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  1. I assume he is referring specifically to Desolation Of Smaug. Unless he is referencing to some kind of musical joke they snuck into the scores, I would guess he's implying that Sizemore did more work on the score than credit's let on. We could ask the twitter user what he meant, he seems like he wants to talk about it! Interestingly if you look at James Sizemore's website, he's credits himself as 'Orchestration and arranging' on DOS and BOTFA. Not sure what that means, but I don't think it's worth reading too much into it. https://jamessizemore.com/project/259/ He also credits himself as 'Additional music by' and 'Score produced and arranged by' on Spotlight - I wasn't aware Shore sometimes deferred cues to members of his team, something I associate primarily with Zimmer and co. But I certainly wouldn't blame Shore for moving on from his one man band LOTR days; scoring films is a gargantuan task. And it's wonderful to still be getting new music from him, while he hopefully isn't overburdening himself with the workload (especially with modern film editing making the process oftentimes unnecessarily cumbersome). Huge thanks to Doug, Jim, Cliff and Justin for organising and recording these commentaries. I never thought we'd get something as wonderful as this, it's such a treat for us fans of these scores!
  2. Am really enjoying watching this! Although the first time Justin's mic wasn't working, I thought it was just a really long uncomfortable silence where everyone was waiting for someone else to speak which was painful . It's a joy to see Jim for the first time, and you come across great here, with thoughtful and considered responses. Would be a thrill to have a beer with the both of you some day!
  3. I came across this impressive fan produced audiobook of The Hobbit. What's fun about it is the ties to the films - the video thumbnails, the character's accents and the score. I've had a lot of fun listening to various snippets - and think members here who don't enjoy Jackson's adaptations but like the scores will appreciate hearing the music against pure Tolkien. You may already enjoy reading the book whilst listening to the scores, but there is a certain thrill to hearing the score sync up perfectly to moments like the introduction of Gandalf (matching the film) at 8:55: I think the narrator does a great job overall, and there are well-done sound effects/ambiances too. He seems to know the scores well and applies the themes pretty faithfully to the scenes they underscore, though there are occasional issues with the mixing and editing. Honestly, the themes for Laketown, the Woodland Realm, House of Durin and Smaug are so perfectly fitting for their respective subjects and I'm glad they're getting a bigger chance to shine here! Would love for them to have more awareness among fan circles, as the Rohan, Gondor, Fellowship and Mordor themes did before! A rather fun thing he did was adapt the songs that didn't make the films, making use of Shore's score. Here (after a rousing statement of the Laketown theme), he uses the House of Durin theme to create one of the songs from Laketown at 16:15: Would to be interested to know if anyone here has the dedication and interest to listen to the whole thing! I'm actually quite tempted to myself (I've never read the book!).
  4. Well, nearly five years on and I'm still discovering new things about these scores! I had no idea the 'Forces of the Enemy' theme from ROTK (scoring the Witchking and Fellbeast at Minas Morgul) which is reprised in DOS for the Sauron reveal, is also played in BOTFA. I was shocked to hear it after all this time - perhaps this was obvious to many of you! (twitter has a built in translator now - neat!) Doug retweeted the penultimate tweet from this thread today (click the twitter icon to see the full thread). Musical examples from those tweets:
  5. I have enjoyed listening to Edith Bowman’s podcast ‘Soundtracking’ for a while now. She talks to filmmakers and composers about the music in their new films, as well as looking back across their careers. Music from the films being discussed is played alongside the interviews. I was excited to see there was a new episode with Peter Jackson and Philipa Boyens discussing Mortal Engines, giving them a chance to talk about the LOTR scores - which I don’t think will happen very often. During the opening discussion about Tom Holkenborg’s score to Mortal Engines, I thought Jackson gave a rather revealing description of their relationship (8:38). Is it just me or does this feel like a jab at Howard Shore (edit: the parts in bold)? I can’t see how you would praise someone as being ‘on your side’, unless you previously worked with a collaborator who you felt was not on your side. The other composers he has worked are Michelle Scullion, Peter Dasent, Danny Elfman (was suprised to find this out!), James Newton Howard, Brian Eno and Plan 9. The only frequent collaborators here are Peter Dasent, Plan 9 and Howard Shore. We know that Shore was replaced on King Kong due to creative differences, and the Hobbit scoring process was significantly changed after the first movie and its late re-scoring sessions. It seems unlikely to me that Jackson is (indirectly) referring here to any other composer than Shore. If this is indeed how he feels about working with Shore then I can’t help but feel a little sad. They collaborated together to make arguably some of the best films and scores of all time. Perhaps the previous interviews about their working relationship did not give the full picture, but I recall Shore frequently talking about how collaborative the process was. Even on The Hobbit, Jackson would mention Shore being ‘very good natured’ and again Shore mentioned their collaboration (for example, Jackson pushing the music for Smaug to sound more Eastern). If Peter’s comments above were referring to Shore, I wonder how he got that impression. Perhaps he thinks the composing and orchestration process takes too long for a traditional composer such as Shore, and he prefers the way a DAW composer can send him pieces very quickly. This might lead Jackson to think traditional composers aren't as cooperative - because they can't iterate as quickly. I wonder if he felt Shore was pushing back in self-interest to Jackson wanting to use tracked music that doesn’t make sense in the new context (the Nazgul and Gondor Reborn theme in AUJ) or wanting to reprise the Misty Mountain Song melody in films 2 or 3 (if it was the case that Jackson wanted this and Shore did not). The part of the interview about LOTR was quite enjoyable regardless. It starts at 23:37, and there were a few things I hadn’t heard before.
