the first track of TTT virtual concert, but also this final track. Magpie and Weaver have done an awesome job taking us on an amazing musical journey. In just the few tracks I’ve had a chance to go over yet, I’ve already been amazed to discover subtleties and complexities in this OST I never heard or even guessed existed. And I’m looking forward to taking the next few days to listen and read through each of the rest of the individual tracks. Thank you, Magpie and Weaver !

And now, let’s turn to the last track, Gollum’s Song.

Before I listened to this one, I listened to the previous track, and read Magpie’s accompanying account of the action and words of the film in relation to that music. In doing that the feeling came to me that this song really is a continuation of those scenes. In those scenes, Sam is giving his ‘big speech’… his wrapping up of what they’re fighting for, why they need to keep going, and what they’re holding on to. And there is Frodo, exhausted, just about giving up, hanging on Sam’s words, “What are we holding onto, Sam?” And Sam says, “There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.” And then you see Frodo’s face, and then you see Smeagol/Gollum’s face. And you’re thinking, yes, that’s right, there is some good, in the world, in people, even maybe in Gollum. But then a few scenes later, we see Smeagol/Gollum turn into Gollum, once and for all, and then there is no more ‘some good in this world’, not to him, there is no turning back. And then a few minutes later, we hear Gollum’s Song.

Where once was light
Now darkness falls
Where once was love
Love is no more
Don't say—goodbye
Don't say—I didn't try

These tears we cry
Are falling rain
For all the lies you told us
The hurt, the blame!
And we will weep to be so alone
We are lost
We can never go home

So in the end
I'll be—what I will be
No loyal friend
Was ever there for me
Now we say—goodbye
We say—you didn't try...
These tears you cry
Have come too late
Take back the lies
The hurt, the blame!

And you will weep
When you face the end alone
You are lost!
You can never go home
You are lost!
You can never go home

It is as if the first two verses are Smeagol speaking, how he began, and the last two are Gollum, what he has now become. It is his telling of his own sad tale, all the truths, half-truths, and untruths. It is his self-pity, self-loathing, and self-delusion, his pain and the anger into which it turned. Gollum’s Song isn’t even so much a standalone song, as it is a continuation of the movie itself. It is showing us Smeagol/Gollum unable to ‘come back’ as Frodo so desperately hoped he could, unable to see any of what Sam saw as good left either in the world, or in himself. It is a song as complicated and strange and haunted as the character himself.

From there the OST transitions into closing credit music: first, an alternate version of Eowyn & Theoden's Theme, then a Rohan theme, and concluding with the final musical statement.

*The house lights go on … and the program announcer reminds theater goers to be sure to collect your programs and check your seats for any belongings.* Sly

Thanks to all for attending and participating in the TTT virtual concert Smile!

Regards …’ til next time,



Oct 10 2010, 3:05pm

Post #8 of 22 (188 views)
CBS News video : "Lord of the Rings" Plays Radio City [In reply to] Can't Post

"A N.Y. screening of "The Two Towers" featured 300 musicians and singers performing Howard Shore's music live. At rehearsals for the unique "projection concert," conductor Ludwig Wicki told CBSNews.com's David Morgan about the score and the technical challenges he faces."


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

Lily Fairbairn

Oct 10 2010, 3:37pm

Post #9 of 22 (185 views)
Thank you so much for doing all of this [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sorry I've been in and out this weekend and have been able to participate only superficially.

I agree with you that the "hobbit's understanding" music is among the most emotional in the movies. The bit at the end of FotR, where Frodo sets off across the river and Sam follows, brings me to tears every time. And then the reprise of the theme when Sam and Frodo and looking across Mordor, with the subtle drumbeat beneath the theme, is also very moving.

Having each little bit of the music broken down like this is another reason I'm enjoying the heck out of Doug Adams' book.

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!

Lily Fairbairn

Oct 10 2010, 3:41pm

Post #10 of 22 (186 views)
Gollum's Song [In reply to] Can't Post

Frankly, I don't like this song at all. Something about the melody or orchestration doesn't sound at all Middle-earth to me. It's more like a torch song you'd hear in bar -- and there's actually a phrase in there that reminds me of a James Bond theme! I tend to skip this track if I'm near the CD player when it's playing.

I feel a bit guilty saying this, since otherwise I find Shore's score superior in every way. I like Enya's "May It Be" -- it has such an ethereal sound to it -- and as a moving ballad, "Into the West" makes the perfect ending to the three films. But "Gollum's Song" is a real clunker, in my very humble opinion. Unsure

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!


