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Howard Shore's An Unexpected Journey (Hobbit Part 1)


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On 10/18/2018 at 8:01 AM, Jim Ware said:

There are three versions of the Radagast opening:

  • The version head in the YouTube video
  • The intermediate version heard on the album (with boys choir)

So, is the difference between the YT video version and the Album version:

1: The fast paced Radagast theme at 4:27 played as a fiddle solo instead of the full string section? (and without choir?)
2: Recorded without the Rain scene music?

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I'm not planning to read the book out loud. (The book is too long, and my voice is too annoying!) Rather, I'm hoping to set the stage for why such a book would be interesting to people. Back on LOTR,

All will become clear in time.

We start at the beginning, and make a few references to sync points throughout. But really, I don't think we line up anything all that tightly anyway. It should work fine as long as you're close.

On 10/21/2018 at 11:16 PM, Falafel said:

So, is the difference between the YT video version and the Album version:

1: The fast paced Radagast theme at 4:27 played as a fiddle solo instead of the full string section? (and without choir?)
2: Recorded without the Rain scene music?

 

Choir and fiddle were recorded separately - there are multiple variants.

 

First opening - Rain scene, aleatoric strings, Gandalf's motif, ascending/descending triplet 'prophecy' motif

Second opening - Aleatoric strings, Gandalf's motif, secondary wizard motif (w/boy's choir), ascending/descending triplet 'prophecy' motif

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  • 3 weeks later...
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In AUJ:EE, when Bilbo goes down to the market and thinks a folded cloth is Gandalf's hat, was the music tracked entirely from Bag End, with the part where Bilbo looks for the Ring (or in this one, sees the "hat" and runs) sped up, was it rerecorded, was anything else planned and tracked over, or was just that panic-y portion mildly rearranged, sped up and rerecorded?

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2 hours ago, Holko said:

In AUJ:EE, when Bilbo goes down to the market and thinks a folded cloth is Gandalf's hat, was the music tracked entirely from Bag End, with the part where Bilbo looks for the Ring (or in this one, sees the "hat" and runs) sped up, was it rerecorded, was anything else planned and tracked over, or was just that panic-y portion mildly rearranged, sped up and rerecorded?

In the case of An Unexpected Journey, nothing was specifically recorded or re-recorded for the EE.  The market scene was never scored with original music.

 

The only EE scene with original music restored to the proper place is Bilbo exploring Rivendell (lr95a, the first part of The White Council on album).  

 

    

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  • 1 year later...
16 minutes ago, gkgyver said:

Will this be up after the fact? For Europeans, 2 o'clock at night seems steep to start a 3 hour movie. 

I would think so. The One Ring people tend to archive everything. Unless there’s a copyright issue with the film audio. I still haven’t been told how we’re handling that.

 

... Also not sure if this is video or audio. I haven’t had a haircut since February, so I’m slightly concerned! ;)

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3 hours ago, Doug Adams said:

I'm not planning to read the book out loud. (The book is too long, and my voice is too annoying!) Rather, I'm hoping to set the stage for why such a book would be interesting to people. Back on LOTR, I had time to run a blog to help with such things. These days, I have far less free time. Stupid adulthood! 

 

Regardless, I'll try to drop in plenty that people don't already know.

Cool, I wasn't really thinking you would read the book straight up of course.

 

Your voice sounds alright btw.

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On 7/17/2020 at 3:57 AM, The River (Fal) said:

Your voice sounds alright btw.

 

I'll vouch for Doug's voice being a soothing one. (I know this sounds/reads as if I'm pulling Doug's leg, but I'm really not.)

 

I mean...we've heard it in the Rarities and the DVD docs. We all can vouch for your voice, Doug... :)

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Its marvellous, and I think The Desolation of Smaug would be even better. Naturally, in doing the first of these, there's some explaining to be had and side-tracks to go on, so with that out of the way, the next one could be even more focused on the music while we're hearing it.

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Thank you for a great commentary @Doug Adams and @Jim Ware!

 

I watched/listened to much of the commentary without watching the film and it was all very engaging and interesting even without the picture. Then again I know the first film the best and having been interested (obsessed?) with this music for years has had me watching the movie quite a few times. :lol:  

 

 I got as far as Rivendell and plan to listen to the rest when I have time. 

 

I thought it was great that Doug was sort of looking at the bigger picture  in terms of the music and compositional process and Jim focused on the smaller details which very much interest us hardcore Shore/Tolkien/film score fans and was obviously in charge of the explanation of the film music terms for the less film music informed listeners/watchers. I think it all worked wonderfully despite this being your first time doing a live commentary to a film, guys!

 

Also good of you @Jim Ware to mention that these scores could use and easily would warrant Complete Recordings releases. ;) 

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5 hours ago, gkgyver said:

you start this video at the same time of the film, right? 

 

There's some perliminary chatter before they get on with the film, but they do a count-down before they start so its easy to synch the film with the video.

 

After a short while, I was able to watch the movie and basically have this play as though it were a proper commentary track.

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Lete guess, this is NTSC speed, right? 

5 hours ago, Jay said:

Let's think about that for a second.  What other possibilities would there be?

