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Score

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Score last won the day on March 15 2020

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  1. In a post above, you just put completely wrong words and intentions in McCreary's mouth. Probably you didn't even watch the video that was linked. That's independent of what you wrote here. What you wrote in the post that I'm quoting now, is just your opinion, and it is not based on anything objective, nor on what actually happened in the history of music. The point of writing music, for any medium, is to let people listen to it. Every composer who has ever lived has always tried to promote his works and let them be known / played / recorded / listened to, with the means that were available to them - from playing a new cantata in a church every week in Bach's case, to writing a film score for a movie that is seen by billions of people in some extreme cases happening in today's world. McCreary is of my same generation, he grew up with internet, so it is very natural for him to use the internet to talk about his work. He has described himself as a "film music nerd", so he knows that there are people of our generation who like to talk about film music online, he identifies himself as one of them, and that's what he's doing. I don't see any lack of humility on his side, just a rightful use of the means that he has to promote his work. Whether a composer is talkative or not about his works, is just a matter of personality, and has nothing to do with quality (whether you see it or not in their works). In the past, several great composers wrote extensively about their compositions; e.g., Wagner wrote plenty of essays on his aesthetical views and on analyses of his works (and also on other unrelated stuff, as it is sadly known); Messian wrote the treatise "Technique de mon langage musical"; Boulez wrote essays bashing all those who did not adhere to his own aesthetical principles (among other things); and the list could continue. Of course, I'm not comparing any of these to McCreary, but it is obvious that being talkative does not imply being unable of doing something special. Your "rule of thumb" has absolutely no generality. Do you have anything personal against McCreary? It surely looks like that.
  2. The only thing that's clear is that he's very excited about the project and he considers it as a life dream come true. I would be excited as well if I were in his place. The rest is only in your imagination. He obviously said very clearly that 1) the miracle is that he had a complete control over the presentation of the music, and therefore 2) if anyone doesn't like his music in the show, they should consider him responsible, and not blame anyone else or production choices. It's simply a complete assumption of responsibility. The rest is only in your imagination.
  3. Neither, of course! I saw this earlier today and was about to post it as well. It's clear from what he says that he actually has put thought into the kind of thematic connections that detractors are accusing him of having ignored. I expect they will become clearer as the (multiple) series progress. He also made clear that he's trying to achieve a musical continuity between the series and the movies.
  4. It's ironic that, among the people who are bashing McCreary's work in this thread, there are some who criticize the "lack of intellect" in his scores, and some who find them "too intellectual", in comparison to Shore's work. The reason of this contradiction is that both positions are based on a wrong premise, that one of the two works is intellectual and the other one is not. Actually, both Shore's and McCreary's works are "intellectual"; the difference between the two approaches is the main (and I stress it, the *main*, not the only) target of their intellectual endeavour. Shore put more effort in realizing overarching structures and connections between themes pertaining to different but related characters or situations, at the expenses of the average complexity of the building blocks (which are often very simplistic if taken on their own). McCreary focused more on the building blocks, i.e., the complexity of the themes, harmonies and orchestrations, without giving much thought to interconnections - at least, as far as I have noticed until now. Personally, I'm more favourable to McCreary's approach (which I find conceptually similar to JW's), while others here prefer Shore's approach. But I firmly believe that the reason of the disagreement can be explained with the differences that I described above in an extremely simplified way. In any case, it's wrong to assume that one of the two approaches lacks intellect. They are both "intelligent" scores, in their own way.
  5. I don't know about the actual CD tracks, but I was referring to this paragraph taken from his blog: I interpreted (maybe wrongly) this as meaning that he first wrote some fully developed pieces with a structure, instead of just sketching the themes before applying them to the movies.
  6. Thanks for expressing your point of view in a clear way. I don't want to play Bear's advocate, but I'd like to express in an equally clear way why I believe there is merit in his scores: From what I understood, Bear wrote the themes first in the form of what we use to call "concert arrangements" when talking about JW: I'm thinking of tracks such as "Galadriel" and "Sauron" from the album. Then, he used the themes in the context of the movies' scoring as leitmotives. The device of using some standardized structure for the "concert arrangements" is not strange, as it is exactly what every composer who wrote concert arrangements did, including JW (and if you listen to those tracks, I believe Bear was over-simplifying the discussion in the blog - there is more to the music than what he wrote in words). What might be unusual is the idea of writing the concert version first, and afterwards the applications to the movies (assuming that I understood correctly what he did). However, I don't see how that would have had a bad impact on the film scoring; it was just a way for him to determine a set of musical features that he wanted to associate to each character, and to give them a form. As far as I can see, the scoring is quite differentiated: when you watch the movies, the themes for the various characters emerge clearly in their own identity. The elves, Sauron, Galadriel, the Harfoot, the Stranger, the people of Numenor... they all have their identity which can be traced to some specific devices that the composer used to characterize them. The fact that he used a similar formal structure in the concert arrangements does not impact that. Also in this case, I think Bear was over-simplifying the description of his approach. His themes have many more distinctive features than just the opening interval. For example, the Numenor theme is not just defined by the opening descending minor third, but also by the musical scale of the whole melody, and by several choices in the instrumentation. The theme for the elves in Valinor is not only identified by the harmonic appoggiatura at its beginning (a descending major second), but also by the use of the choir and the harmony: I don't think it is a coincidence that he used, for the first harmonic movement, the same one that was used by Shore in his Rivendell theme (G - Eb chords in McCreary's theme, A - F chords in Shore's); whether intentional or not, this (and the use of choir) is a callback to the way elves were iconically portrayed in the LOTR movies. And so on. The opening interval of the melody is actually the last thing that I noticed when I heard those themes; I find them very distinguishable because of their other features. The fact that he was focused on achieving memorability does not seem to be bad, or cheap, to me: it's exactly what leitmotives should do, and also what Shore's (or JW's) leitmotives were very good at doing. And in the way the ROP movies are scored - besides the leitmotives - I found many well-done musical effects, not less advanced (and sometimes, more advanced) and interesting than Shore's both from the technical point of view, and from the point of view of application to the images. I'm not exactly "foaming at the mouth" , but I think McCreary is using a way of scoring that has significant merits that are not so commonly found in film music nowadays, and that is definitely worth of praise.