Oct 10 2010, 3:46pm

Post #11 of 22 (199 views)
to be clear [In reply to] Can't Post

for the sake of others reading your thanks posted as a reply to one of my posts:

This was a solidly joint venture between the three of us but it was all (like many ideas here) weaver's idea. Anyone who's worked with weaver knows she has this knack of making things happen almost out of thin air and this was an idea pulled off with not a lot of advanced planning and only a few volunteers. Loresilme and I did our part but it wouldn't have happened without weaver. For sure. I am too easily daunted by the prospect of difficult endeavors. :-P

LOTR soundtrack website ~ June 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
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Lily Fairbairn

Oct 10 2010, 4:58pm

Post #12 of 22 (179 views)
You know, [In reply to] Can't Post

it occurred to me after I replied to your post that I should have made it clear I was thanking all three of you! Yes, weaver is quite an asset to our community, isn't she?

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!


Oct 10 2010, 5:31pm

Post #13 of 22 (179 views)
I knew you got it... [In reply to] Can't Post

I was just worried others might not. :-)

LOTR soundtrack website ~ June 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
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Oct 10 2010, 8:05pm

Post #14 of 22 (195 views)
bwa ha ha ha!! - "Gollum Sings 'My Way' " :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

I see your point, those torch songs can be pretty self-pitying and self-delusional. Now that I'm picturing it, all you need to add is the sound of glasses clinking in the background :-).

This song does seem to bring out 'love it or hate it' opinions in listeners. I'm on the love it side, but believe me, that is my humble opinion as well. Regarding the other two songs, I never could get lost in May It Be, it never took me away to another world like the movie itself. And Into the West, I have two opinions on that one - I love, absolutely love the instrumental version of it - there's an orchestral version of it out on Youtube that simply reduces me to a sobbing, three hankie, total mess ...the kind that actually requires recovery time afterwards :-). And yet even though I like the lyrics, I have yet to find a particular singer who I like to hear singing it. If I recall correctly, I think originally I liked Annie Lennox's version, but over time it's really begun to grate on me. There is something about that belting-it-out quality and the lack of vibrato that doesn't sit right with me. Again, my humble opinion. I felt with Gollum's Song, that it was weird enough and strange enough to really convey 'Gollum' to me.

I'm really curious to hear how the song was performed in the concert. I'm assuming the regular soloist - I'm sorry her name escapes me at the moment - will be performing it. And she has such a different voice, it will be interesting to hear people's opinions of it.

I'm still laughing though, about your torch song comment -- I wonder if someday far in the future, some poor struggling singer, who doesn't know the history of the song, will actually try to perform it in that manner.... Shocked.


Oct 10 2010, 8:19pm

Post #15 of 22 (183 views)
one 'review' here [In reply to] Can't Post

although, it's not a review as much as a comment on this song.


I made a comment (in response to dijomaja) that I had heard Lusk sing Gollum's Song for a LOTR symphony a few years back. I had written an extensive report on that event for a friend who couldn't make it at the last minute and recently posted it online when someone asked for more info about the structure of the concert. Here's what I wrote about Lusk.
I am one of the few, apparently, who really liked Gollum's Song in the movie. I love Enya but May It Be didn't make a lot of sense to me. And I thought it got dark in subject matter before the movie did. Although I don't cringe to hear Into the West, I think the lyrics were self-indulgent on the writers part and didn't represent the movie well. And, although Annie Lennox did a fair job on the recording, I saw her perform it on tv many times and not one of those times were good or enjoyable. She had real vocal problems.

The symphony didn't do May It Be - perhaps because they did In Dreams. I didn't like the female soloist's rendition of Gollum's Song. It was hers and I am agreeable with her putting her own spin on it and not copying Emiliana Torrini. And perhaps her rendition - which was smoother and less edgy - is better for a evening symphony performance. But the heart of that song is the subtle emotive edges Torrini inserts in her voice. I enjoyed the soloist's version of Into the West better than Annie's, though.

Overall, I thought Lusk (in that past concert and in the FOTR Live concert last year) did a lovely job. I was quite taken with her onstage demeanor last year and wrote a bit about it. It was just this one song I didn't like by her when I heard her do it back then.

btw... I haven't done my thoughts on this song yet... at least not in this thread. I'm trying to catch up with the discussion in posted order. But I will be back. Hopefully before it drops off the board!

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(This post was edited by Magpie on Oct 10 2010, 8:20pm)

Lily Fairbairn

Oct 10 2010, 9:10pm

Post #16 of 22 (209 views)
Tastes vary, don't they? [In reply to] Can't Post

To me, "May It Be" has an elvish quality to it, and the theme of darkness descending and being true to each other, etc. (I say, without actually going and looking up the words) fits the Aragorn/Arwen romance.

I like most of the words to "Into the West" -- we've discussed the rather puzzling "safe in my arms" before -- especially the ones that evoke Tolkien's imagery, the white gulls, the far green land, etc. Usually the song will get to me, with or without words. I like Lennox's voice for its raw edge, as though she's fighting through grief to sing, which is what the song is about, in a way.