 

That's rather bold sarcasm from someone who's asking the most obvious questions rather frequently. 

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12 minutes ago, gkgyver said:

Lete guess, this is NTSC speed, right? 

 

That's only a thing with DVDs; On blu-ray, it's 24fps in all regions.  These guys assuredly watched the film at the correct speed, not a PAL sped-up version, for certain.

 

12 minutes ago, gkgyver said:

That's rather bold sarcasm from someone who's asking the most obvious questions rather frequently. 

 

Sorry, I didn't know the answer because I haven't checked it out yet, but the only two options are that it starts when the movie does, or it starts independently and they provide a countdown.  Surely you could have clicked play on the video and found out pretty quickly ahead of your intended viewing time.

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17 hours ago, Doug Adams said:

Part two this coming week.

 

Exact timings for when the waterphone can be heard in DoS, please. I know Jim noted them once, but I (a) never heard anything and (b) don't know wh...*hang on, what's that Search function for when you need it*...ah, never mind.

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5 hours ago, Kühni said:

 

Exact timings for when the waterphone can be heard in DoS, please. I know Jim noted them once, but I (a) never heard anything and (b) don't know wh...*hang on, what's that Search function for when you need it*...ah, never mind.


There are Wagnertuben in there too!

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20 hours ago, Kühni said:

Exact timings for when the waterphone can be heard in DoS, please.

 

Yeah, the commentary to An Unexpected Journey was quite interesting on the level of discussion the instrumentation (never knew Shore slipped a Theorbo into The Valley of Imladris) and there's some much more interesting examples in The Desolation of Smaug to talk about.

 

Both Smaug and Mirkwood get some crazy instrumentation, and I know for a fact its not just Gamelan. Going by the liner notes alone, he also gets Dizi and Shakuhachi flutes (the latter very prominent in the opening to The Battle of the Five Armies), a heckelphone, a Tamboura, finger cymbals and so on. Quite a lineup.

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Most of these instruments (dizzy, shakuhachi, hecklephone (bass oboe), and tamboura) tend to double the melodic line in Smaug's two principal themes ... so they're a little tough to point out individually in a recording ... especially in the film mix. 

 

The finger cymbals (which are meant to evoke a sort of Chinese parade procession -- or Indonesian ceng ceng cymbals -- and, of course, Smaug's golden coins) are a bit easier to spot. 

 

I'll have to think on the waterphone. I believe it's easiest to find not in the score, per se, but in some wild takes that are used to evoke the trippiness of Mirkwood.

 

    

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2 hours ago, Doug Adams said:

Most of these instruments (dizzy, shakuhachi, hecklephone (bass oboe), and tamboura) tend to double the melodic line in Smaug's two principal themes ... so they're a little tough to point out individually in a recording

 

Sure, I'm not looking for timestamps or anything. I just find the sheer wealth of instrumentation interesting; I'm sure all of us here do.

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23 hours ago, Jim Ware said:

There are Wagnertuben in there too!

 

You're even using the proper German plural, Jim. :D Bless you. I really need to make it over to the UK again, simply to meet up wth you for another pint of Guinness. :up:

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3 hours ago, Doug Adams said:

(...) Smaug's golden coins) are a bit easier to spot. 

 

Quite the wordsmith again, Doug. ;) 

 

And since I got you on the horn (and no, I'm nowhere near IL): in the DoS booklet (Special Edition), on SMAUG you mention "two intersecting lines twist (...) mirror images of one another. They are the same played back-to-front (...)" While I grant that there may be small language/dyslexia barrier that I can't seem to cross, I never quite got what part of Smaug's theme(s) this relates to, even with the musical notation on the next page.

 

Ta mucho in advanco...and if you need to remain mum, I'll wait for the book. Take care! :)

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Isn't the intention that the "Smaug the Terrible" theme (to the stick to the terminology established in the commentary to An Unexpected Journey) is an inversion of the "Smaug the Magnificent"? The one being the awe of the creature, the other - his deceptive nature?

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3 hours ago, Kühni said:

 

Quite the wordsmith again, Doug. ;) 

 

And since I got you on the horn (and no, I'm nowhere near IL): in the DoS booklet (Special Edition), on SMAUG you mention "two intersecting lines twist (...) mirror images of one another. They are the same played back-to-front (...)" While I grant that there may be small language/dyslexia barrier that I can't seem to cross, I never quite got what part of Smaug's theme(s) this relates to, even with the musical notation on the next page.

 

Ta mucho in advanco...and if you need to remain mum, I'll wait for the book. Take care! :)

 

Smaug the Magnificent and Smaug the Terrible begin as near-retrogrades of one another.* But major record labels don't love if if you use the word "retrograde" in mass-marketed commercial products. Can't imagine why ... ;) 

 

*Speaking here of pitch content. Probably obviously.

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  • 4 months later...
On 12/8/2020 at 2:33 AM, TheUlyssesian said:

 

For the 2 jumps?

 

Yeah. When I watched the video, those couple of moments actually made me laugh in appreciation. Sure, they're simple, but they're done so spot-on and naturally, I couldn't help but be like "Top notch film music, this."

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