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Jay

Howard Shore's An Unexpected Journey (Hobbit Part 1)

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@Falafel I'm not talking about the statement after the section I've highlighted, it's just two notes/chords that then lead into the Erebor/Durin theme. It's linked to the those themes. 

 

Also, why can't the chords, notes of another theme inform a motif? It seems most of the Shire and Mordor material is built on that principle...

 

It's here at 2:14 - 2:21 (in the timing of this video) 2:08 on the cue. 

 

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4 hours ago, Arpy said:

it's just two notes/chords that then lead into the Erebor/Durin theme. It's linked to the those themes. 

 

Also, why can't the chords, notes of another theme inform a motif?

 

Oh, I see. Nice observation.

 

As for being a leitmotif - that depends. Sometimes these kind of figures are thematic (the Shire and Mordor accompaniments, as you say), sometimes they aren't. There are actually a lot of recurring figures in these scores that aren't thematic: there's a tension figure in the Prologue to The Fellowship of the Ring that Returns in The Two Towers; there's a rhythmic figure on Bodhran all over the place; recurring variations on existing themes (think about the Rohan theme in Helm's Deep) and thematic hybrids, etcetra. These are the kinds of figures that we, in parallel Star Wars thematic discussions, would call incidental motifs. They're still important to discern and they have a dramatic function, they're just not thematic. I would say this figure is just that, but without @Doug Adams we can't ever be sure.

 

I always like to use a screenplay as a parallel: the screenwriting equivalent of a leitmotif would be a callback. But not every combination of words that just happens to recur in a screenplay is indeed such a callback: it can be unintentional, it can be something too generic to ever be considered intentional (think about how many times characters in these films exclaim "Run!"), etcetra.

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On 9/11/2018 at 1:27 AM, Arpy said:

I've recently revisited An Unexpected Journey, it's filled with so much, introducing new themes left, right and centre, it's full of life and creates a real of sense of history within the context of the series, becoming a clear cousin (or ancestor-in-retrospect) to the Rings scores.

 

Axe or Sword? and Radagast the Brown are perhaps two of my favourite cues from the score that are richly layered with thematic material and the sound we have come to associate with Middle-earth - in the case of Axe or Sword?, you have Bilbo's themes, Smaug's theme, the doorway motif, themes for Erebor and Thorin, it's incredible how that cue segues from theme to theme like poetry.

 

I 100% agree with everything you say here!

 

(Except that a CD track and a cue are not the same thing, Axe or Sword? is an album track that contains several cues edited together)

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15 hours ago, Jay said:

 

I 100% agree with everything you say here!

 

(Except that a CD track and a cue are not the same thing, Axe or Sword? is an album track that contains several cues edited together)

I know the difference, but I was doubting anyone would care over such trivialities!

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1 hour ago, Arpy said:

I know the difference, but I was doubting anyone would care over such trivialities!

You are talking about film music fans here Arpy. Of course we obsess over such trivialities! :lol:

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A couple of interesting tweets from Jim last month:

 

 

I know about the 'Rain' cue which most seem to think was intended to precede the opening of 'Radagast the Brown', but the mention of this being 'another rewrite' would imply that there's another, unheard version of the track with a different opening (however long that is - might be fairly insubstantial). Is this correct Jim?

 

I'm also interested to know how much more music there is of the High Fells as recorded for AUJ. Obviously we have up to the Radagast reveal, and while re-shoots impacted the subsequent scenes (all the stuff outside in DoS is surely new given the dialogue), there's more unheard stuff here (on twitter Jim said that 'a chunk' of the High Fells stuff ended up in Edge of the Wild). How much more is in intriguing, given that the first half of the scene at least must have been longer in this initial cut. I hope we get to see the full AUJ High Fells sequence some day.

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13 hours ago, Barnald said:

A couple of interesting tweets from Jim last month:

 

 

I know about the 'Rain' cue which most seem to think was intended to precede the opening of 'Radagast the Brown', but the mention of this being 'another rewrite' would imply that there's another, unheard version of the track with a different opening (however long that is - might be fairly insubstantial). Is this correct Jim?

 

I'm also interested to know how much more music there is of the High Fells as recorded for AUJ. Obviously we have up to the Radagast reveal, and while re-shoots impacted the subsequent scenes (all the stuff outside in DoS is surely new given the dialogue), there's more unheard stuff here (on twitter Jim said that 'a chunk' of the High Fells stuff ended up in Edge of the Wild). How much more is in intriguing, given that the first half of the scene at least must have been longer in this initial cut. I hope we get to see the full AUJ High Fells sequence some day.

I believe the first revised opening was what we heard on the album, the second revised opening is the choirless version of Gandalf's theme heard in the film? (or maybe just the new Radgy theme?), also part of the unused/unreleased AUJ version of Gandalf and Radgy at the High Fells was tracked into Radgy being attacked by the Casper Witch-King.

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There are three versions of the Radagast opening:

  • The version head in the YouTube video
  • The intermediate version heard on the album (with boys choir)
  • The film version, which is a combination of the album version (edited, minus the boys choir) and an insert, dispensing with the Radagast thematic material

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4 hours ago, Jim Ware said:

There are three versions of the Radagast opening:

  • The version head in the YouTube video
  • The intermediate version heard on the album (with boys choir)
  • The film version, which is a combination of the album version (edited, minus the boys choir) and an insert, dispensing with the Radagast thematic material

 

Thanks Jim. One more question if I may.

