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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. I tend not to read conspiracy theorem into situations like these, but yeah, something's weird.
  2. Morgoth is mentioned in the book though: Jackson namedropped him three or four times, too.
  3. Jackson was technically breaching the rights situation with the "Blue Wizards" comment: there's no indication in the pages of The Lord of the Rings and its appendices that they're blue!
  4. You can really feel all the manuevering of what they can and can't use, both in terms of rights to Tolkien's works and to Jackson's designs. Makes it such an odd duckling of a show in the "franchise" landscape!
  5. But he's "Finrod" in the credits. I don't think that's an issue: I actually think he's denominated as Galadriel's brother in the appendices.
  6. I had discussions on "is that a boy choir we're hearing or are they women?" and the general consensus was it were women... At the time of reviewing the OST for The Fellowship of the Ring, Doug refers to "The Prophecy" as an overture that doesn't just exposit melodic ideas but also the basic palette, which is very important because the leitmotives do become associated with certain colours. So to have a similar treatment here is quite nice.
  7. I think the most informative aspect of it is to learn that some of the soprano vocals we're hearing are in fact boys. Its nice that the piece also incorporates the whole basic "palette" of orchestra, men, women and boys.
  8. I hear people say that, but I think it’s a false equivalency. Even within the confines of the first three episodes, they were written by different people, directed by different t people, had different DPs, different art director, etc… When I hear the showrunners talk about the season - much less the series as a whole - as a monolithic piece, like “one 8 hour movie” the thing I flash back to is George Lucas calling the six Star Wars films a single movie. *He* would like to think it is, and he would sure like us to think it is, but it doesn’t make it so. And one of the reasons the showrunners like that equivalency is exactly what you’re saying: that we supposedly need the context of the whole thing to judge any of its composite parts, which is convenient insofar as it makes the show critically impervious for several years into the future. Even in the case of The Lord of the Rings - which is much closer to the “one film in three parts” idea - people didn’t have to wait to The Return of the King to sing the praises of The Fellowship of the Ring.
  9. That’s true, I did say that. But Bilbo’s Song - like this piece - does have associations for us insofar as it incorporates elements of Shire music and nature music and Fellowship music: they’re not specific associations because we haven’t actually heard that melody against any footage, but as we do hear it we can’t help but think (in very generalized, untenable terms) of the Hobbits and the Fellowship and so forth. The same is true of this piece: for a Rings alum, the reminiscences of Rivendell and so forth are undeniable, and to a new listener they’re a prophecy of those melodic ideas. Its still absolute music in both cases insofar as whatever associations we have for it are not specific.
  10. That...wasn't exactly my point. I think the theme is and had been very intentionally composed to allude to all these basic melodic ideas that go on to engender the various themes that comprise Shore's Middle Earth music. My point about it being a piece of absolute music is something that's always true of leitmotives which is that we hear them before we can possibly know what they "mean." Even if we take the scores purely in the order in which they were written, when we first hear that preliminary form of a theme that will become associated with the destruction of the Ring, we couldn't possibly say what this music "means" - its not used for reminiscene (erinnerung), its used for presentiment (ahnung). The Wagnerian in me cannot resist the prototypical example of this, which is that when Wotan concieves of assembling dead heroes in Valhalla (thus naming it as such), we hear a theme that will become associated with the sword, Nothung. But we won't see the sword or hear about it until some 40 minutes into the next opera in the cycle. Its just there to anticipate it. Same here, when a new listener hears the arpeggio, hears the inverted half-step, hears the scales, they can have no idea what to associate these ideas with. But when they hear them in the themes in the entries "that are to come", the fact that a seed had been planted will count for something! Think of it like an overture.
  11. Its the arpeggio idea alternating with rising and falling scales. I'd say if the arpeggio is meant to conjur up associations with anything its primarily with the Elves, as a kind of paean to Elvendom at its peak. Scales more readily evoke the Hobbits.
  12. I hear a lot of stuff in there besides just associations with the Ring, though: the shape conjures-up for me associations of Rivendell and Elrond, the Lydian feel of the piece immediately conjures-up the world of mankind, there's some chords underneath straight out of music connected with Beorn (so, the world of nature), etc...
  13. One of the things, I suppose, that makes this show feel so palpably "corporate" is that its navigating between two pairs of rocks and hard places: its trying to tell a story from the Appendices but not from the Unfinished Tales AND its trying to tell a story in a style reminiscent of but thus-far never identical to the live action films. So constantly, one feels the "oh, we can't use that piece of storytelling, we need to write around it" or "we can't use this design, we'll just do a vaguely-similar one, cast it into sillhuette, show it for only a couple of shots and hope nobody notices." That, coupled with other choices like how shockingly unviolent this show is thus far, makes it feel really conventional, "safe" and corporate. Are there not coups of visuals and sounds? No engaging characters? no interesting mise en scene choices? No intriguing situations? Yes, of course there are. But the overall effect is at best pleasant.
  14. Yes, but its just so prosaic! Surely there was something a little more meaningful they could have put the KidLadriel through?
  15. I think the sequence itself is a little underwhelming, visually. The music, however, is not. True, its not some big swashbuckling, fanfarish thing like people are used to with the openings of big TV shows, but that's just not Shore's style. I can't offhand think of a single Shore score that opens ostentatiously. One fortunate byproduct of the underwhelming title sequence is that the music doesn't become associated with any specific visuals: it really operates as a piece of absolute music, and as an anticipation of musical elements that will engender important themes that - within the order of the musical storytelling - are yet to come in Shore's movie scores.
  16. Its just so...prosaic, mundane. In the trilogies, the prologues dealt with the corrupting power of the Ring, with greed, with loss of home, treachery, death. This prologue does pay lip service to some of these through a quick montage of the War of Wrath, but the bulk of it is some super mundane big brother routine, and the same is true to a lesser extent of Durin's "you missed my daughter's piano recital!" to Elrond.
  17. I'd agree, except I'd amend that to just their argument, the only worthwhile scene in the first episode. I found the prologue extremly inert: appearantly, back in the depths of time, at the heart of the earthly paradise, the place that the cycle ends with Frodo (and Bilbo) going to as reward for his ultimate sacrifice - over there, in that place of unimaginable beauty and bliss, Elf-kids fight over origami...
  18. https://deadline.com/2022/09/lord-of-the-rings-viewership-rings-of-power-amazon-jeff-bezos-tolkien-1235107279/
  19. Chen was invited for the premiere and I'm told he didn't go either.
  20. It doesn't. There are, of course, extreme example. This motive in the Ring is EXACTLY the same music as this motive, just slowed down beyond all recognition. But I don't see, going forward, Bear manipulating his themes and working them out like Shore does: that had always been an outlier in film music. Actually, in progammatic music in general.
  21. Numenore isn't in this until episode 3... But the Dwarves are in episode 2 and it does improve considerably on the first, partially as a result of their presence.
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