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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. You just answered your own question. The soundscape is very, very important: leitmotives always become associated with certain orchestral colours, whether its muted horns with the Tarnhelm, shrieking piccolos with the Imperial Walkers or tin whistles with Hobbits. To replicate those colours so deliberately is to invite comparisons and, in so doing, ensure the score lives with an inferiority complex. Doesn't mean its not a fine, fine score; but the comparison is unavoidable.
  2. I would be perfectly capable of listening to Bear's score without thinking of Shore, by the way, just like I can Leonard Rosenman's. But, unlike Rosenman's score, here each episode opens with a (fantastic, by the way) Howard Shore piece. Furthermore, each episode features timbres which are used very deliberately to evoke Howard Shore's "sound": We see Dwarves, enter the male voices. Why? Because that's an association we have in Howard Shore's scores. Elf scenes? Ethereal female choir and harps? Why, because that's a colour Shore associates with the Elves. Hobbits? tin whistles and uileann pipes galore, because that's what we associate with the Hobbits. Even the Hardinfelle that's used to score the Soutlands scenes (and Halbrand's) recall Shore's Rohan writing. Orcs get lots of percussion and very nasal exotic woodwinds. Why? Because that's what the bad guys are associated with in HOWARD SHORE'S SCORES. If you don't want to invite comparisons, write something totally different. As it is, Bear didn't do that: He intentionally wrote something that begs the comparisons, and only serves to highlight the differences.
  3. A simple harmonic language isn't a bad thing. Besides, the complexity of Shore's writing is less in the harmonic language and more the motivic complexity: There had flat out not been anything like it since Der Ring Des Nibelungen.
  4. I think its a very lovely score, but the Shore titles and the fact that Shore's colours are used: so, men for Dwarves, women for Elves, celtic instruments for Hobbits, and even the Hardinfelle - all make me ache for a Howard Shore score or at least for some of his themes. Its sad to think the downfall of Numenore won't be scored with a version of the main nature theme: think how powerful it would have been that this theme we associate with the Eagles and the Moth and the Rohirrim coming to the rescue would also be attached to the great cataclysm of Numenore.
  5. Its certainly a major idea for the film, and its a shame it got lost in the subsequent scores. But these scores really don't have "main" themes.
  6. Ema Horvath is a big fan favourite, yes. She lurks around on Reddit and she's got none of the airs and graces that so many of the other cast members (motioning in the direct of Benjamin Walker) do.
  7. The dragon sickness is like the love potion in Tristan: its not real. Thorin just thinks he single-handedly set Smaug loose on his own heirs and is left with nothing but the gold, and so his depression causes him to go mad and attach a lot of importance to the gold. Certainly the insomnia doesn't help. All the traits he exhibits under scourge of the supposed "dragon sickness" are ones he already exhibits earlier down the line: self-delusion, bad temper, pride, isolationism, neuroticism, etc.. At any rate, the Dragon Sickness thing is set-up much more thoroughly than this whole Mithril malarky.
  8. ...that invariably coalesce with that hilt somehow being used to make a big explosion et voilà, InstaMordor! Did I mention jumping the shark a second time?
  9. I have to say, to me episode 3 and certain aspects of episode 4 and episode 5 weren't all that bad at all. But yeah, now the show has jumped the shark, and I feel like its gearing-up to double-down next week. But hey, at least now it went from just being middling to being a hoot! I laughed so much courtesy of that Mithril creation myth malarky!!
  10. Why all the long faces? If you watch it mildly inebriated, its a friggin' hoot!
  11. I don't for one moment believe its a made-up story. They go into waaaaay too much detail for it to just be a canard. I think some fans just like the idea that its a canard because they, as of yet, refuse to believe these writers could seriously suggest something so stupid. Well... And remember, next episode the land of milk and honey gets turned into Mordor via an explosion because something something magical sword hilt... Oh boy! This is fun!!
  12. I think someone watched Supergirl the movie and said "ah, the Omegahedron! That's great!! Lets do that!"
  13. I'll make it short and simple: Appearantly all the Elves are now all diabetic and Mithril is insulin.
  14. I'll try and transcribe the scenes in question because its just too good of a lark to pass up on:
  15. Appearantly once upon a time, an Elf fought with a Balrog ontop of the Misty Mountains (you know, like Gandalf did in that movie once? You do remember that, right? RIGHT!?) over a tree that had the light of the last Silmaril in it and then lightning made the light of the tree (mingled with the goodness of the Elf warrior and the evil of the Balrog) to trickle into the Mountain, creating Mithril; and now for some reason the Elves are dying off and will all perish by spring if they don’t get to bask in the light of Mithril, like Finns in a sauna. I swear in the name of all that is holy that I’m not making this up!!
  16. It’s very nice to see the plot finally starting to move. However, now Mithril caught the light of the last Silmaril and the Elves will all perish within a few months if they don’t get to basically stand in front of a bunch of Mithril and bask in its light?! WTF!?
  17. Now now, @Disco Stu that's an unfair accusation. I don't think John Williams wants to see the world burn! Only the lips of the brass players!
  18. Goes to show that naming conventions for musical themes, even when they're used by the composer himself, are ultimately little more than a bit of shorthand. Its better to think of themes as being associated with certain things, rather than designating them to certain things.
  19. Williams wrote - or used to write - pretty informative liner notes that had the same effect as Bear's blog-posts here...
  20. Well, they're both Hobbit-related material: Bree is musically associated with minor-moded fragments of Hobbit music, which makes sense for a partially-Hobbit-populated town. One is a minor-moded skip beat accompaniment that we associate with Hobbiton and the Hobbits' playful side; the other is an ostinato, associated in part with much of Merry and Pippin's antics, that's spun from that little cadence to the skip-beat that often scores the Hobbits acting all befuddled.
  21. To be clear, I don't mind prequels "doing the prequel thing": repeating lines, nodding to visuals from elsewhere, setting-up plotlines in the entries "that are to come". Its what prequels do. But here the attempts of The Rings of Power to relate itself to movies which were made in different decades, by different filmmakers, in a different medium and with a completely different style, often rings very hollow. Curiously enough, I mind it less with dialogue and more with visuals and situations.
  22. That surprised me! I can find the showrunners saying half-a-dozen times that "we didn't want to make a prequel" and then you watch the show and you have a surprising amount of repeated lines ("Salted pork and enough malt beer to fill the Anduin"), lots of familiar iconography but also what's clearly shaping up to be another siege of Helm's Deep, another Bilbo (with Gandalf and a Sam-like sidekick, to boot), another Aragorn (with the rogue aspect of Strider turned up to 11 but still). You could even make the argument that Adar somewhat fullfills the function of Gollum. So weird to do a discount Helm's Deep not two years before we're getting the real deal again!
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