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Howard Shore's The Desolation Of Smaug (Hobbit Part 2)


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It is half a year away, Howard Shore's fifth entry in the world of Middle Earth.

I figured this news finally warrants to start a discussion about the upcoming score. From Conrad Pope's Facebook page:

"Last day in New York. The last few days I've spent with composer Howard Shore, absorbing as much as I can of his latest score. Last week I had a whirlwind trip to New Zealand. If we can cross the the Ts and dot the Is on a deal, it seems I'll be spending this summer wandering the crochets and breves of "Middle Earth". Whatever the outcome of negotiations, it has been an exciting couple of weeks making new friends, colleagues and hearing new music."

Also, a man named Clifford J. Tasner is probably also on board:

"Hey Jess, August won't work for me, because it looks like I'll be working on the next Hobbit film, and that will go from August through the middle of October (there's a chance I'll be going to New Zealand to do that - it's still up in the air).".

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Yep, I was on my way out the door to visit the sessions NZ when the phone call came in telling me to unpack my bags. Later the following winter, Shore had me over to hear his full Kong score, but onl

Shore wrote every note you'll hear, same as ever. He writes themes away from picture, then writes the actual compositions to picture. It's the same process he's always used. At the same time, he super

I strongly assume after the post-production mayhem on AUJ, Howard Shore probably wants to remove pressure from himself by sharing the burden of orchestration.

To have more time talking PJ out of using temp music ;)

:lol: Would make sense. And Conrad Pope is one of the best in the business. He must have been there to get to know Shore's handiwork so he has some prior experience if push comes to shove on his deal.

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Plus, he can then take over from Shore in There And Back Again ;)

Oh god, Chamber of Secrets all over again ... "I called Howard up and said I was going to send over the police to confiscate his pen, I thought he just couldn't stop writing. The truth is, There And Back Again is Howard Shore score from start to finish."

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Plus, he can then take over from Shore in There And Back Again ;)

I thought Plan 9 had a plan to oust him already? Will this be a battle of 3 armies?

I do not think Mr. Pope's involvement is anything we should feel worried about. Shore still had a scoring staff on all these projects. Even if it did feel based on the LotR documentaries that he was the one taking copies of the violin parts 2 am in the morning, it was actually some low level assistant, I am sure. ;)

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I wouldn't panick because of that. I'm sure it's because of the post production stress.



Untill Zimmer of the Underworld rears its ugly head in
...

"At first, I was completely blocked in my head, thinking 'oh my god, this is Middle Earth, this is the most iconic music ever'. Then luckily, you have these one of a kind filmmakers, like Peter Jackson who took that weight off my shoulders and said 'It's just another movie Hans, get real!' So I thought, what did Shore do? A couple of nice tunes, lots of chorus, very objective things. So, if I take away some of that, by that alone I will be different. And in a funny way, it went from being absolutely, completely intimidated by the baggage of the Howard Shore tune to being completely liberated and try out some crazy stuff."

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I wouldn't panick because of that. I'm sure it's because of the post production stress.

Untill Zimmer of the Underworld rears its ugly head in

...

"At first, I was completely blocked in my head, thinking 'oh my god, this is Middle Earth, this is the most iconic music ever'. Then luckily, you have these one of a kind filmmakers, like Peter Jackson who took that weight off my shoulders and said 'It's just another movie Hans, get real!' So I thought, what did Shore do? A couple of nice tunes, lots of chorus, very objective things. So, if I take away some of that, by that alone I will be different. And in a funny way, it went from being absolutely, completely intimidated by the baggage of the Howard Shore tune to being completely liberated and try out some crazy stuff."

"I figured out silence was the way to go, to minimize my involvement and trying to feel the headspace of Bilbo and the dwarves. Empty silence. Notes get in the way, silence lays everything kind of super bare and I was able to get into the psyche of their tortured minds. Also I used foghorn for Smaug, which was a given."

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Really looking forward to hearing the Charge of the Rohirrim during the Barrels Down the Bond scene in this.

