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


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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

James Sizemore was an orchestrator on DOS and BOFA, though I don't know what secret that tweet is referring to; He's credited.

 

Maybe it's referring to his work on AUJ, conforming Shore music to the final edit for the last round of cues conducted by Robert Ziegler?

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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!

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6 minutes ago, SUH said:

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.

 

This is not just a Zimmer thing. This is something most major composers do in Hollywood, primarily on big films. 

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6 minutes ago, KK said:

 

This is not just a Zimmer thing. This is something most major composers do in Hollywood, primarily on big films. 

 

"Oh yes, I knew your father well. Here, here's a scene with another father. I forgot to do the harp part, come on, give it a try!"

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Confirmed: There was no ghostwriting by the orchestrators.

11 hours ago, Barnald said:

Noticed this response to TORN's tweet about tonight's live commentary:

 

 

 

I'm intrigued. Any ideas?

 

This didn't age well haha.

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1 hour ago, Drew said:

Confirmed: There was no ghostwriting by the orchestrators.

I guess it somewhat depends on exactly how one views Pope's podium changes we see in the Appendices ;)

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On 9/1/2019 at 5:11 PM, ZenLogic101 said:

Does anyone have or uploaded the full "The Forest River - 7:06" cue?

 

I have the same question. Has someone edited together a full version yet?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/29/2020 at 6:46 AM, Holko said:

I guess it somewhat depends on exactly how one views Pope's podium changes we see in the Appendices ;)

 

The one where he dictates high piccolo rips is soul crushing. How did he think that would work in the slightest? 

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Tried watching with this with the film and found the film practically unwatchable and shortly gave up. But I rediscovered some wonderful passages in the music. I think I'll revisit these scores soon.

 

Great conversation though. Thanks Doug and Jim!

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16 hours ago, KK said:

Tried watching with this with the film and found the film practically unwatchable and shortly gave up.

It helped a lot to just listen to them talk until they referred to somehting cue-specific, then jumping to that timestamp in the movie.

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On 8/13/2020 at 12:26 AM, bollemanneke said:

Did the commentary reveal why DOS and BOTFA did not re-use the best theme of them all, Misty Mountains? Who do I have to blame?

I was glad that Shore wasn't chained to a theme he never wrote, and one that was for the mountains. That being said, it might've made for a nice reprisal in BotFA.

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The pensive Shire theme developed into the Hobbit's Understanding theme, the History of the Ring theme developed into the Evil/Ring hybrid, Evenstar theme developed into Twilight and Shadow theme, the Silver Trumpet theme developed into Gondor Reborn, and Misty Mountains developed into House Of Durin theme. 

There's no difference. 

Stop thinking of Shore's Middle Earth scores as standard film scores with standard "obligatory main theme" approach. 

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Yeah, but you don't stop having the Shire's theme once A Hobbit's Understanding appears.

 

I love these scores, mind you. But if the Misty Mountains was lightly sprinkled through the later two scores, it would have been even better.

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Well no, that would have made no sense. It represents the dwarves' journey to the mountain. Not even halfway through DoS, that's over. There's no place in the story for it either. 

 

I just listened to Battle For The Mountain. What a brilliant piece of music this is, especially the first 3 minutes.

The desperate and heroic House Of Durin theme in the buildup, then the full Dain theme with the chilling trumpet counterpoint. 

The Necromancer descending thirds in full brass. Then it's not really heard again because Sauron's gone, then decades later, it creeps back in through the backdoor in The Black Rider. 

Then at 2:30 the Return Of The King Battlefield Heroics theme with choir. 

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On 8/13/2020 at 6:58 PM, Monoverantus said:

It helped a lot to just listen to them talk until they referred to somehting cue-specific, then jumping to that timestamp in the movie.

Unrelated: I always hate it when Tengwar trips me up because SOMEONE had to put the vowel sign on the NEXT consonant... :kaboom:

 

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On 8/14/2020 at 11:47 AM, Arpy said:

one that was for the mountains

Uhh the lyrics say over the Misty Mountains, refer to the Lonely Mountain the rest of the time, and it was used as a general theme for the company/quest.

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On 8/16/2020 at 8:50 AM, Holko said:

Uhh the lyrics say over the Misty Mountains, refer to the Lonely Mountain the rest of the time, and it was used as a general theme for the company/quest.

 

The lyrics are by Tolkien, and don't take into consideration a film score some 80 years later. 

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Quote

Far over the Misty Mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must await, ere break of day,
To find our long forgotten gold.


The pines were roaring on the height,
The winds were moaning in the night.
The fire was red, it flaming spread;
The trees like torches blazed with light.


The wind was on the withered heath,
But in the forest stirred no leaf:
There shadows lay be night or day,
And dark things silent crept beneath.

 

The wind went on from West to East;
All movement in the forest ceased,
But shrill and harsh across the marsh
Its whistling voices were released.


Farewell we call to hearth and hall!
Though wind may blow and rain may fall,
We must await ere break of day
Far over wood and mountain tall.

 

This is not a song ABOUT the Misty Mountains at all

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