The time the song really reduced me to a total mess was when I first heard it, at the end of my first viewing of RotK. The lyric, "Don't say we have come now to the end" didn't mean Frodo going into the west, it meant that our journey of discovery with the three movies had ended. Waaaahhhhhh!

Gollum, leaning on a piano in an airport bar, singing.... What an image!

* * * * * * *
Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?

A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!


Oct 12 2010, 2:14am

Post #17 of 22 (157 views)
I can't think of a clever or pertinent subject line [In reply to] Can't Post

There's an alternate of this choral piece on the Rarities Archive. Apparently it was written to evoke the landscape and it was decided to instead use music that pertained to the characters. The lyrics are a Sindarin translation of "Cold be hand and heart and bone".

Gollum's Sneaker Theme is usually played on a cimbalom (also spelled cimbalon) which is essentially a hammered dulcimer. Choose your video to see one played.

I do think the two Gollum themes are nicely balanced. I can only take small doses of the hammered dulcimer, though. :-)

LOTR soundtrack website ~ June 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
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Oct 12 2010, 2:32am

Post #18 of 22 (152 views)
"multitude of muffled voices" [In reply to] Can't Post

There are some really cool things going on with voices in this track. Two cool things. Let me say that even though I had some basic information about the vocals in this scene, I didn't have the musical background to address them at all. So I finally put out a call for help on Off Topic and Elizabeth, Annael, and Ethel Duath all offered to give me a hand. So anything I offer up here is really due to their help.

That high pitched sound you hear from 0:36-45 is a portamento. The vocalist is mimicking what happens when you blow on one of those slide whistles.

The other cool thing is Sprechstimme voices. This is heard for the underwater stuff. If I understand correctly (and I think I did as Ethel Duath gave me her best opinion on what was going on), the chorus is given syllables, notes and approximate times to sing them. But when they start singing each note is staggered and randomly determined by each singer. So it's vocal version of aleatoric music.

It's just another little musical technique pulled in to provide such a rich texture to these films and I think it's very effective in this scene.

You picked up on the bits and pieces of Gollum's slinker music well, weaver.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ June 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
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Oct 12 2010, 5:03pm

Post #19 of 22 (151 views)
** mods up** [In reply to] Can't Post

Bravo, Loresilme -- this was a very fine ending post indeed to our Virtual Concert...I've never liked Gollum's Song, but between you and Magpie you are convincing me that there's a lot more to it than meets the ears, well, at least my ears anyway!

Thanks so much for helping with the "conducting" -- here's something in honor of your outstanding performance:

TORn TTT Virtual Concert -- October, 2010



Oct 12 2010, 5:06pm

Post #20 of 22 (141 views)
and I haven't even started yet [In reply to] Can't Post

at least for this discussion.

This is the last track left for me to post/reply to. :-)

LOTR soundtrack website ~ June 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
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Oct 12 2010, 5:31pm

Post #21 of 22 (138 views)
Bravo to Howard Shore -- and thanks to you! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm enjoying reading all of the VC posts, and while I don't have much to add to the ones you covered so well, I do want to reply to this one!

First, it was very interesting to me to hear (in the Barnes and Noble video you linked) Howard Shore's answer to the question about which of the themes he wrote for LOTR were his favorite -- rather than focusing on the big, memorable parts of the score (like the Beacons, or the Rohan theme), he said it was the small bits and pieces of music he wrote to accompany the relationship between Sam and Frodo, especially, and all the characters, really...I am glad we had a composer like him for these films, who understood the heart of the story, and spent as much effort on those moments as he did on the bigger and showier scenes. Well done, Mr. Shore!

Second, I will just say thanks for all of your posts on the score, this past weekend, and for years around here -- I have learned a huge amount from you. The long hours at the computer this weekend were also much appreciated, and made our little Virtual concert experiment a success. It would not have happened without you....and so I hereby award you...


Awarded October, 2010, on the Occasion of the TTT Virtual Concert



Oct 13 2010, 12:33am

Post #22 of 22 (223 views)
A round of applause for Weaver and Magpie! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you so much Weaver, but really, we have you to thank for coming up with the idea and both you and Magpie to thank for all the hard work in pulling everything together. I was very happy to be even a small part of it.

Thank you for my award!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I shall display it both proudly and humbly upon my desk nearby with my other LOTR memorabilia....my TORn map, my replica One Ring, "Sam and Rosie" (Earl, you out there Wink??), my little Frodo sitting with his book, and my very own created-by-Magpie original "I Heart HS" button and nametag.

Whether virtual or real ... it was a weekend to remember Smile.


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