I think they are going for the Flaming Red Hair vibe for that particular sequence.

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Let's just hope that Shore has been busy with AUJ Extended Cut and the new film. There are plenty of new characters, places and sequences in the second film to fill another section of his Middle Earth sketchbook. I can't wait to hear what he has come up with for the Wood Elves, Mirkwood, the giant spiders, the Lake-Town, the Master of the Lake-Town, Bard, the ravens etc. He is now on relatively new ground, which means that he can rely less on LotR nostalgia and explore new material. If PJ lets him that is. ;)

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Or Edge of Night. To juxtapose the loss of innocence involved with rolling in a barrel.

Plan 9 could set the Elven barrel song lyrics to earthy pub corner folk ensemble tune. And Neil Finn could return for another end credits song with this hit!

Roll--roll--roll--roll,

roll-roll-rolling down the hole!

Heave ho! Splash plump!

Down they go, down they bump!

Down the swift dark stream you go

Back to lands you once did know!

Leave the halls and caverns deep,

Leave the northern mountains steep,

Where the forest wide and dim

Stoops in shadow grey and grim!

Float beyond the world of trees

Out into the whispering breeze,

Past the rushes, past the reeds,

Past the marsh's waving weeds,

Through the mist that riseth white

Up from mere and pool at night!

Follow, follow stars that leap

Up the heavens cold and steep;

Turn when dawn comes over land,

Over rapid, over sand,

South away! and South away!

Seek the sunlight and the day,

Back to pasture, back to mead,

Where the kine and oxen feed!

Back to gardens on the hills

Where the berry swells and fills

Under sunlight, under day!

South away! and South away!

Down the swift dark stream you go

Back to lands you once did know!

Man you're awesome!

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I know, and the combination of those lyrics with Neil Finn's anvil-banging will be sublime!

Perhaps it'll be cowbells this time around. You know because cowbells and barrels go together...

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I'm still very interested to know if Shore has actually contributed new (and hopefully revised) material to the extended cut of AUJ, given that it's already been rated by the MPAA and thus should be finished. I'm concerned they might have just taken what he's already done (i.e. the Bilbo exploring Rivendell parts) and tracked the rest. You could almost see the Dwarf End Cap from ROTK's drinking game scene re-appear during the Dwarves' antics in Rivendell. Therefore it would be nice if Doug could confirm Shore's involvement either way.

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I also wonder if Gandalf's trek to High Fells to explore the tomb of the Witch-King (and his kingly wraith buddies) will be intact in the upcoming film along with the score (very probably the track Edge of the Wild from the Special Edition soundtrack) or has it been restructured and re-scored.

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i think it can mean that shore is disheartened by the project and does not want to work so hard on it. Pope is a great orchestrator (and probably ghostwriter) Im sure he can adapt shores themes perfectly (im thinking on PJ wanting to use cues from previous films)

it is sad really.

This is the closest John Williams will get scoring LOTR hehehe.

BTW if PJ can piss off shore that much...I'm really not sure if i want him to piss off WIlliams on tintin 2...

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BTW if PJ can piss off shore that much...I'm really not sure if i want him to piss off WIlliams on tintin 2...

I just don't want PJ directing that film although there's no way he won't do it :(

If Shore is pissed off, he should just leave the project and write a score based on the book. I'm sure the result would be miles better.

Howard Shore is pissed off? How strange! I wonder what could be!

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It does seem like Shore orchestrates his scores alone. Perhaps this is a good thing - Shore will pass off his sketches to Pope/Tasner (Tasner works with Pope) so he has time to focus on the constant rewrites for Hobbit 2+3. Just because he's adding orchestrators doesn't mean it won't sound like Shore. His sketches are pretty detailed.

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Yeah, it's not like Don Davis' The Matrix score stopped sounding like Don Davis when he started to use orchestrators. It's pretty mind boggling that Shore would do it all by himself anyway. Especially under the crazy schedules of modern movies.

