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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. Goes to show how silly these names are. Its why I prefer to talk in terms of associations than in terms of designations.
  2. Wouldn't shock me. By comparison, the first sketch of the Ring was for the Norn scene and its scored with, well, the Ride of the Valkyries... Early on, these things are often in a state of flux.
  3. The theme associated with the Shire, absolutely; especially within the context of the series as a whole. The Fellowship? Eh. It’s heroic contour makes us hear it as the “main theme” in the Old Hollywood style. But it’s not. The Middle Earth scores simply don’t function that way: you’d be hard-pressed to take any one theme and call it the “main theme.” Just like The Ring cycle doesn’t have any single main theme, nor do the individual entries have defining themes. These works are not about a single body of music nor two warring musical “factions.” They’re about setting up several musical “worlds” and developing them into one another.
  4. I don't think that's quite true. Fragments of that theme already crop-up in "The Prophecy" and certainly its halfstep-up-and-back-down shape is one of the basic building blocks of the score, engendering many other themes. It may not have been intended as a cornerstone of the scores that it ended-up being, but that's a different story.
  5. I know, but its true of a lot of the melodic ideas in that film: except for readings that highlight the "Weakness and Redemption" shape, does the music associated with Rivendell undergo any change? What about the themes associated with Lorien? Isengard? The ideas that do undergo development are some of the Shire and Fellowship-related ideas, and some of the Nazgul-related writing insofar as it "infects" other music.
  6. In The Fellowship of the Ring, a lot of themes are not yet really being put in a constant state of flux: The theme associated with the Ring is a good sequitor - except for a few clever preliminary forms and that version in The Doors of Durin where Shore messes with the intervals, its really almost always the same in musical form, and except for that statement at the Argonath its almost always the same in its associative meaning. So are many - but not all - of the themes. Shore really comes into his own with developing the themes later on.
  7. Using thematic reminiscence isn't unmeaningful. Many - in fact, I would say, most - film scores don't develop their themes in any significant way. The use of development, foreshadowing, and all those functions of the mature leitmotif technique is an outlier in film music, and in music in general. Is Lohengrin any less a great piece of music because its thems undergo no change? What about Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone? Even in The Fellowship of the Ring Shore hadn't quite yet mastered the art of development and transformation, so? And yes, the fact of the matter is the deadlines faced by Bear, given the amount of music he had to generate, and the fact that below the main beats outlined by Tolkien he's probably in the dark regarding future plot developments, are both factors that limit the ability to do the kinds of things Shore did in the films.
  8. I think the female Dwarves of The Hobbit, though scarcely featured, looked a lot better as it happens:
  9. I think this is the real clencher. Its not a question of talent but of the medium not allowing for that kind of composition.
  10. The Erebor Dwarves have battle masks and I think they look a lot better than these guys.
  11. That is certainly an argument one can make. And Lor knows that even in pieces where the material is in constant change, some motives remain very static and unchanged: The theme associated with the curse in The Ring is like that, I don't believe Shore's Rivendell material changes much, either; or certainly this is true of many Williams themes. At the same time, in this particular case I think that's an easy answer. I think the harder answer is simply that TV scoring doesn't lend itself to that kind of treatment where the composer really gets to "work" the material out. And certainly Bear can rework and develop individual ideas, but he's not going to have the same kind of situation as Shore where different musical "worlds" collide with each other through the development of their subsidiary themes: where you have a situation where Shire-y themes get Fellowship-ed or Mordor-ized and Rohan music gets Gondorized and those sorts of situations.
  12. I hear that, and its wild that if she succeeded at her endeavour at all, it was basically thanks to a Deus ex Machina. Weird writing.
  13. We're over halfway through and we're not done with the buildup: I'll count it as done once the Numenoreans actually set sail, which they hadn't and probably won't until at least halfway through the next episode if not at its end.
  14. That's because the themes undergo absolutely no discernable, meaningful changes that I can hear. They're just stated and restated: slower here, louder there, in solo trumpet here, in strings there. But they're the same, and their associations remain the same - they're used in a very "I see this I hear this, I hear that alluded to, I hear that."
  15. Quite: its what I love about the way the story is told cinematically. That moment that merits that rendition is the only truly happy moment the Dwarves get as a group in The Battle of the Five Armies. Something wonderfully poignant about that! By the way, that opening also presages the Ring's music in the string-line.
  16. I didn't think episode 4 was as strong as the last one, and its amazing to me that we're over four hours into this and still sorting through the setup. Galadriel continues to be overly-abrasive and its utterly confounding that she only convinces Miriel to rally to her cause through what's essentially divine intervention. Elrond continues to be the MVP: Those scenes are awesome!
  17. There is a statement or two that are very close to that variation, though:
  18. Its very hard to make those connections stick because Shore's scores are so big that he invariably uses a great number of basic musical building-blocks for his score, and so its absolutely inevitable that some of them should end in Bear's score, but because the overall style is so different, the context isn't there to hear those resemblences as more than incidental. There are only so many basic intervals!
  19. https://www.liberation.fr/culture/cinema/mort-de-jean-luc-godard-histoire-du-cinema-20220913_4CZHL3TCIZELDKSELOABOVFREM/
  20. I actually agree. Its why all these arguments of "lets wait to see what happens with these themes later" leave me a bit skeptical. But in general, development and transformation of themes is the exception to the rule in film scoring: even some of Williams' Star Wars scores don't particularly develop their material, and you could also accuse The Fellowship of the Ring of not developing its motives all that much.
  21. Wagner, too. He gives the example how this becomes this becomes this becomes this becomes this becomes this. But, to be fair, most scores - including some we think about very highly - don't really change and transform their themes very much: John Williams' Harry Potter scores come to mind. Do the themes in those really change? Not really, no. But we still like them.
  22. That brings up an interesting point: do you see Bear doing any of those things? So far - and do correct me if I'm wrong, because you'd know much better - it seems to me the score is very "I see this, I hear this, I see that, I hear that." The themes are clearly delineated, but aren't undergoing constant transformation and don't interweave as they often do in Shore, and so are we right to even expect Numenore's music to "split up" or be "infected" by Sauron's music or any of these kind of dynamic situations?
  23. Its inherent to the use of leitmotives, that some of the motives are going to be lost in the shuffle between entries, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Pierre Boulez once commented that its the dropping-out of themes and the changing of the associations of leitmotives that gives works like The Ring an added dimension. However, generally speaking in Shore (as in Wagner and, to a lesser extent, as in Williams) the leitmotives that get left by the wayside are much less important to the overall structure than Bear's Numenore theme ought to be. And remember, too, that motives can transform.
  24. No evidence of a falling-out that I can recall: Shore did exit King Kong, but I don’t believe it was acrimonious.
  25. I actually think the Numenore material is quite cool, but then... O, what could have been!
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