  6. Came across this making of ‘The Last Goodbye’ video. Does this come from the Appendices? I don’t recall seeing this before. Enjoyed watching it! A couple of interesting things I noticed in the video: There was someone on set playing flute with Billy, when they were shooting Pippin’s song in ROTK. I’m curious who that person is and why they have a flute! (2:45) Billy came up with the initial melody the night before filming that scene! And interestingly you can hear how it had the same shape and rhythm, but different notes. They must have gone on to improve it for the ADR sessions. The Last Goodbye went through several different iterations, and I think the worked paid off. I find the song closes off the series in a very fitting way. Howard Shore actually suggested they use Victoria Kelly for the orchestrations and arrangement (5:25). I had assumed Shore wasn’t asked to be involved with the writing or orchestration of the Hobbit songs. As Doug mentioned previously, he did have some oversight of this song but declined to be credited on it. This is from Kelly’s website: https://victoriakellymusic.com/2016/09/04/the-last-goodbye/ Nice to see them back at Abbey Road with the LSO! The music video was nicely put together too - I wonder how cool it would be for a LOTR fan to have seen this before seeing the Hobbit movies. Say we could go back to 2010 and show it someone, I imagine they would be rather excited for the new trilogy!
  7. An enjoyable balanced review of the Hobbit trilogy, though mostly focusing on the positives. Nice to see ‘Feast of Starlight’ getting a specific mention!
  8. It is finally here! Just the first few bars and - wow, this is completely different to what I was expecting! I figured it would start with AUJ material and the material would just be edits of the scores as heard on album. But it starts with a new arrangement of Smaug’s theme! Notes about the video: It is a very strange video player, I seem to have no option to scrub through the video — only play on pause it. Unfortunately the audio quality is quite poor. It is hard to tell how good the orchestra is because of the quality, certainly doesn't sound anywhere near as good as LPO/NZSO. (update: it lets me scrub through, and there is now a HQ option) I would suggest waiting to hear this in good quality - perhaps it will get a CD release eventually. Couldn't stop myself from listening though - how exciting it is to hear new Howard Shore middle earth arrangements! Ha, the way the drums are played in this performance it makes The Wooland Realm theme sound like a dance! It kind of dig it ☺️. Planning to watch the whole concert - I'm so far enjoying the pieces from his scores that I hadn't heard before. Nice to see him conducting too! So it appears... they have only released recordings for two of the four movements!
  9. Fun series of tweets courtesy of Jim Ware: It has been a while since I listened to AUJ, so I'm really enjoying listening to pieces from it each day as Jim mentions them! The Erebor theme at 5:51 is breath-taking! Such a magnificent tone, with a slightly mournful quality similar to the brass for Gondor in ROTK. Also, a fun little tidbit I noticed: at 23s Shore seems to sketching a piece for 02:12.02 with the annotation 'th stabs'. This would suggest the sheet music is for the ending of the film with Thorin stabbing something. But he's actually writing the notes for 1:32 of 'The Adventure Begins'. You can see the crosses above the bars don't line up with the time signatures (the first two bars have 4 crosses, but he is writing in 3/4). He must have just been writing out the piece on some spare manuscript paper for the camera!
  10. Hurwitz has said that he doesn't get offered many scoring gigs because he has a reputation for being 'the jazz guy'. I wonder if this might open him up to getting onto non-Chazelle projects!