Karol

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I always maintained that LOTR was not highly orchestrated. Many of the statements of the main themes sound alike without extreme noticeable changes. Though he started to change in ROTK and I like how he arranged the old themes in AUJ. Maybe he has seen that he can compose and arrange with more variety if he uses orchestrators, leaving him more time to focuse on composing music.

And then it just cant be he is clashing with Jackson's new attitude about film scores...

Other composers that credit themselves in covers, liner notes, etc... with orchestration (that i know) are Morriconne and Roque Baños. I think sometimes it creates monothematic scores, where cues are just variations in lenght and slight arrangement of a musical idea/theme.

The score will still sound like shore, that's a no brainer.

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Scoring will begin in earnest pretty soon I assume, so it's not unusual this talk happens so soon. That he was talking to Shore the last couple weeks is already an indication that he gets into the process of Shore and is there to hear his early ideas and themes so the process until December goes smoothly.

Oh, and I hope we all agree that Pope's skill and experience can only help the resulting score, even more so if it gives Shore more time to focus on composing.

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I'm not so much worried about the change in sound (which I'm sure won't happen) as I am about yet another change in Shore's commitment to the project.

See, as fantastic a score as An Unexpected Journey was, it falls short of LOTR largely because it doesn't feel as unified a whole as the predecessors. It felt a little rough around the edges due to the poor conditions enforced by Jackson. The use of Plan 9's theme as the main theme already struck some problems, and now we have Shore considering not orchestrating it. This worries me only because Shore is well known for orchestrating all his work. And this change in the process has me thinking if Shore is re-evaluating his commitment to this project and if he might not go all out as he did with LOTR.

I want the Hobbit trilogy musically to match the incredible planning and thought put into LOTR, and with so many third parties involved, I'm left thinking if this might not come to be.

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I always maintained that LOTR was not highly orchestrated. Many of the statements of the main themes sound alike without extreme noticeable changes. Though he started to change in ROTK and I like how he arranged the old themes in AUJ. Maybe he has seen that he can compose and arrange with more variety if he uses orchestrators, leaving him more time to focuse on composing music.

Manuel the reason why some themes receive very similar variations is purposeful (e.g. The History of the Ring) and saying that the themes do not vary in orchestration is a gross exaggeration. If anything Shore's themes for LotR are in constant flux, orchestrationally and melodically. Plus we know that the instrumental colours and choices are equally well thought out. He certainly has his own methods of orchestrating and aesthetic and because of that sounds to me refreshingly different from most of the Hollywood bunch but saying that LotR wasn't highly orchestrated is just silly.

Also why did Conrad Pope's possible involvement ruffle so many feathers here? Orchestrators are a norm in the business of stressful schedules, so why is it a horrible troll and horror in this case? Just because Shore hasn't used one before? It isn't like Shore would write him a piano sketch and say "go make it sound like my orchestrations!".

This is one of those internet phenomena where a relatively small detail is blown out of proportion and speculated into a gigantic issue, when there simply isn't one.

A quote from Doug Adams' post on his blog:

Nothing big. Shore is using a couple of orchestrators on the score this time out. Clifford J. Tasner is confirmed, Conrad Pope is in discussions.

Shore used orchestrator Homer Denison on a regular basis for the first 15-or-so years of his career. From The Fly to Analyze This. He hasn't used orchestrators recently, but it's not at all unusual for composers on giant projects with sharp deadlines. Williams uses them all the time. Goldsmith did, too. It's actually quite rare for a film composer not to, in fact. Only Morricone leaps to mind -- and Herrmann back in the day.

Some composers depend on orchestrators to translate their unwieldy mock-ups to something a live human orchestra can actually play. This is not the case with Shore, of course. His sketches are detailed and essentially complete, so the orchestrators' job is perhaps best likened to copy work. This isn't to belittle the job; it's still a ton of work. But this will all be seamless behind-the-scenes stuff. It won't change the final result in any perceptible way. It's still all Shore's music.

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