 

Most seem to think that most of the film music for the 'Where's Bilbo?' scene was tracked from the original version of A Good Omen (it seems to fit, and we're obviously missing the hug on the album), so my question is this: was original music composed (and recorded) for the reveal of Bilbo? I'm hoping for something suitably Bilbo-y again. Presumably it would come just after Brass Buttons in cue terms. Forgive me if Fal has already found this somewhere.

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4 hours ago, Jim Ware said:

 

Are you referring to the scene in the forest after Bilbo escapes from Gollum?  This was all scored - the tail end of Brass Buttons (lr131) was written to cover the first part up to Bilbo's reveal but is replaced with tracked material in the film.  The first 46 bars of Out of the Frying Pan (lr133, removed from the album) were written for the rest of the scene, but partially covered with tracked material from an unused composition elsewhere in the score.  The film returns to lr133 with the statement of the ring theme before cutting to a revised insert for the Shire/Misty Mountains material.

The first half of the High Fells scene was tightened up a little for Smaug.  In the 'two film cut' of Unexpected Journey, the outdoor scene afterwards was present but appears to have ended as Gandalf looks to the mountains and sees the coming storm (dialogue was presumably different).  The film then cuts to the stone giant sequence.  

 

 

Maybe stupid question, but Jim how do you know all this? Were you involved in the scoring process?

 

Also what "two-film cut" of Unexpected Journey? I did not know there was such a thing.

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28 minutes ago, Gollum Cat said:

Also what "two-film cut" of Unexpected Journey? I did not know there was such a thing.

At first there were only going to be 2 Hobbit movies, splitting after the Forest River sequence, and most of AUJ was shot with this in mind, the decision to move to 3 films was made sometime in late 2011 or very early 2012, I think.

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1 minute ago, Holko said:

At first there were only going to be 2 Hobbit movies, splitting after the Forest River sequence, and most of AUJ was shot with this in mind, the decision to move to 3 films was made sometime in late 2011 or very early 2012, I think.

 

The split was rumoured in June 2012 and officially announced in July.

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16 minutes ago, Kühni said:

Is there photographic evidence of HS's facial expression when he was first given these news? ;)

 

I seem to recall Doug saying that the move to three films only benefitted Shore.

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1 hour ago, Gollum Cat said:

Maybe stupid question, but Jim how do you know all this? Were you involved in the scoring process?

 

Also what "two-film cut" of Unexpected Journey? I did not know there was such a thing.

Jim’s a dear friend and trusted collaborator. I tell him .... things. 

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I take it the High Fells sequence was the only remaining remnant of the two-film cut in AUJ by the time the film was scored? There's High Fells bits in the final theatrical trailer (released around 20th September 2012), so it must have been a fairly late decision to cut it (it also features in the AUJ WETA Chronicles books). At that point I wondered if PJ would put it in the AUJ: EE, especially given that he originally said there would be around 25 minutes of additional material. Of course things change, but to go to 13 minutes is quite a drastic difference. Obviously the High Fells wouldn't have accounted for all of that, but it would have been 3-4 minutes I imagine.

 

6 hours ago, Jim Ware said:

 

Are you referring to the scene in the forest after Bilbo escapes from Gollum?  This was all scored - the tail end of Brass Buttons (lr131) was written to cover the first part up to Bilbo's reveal but is replaced with tracked material in the film.  The first 46 bars of Out of the Frying Pan (lr133, removed from the album) were written for the rest of the scene, but partially covered with tracked material from an unused composition elsewhere in the score.  The film returns to lr133 with the statement of the ring theme before cutting to a revised insert for the Shire/Misty Mountains material.

 

So just to be clear, you're saying that there is unheard material for Bilbo's speech and the part thereafter, up to Azog's arrival (so not the Shire/Misty Mountains stuff heard in the film)? Very interesting. Any of the Baggins-Took theme in there? Bilbo's Adventure? Seems like as good a moment as any. This question is of also open to @Doug Adams of course!

 

In relation to this, I'll chance my arm and ask in general: are there recordings of the Baggins-Took theme (either together or separately) we haven't heard?

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They might have decided on expanding from 2 films to 3 films by July, but not decided that the High Fells sequence could be moved to DOS yet.


Or, they knew it would be in DOS, but thought it was cool imagery for the AUJ trailer regardless.

 

Or, the trailer was cut before the split, and just released after.

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It's almost certainly that, given that scoring began in September IIRC. According to Jim's recent tweets the cue comprising Edge of the Wild was recorded around 11th September, and the revised relevant section of 'Over Hill' recorded 8th October, so it appears it was edited out some time in between.

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8 hours ago, Jim Ware said:

 

....the scene in the forest after Bilbo escapes from Gollum.....was replaced with tracked material in the film. 

 

 

Speaking of that, is that string "ostinato" ending something that was edited out of Hill of Sorcery, or was it just tracked from string stems (or re-recorded)?

8 hours ago, Jim Ware said:

 

 The first 46 bars of Out of the Frying Pan were written for the rest of the scene, but partially covered with tracked material from an unused composition elsewhere in the score.

 

 

Which we are still trying to place precious.

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17 hours ago, Doug Adams said:

Jim’s a dear friend and trusted collaborator. I tell him .... things. 

 

So you're saying I need to up my Guinness game, then? Hmmm...well, I guess one Guinness every nine years really won't help to loosen your tongue...fingers...things. 

 

;)

 

I hope things are well at your end, Doug. My relatives in Woodstock tell me that the weather in northern IL has been a bit disagreeable as of late...

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