  11. First snippets of score! Neat that they're promoting the film by sending online personalities to the scoring sesions!
  12. True not much is revealed, but still nice to know Chazelle is enjoying the scoring sessions. It also confirms Hurwitz is conducting for the first time and that the score will prominently feature the orchestra. I had a chuckle reading the FSM reactions to the score possibly containing electronic elements: The first time I listened to the ambient tracks from the Whiplash score I thought they made use of synthesizers. Turns out they are recordings of Big Bang instruments slowed down!
  13. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/damien-chazelle-oscar-winner-talks-ryan-gosling-starrer-first-man-1136395 Lengthy interview with Damien Chazelle about First Man containing a brief mention of the score. While we're here, anyone fancy sharing their favourite Hurwitz pieces? I'm kind of surprised his scores haven't been discussed much here, so thought I'd get the ball rolling. Lovely rendition of the Cincinatti theme featured in the End Credits of Guy & Madeline On a Park Bench, which also features in La La Land. I would recommend you check out this soundtrack if you enjoyed La La Land, there are a couple of fun crossovers between the scores. Hurwitz has a knack for writing memorable melodies, and I think his theme for Whiplash is brilliant. Full of ambition, with a touch of melancholy. I love that even in a predominantly ambient/thriller style score, he gives us a strong main theme with several variations. Just a question about this one. Anyone else noticed that this piece is much shorter than it appears in the film? It seems odd not to include the full piece in the 'La La La Complete Musical Experience' set. Hurwitz mentions in the commentary that the track was written to fit the length of the scene and cut out with the climax of the heated debate. I wonder if they recorded this shorter version specifically for the soundtrack.
  14. The reasons I can see for the Hobbit Complete Recordings to exist: The 2 hours of unreleased music that Jim mentions The opportunity for expanded liner notes (without having to avoid spoilers like the OST liners) The chance for the scores to be released on Bluray in high resolution and on Vinyl Presenting the score in complete chronological order (following the structure of the analysis in The Music of the Hobbit films) Opportunities for any other bonuses, like interviews/rarities/score sheet music excerpts The music I’m most looking forward to off the top of my head: Previously unheard DOS prologue battle music which is rumoured to combine the House of Durin theme and An Ancient Enemy theme Complete Spider sequences with additional Mirkwood theme appearances and Shelob-like music New Beorn sequence with the reprises of Thorin’s theme and the AUJ/FOTR dwarf welcome theme The gorgeous House of Durin statement for the EE scene in Laketown Complete Fire & Water piece, including the missing bard’s family theme statements and music for the dwarves watching from Erebor The complete Chariot battle sequence, with previously unheard music Complete BOTFA funeral piece - dwarven themes in counterpoint, yes please! I do hope these releases happen, and I think it is ultimately up to Shore. They’ve been doing complete/expanded release of his lesser known scores, so I hold out hope.
  15. @Loert Interesting break down on the riff from Another Day of Sun. As someone who highly regards the score, I of course disagree with much of what you said. But I appreciate people will like what they like, and I still enjoyed reading your technical analysis. I would like to share my own thoughts on the section you are discussing though. I also noticed that the melody in the second bar begins on the 7th of the chord - but I thought this is why it sounds so brilliant! The phrase has a terrific energy to it which I think is in part due to the tonic in the melody being pushed to later in the bar. Because of the swift tempo, the dissonance at the start of the second bar passes by quickly, adding drive but not sounding clumsy. I am aware that strictly speaking this breaks the rules of classical harmony. But this is a heavily jazz infused score after all, and rules can be broken to great effect. Fundamentally, if it sounds good then thats all that matters. And I think the critical and commercial success of the score speaks for itself. Though of course ‘sounding good’ is always going to be subjective. It is an interesting notion that there exists music that is problematic, or inherently against how composing works, but I don’t think these exist in any objective sense. I find these claims absurd. You are claiming what is supposed to happen based on your own understanding of harmony and musical taste. These may be the choices you would have made while composing, but they are not rules that SHOULD or CLEARLY have been followed by any means. For those interested, I’ve put the audio together so you can hear the change that Loert suggested (listen to the first note of the second bar): If you're unable to hear the difference, here they are back to back with just the melodies: Sidenote: I just noticed a goof with the timpani player on screen. Either he’s insanely quick at changing the pedals to the correct pitch, or he’s magically managing to play 4 different notes with only two drums! Also, I hate the sound mix at that point in the scene, all the crowd cheering drowns out the music there - and it’s my favourite part of the piece with the flutes playing the riff!
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