  7. Well, his methods seem to consist in writing everything by himself in detailed sketches with all the indications needed by the orchestrators, and writing the whole day for an insane amount of hours. It doesn't sound too different from JW's work ethics. And 9 hours of music of that complexity to be written in a single go during 9 consecutive months is a huge task. I'm not familiar with McCreary's previous work, but I still don't see what is so wrong with his ROP scores, and even less with the methods he has used to compose them. I think one of the sources of disagreement is that not everyone here seems to agree on what is "intellect" in music.
  8. Nope, it was just a civilized conversation between people having different points of view. Nobody is forcing anyone to change their critical opinion. Nobody is a soccer mom here; actually, Timmy happens to be a real pro. But of course, in a Middle-Earth thread one should expect to encounter trolls! They wrote the melody, and McCreary arranged and orchestrated.
  9. Well, discussing musical aesthetics in a forum post is always difficult; due to reasons of brevity and time, one is forced to select certain aspects and not mention others that might be equally important, and inevitably this can be incorrectly interpreted as superficiality. Rest assured that I have a much more articulated view of what I consider advanced, and I am well aware that the quality of music is not just determined by its harmonic language (although for me, it is an important factor). I was just pointing to one particular aspect that I think McCreary dealed with in a more advanced way than Shore. Since earlier in this thread some people were trashing McCreary's score because they felt it inadequate in comparison with Shore's, I was just trying to propose that, depending on what you look for in a piece of music, McCreary's score can be seen as equally interesting and well done as Shore's. McCreary is just using a different aesthetic system, which I feel is more suited to the series he had to score. In that perspective, he did a very good job; contrarily to what others may think, it takes skill to write in that way.
  10. For me, a not-too-simple harmonic language is one of the major reasons of interest of a piece of music when taken in itself (i.e., independently on its application to images).
  11. I agree that Shore was doing something that was new for the movies at that time, and extremely effective. But the way he realized this new approach did not consist in *inventing* a new advanced musical language - something that is almost impossible to expect from film music after all. What he did was to use, in the vast majority of the LOTR scores, a musical language that was hyper-simplified in many aspects. For example, there are long chunks of those scores which consist of only major and minor chords (and their inversions), often realized literally as close triads in the strings or the brass, accompanying fully diatonic melodies (and sometimes, one hears just "breathing" chords and nothing else). So, the composer achieved a novel film music style by making the choice of renouncing to more advanced techniques, which are (and were) commonly used in film scoring: it was a work of subtraction. The intent is clear: in this way, the music certainly feels more naturally integrated in those particular movies, but that is due in large part (in my opinion) to the particular nature and presence of the movies, with their atmosphere of antiquity and anti-artificiality. Remove the movies, and the musical writing - not always, but in several important points - sounds simplistic. Then, of course Shore's music works perfectly in those movies, it made history and nobody denies it. On the other hand, I can fully understand if another composer, such as McCreary, decides to make a different choice and to use a more complex compositional palette, which is what he did with considerable skill, from what I've heard up to now. Considering that the series (so far) does not seem to have the same atmosphere and cultural aspects of the movies, my impression is that Shore's approach might not have worked as effectively. This is the reason why I don't think McCreary's approach is inferior, given the differences between his task and Shore's task. Compositionally speaking, what I've heard from McCreary is more "difficult to do", which does not necessarily equal "better", but might equal "more interesting" at times. I'm saying this only because McCreary has been bashed a bit above in the thread for not following the same line as Shore, and I think his choice can be explained in the terms I mentioned.
  12. Having reached the 5th episode, I still don't find McCreary's scores for this series to be inferior (musically speaking) to Shore's scores for the movies. Of course, the plot of the series is inferior to the plot of the movies, and the movies' characters were more closely related to Tolkien's poetics than the series' characters; the dialogues in the movies, as far as I know, were taken in a significant part from the books. The authors of the series had to invent most of the dialogues and situations, just to make the whole thing doable - and surely they are not Tolkien. Therefore, inevitably the marriage of Shore's music + the movies (which are still the greatest fantasy movies ever done) has a much powerful and long-lasting impact on the viewer compared to the marriage of McCreary's music + the series. But if I judge the music alone, McCreary's work is definitely deserving of praise. IMHO, of course.
  13. Maybe he was disappointed that there was no Snape's theme...
  14. Does anyone know if that list of titles is legit and, if so, does anyone have the first half of the list?
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