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Howard Shore's The Battle of the Five Armies (Hobbit Part 3)

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13 hours ago, BloodBoal said:

I'd rather have The Hobbit Complete Re-Recordings than The Hobbit Complete Recordings, all recorded, orchestrated and mixed the same way.

 

It's funny that, with LOTR, Shore was adamant on keeping the same recording and mixing techniques on all three scores to have a unified sound throughout the trilogy, even though there were technological evolutions/changes in the way music was recorded recorded throughout the 3 years he worked on these scores (I think they mention that in one of the documentaries or one of the liners notes of the OSTs), yet with The Hobbit, it seems they threw that idea out of the window pretty quickly. Of course, they pretend they did everything to have DOS and BOFA sound exactly like if they had been recorded at Abbey Road, to have the same sound as AUJ, but let's face it, those two scores sound nothing like the first one.

 

I wonder how Shore feels about the sound of these scores. Did he approve it? I'd have a hard time believing that. Some cues sound too dry, others sound too wet, others just sound like shit...

 

Kickstarter for re-recordings now!

 

And the key fact regarding their "attempt" to preserve the same sound in DOS and BOTFA, and the failure to do so, is that it had already been done successfully ten years earlier with the Moria sequence.  Who could truly say that there's a notable difference there between the NZSO and the LPO, and the recording spaces involved?  I can't.  There's extreme sonic continuity.  

 

This time around though... same alternate orchestra, same alternate space, same engineers... what was the main difference, and isn't it likely that said main difference is the cause of much of the discontinuity in sound, as well as a seemingly fragmented leadership and resultant sloppiness in the music department as a whole?

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5 hours ago, gkgyver said:

I'd say a major factor is the non-involvement of John Kurlander.

 

For some of the alterations in sound, possibly.  Pete Cobbin is no stranger to Middle-Earth either.  Parts of BOTFA sound less like "different approaches" to the sound, and more like plain old crappy rush jobs, likely due to shit schedules.  DOS doesn't sound bad, but it is different, and I think those differences can be accounted for by....

 

The conducting, I feel, along with the preparation of the conductor's score and individual parts.  So, what other word am I avoiding....

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10 hours ago, TheWhiteRider said:

 

For some of the alterations in sound, possibly.  Pete Cobbin is no stranger to Middle-Earth either.  Parts of BOTFA sound less like "different approaches" to the sound, and more like plain old crappy rush jobs, likely due to shit schedules.  DOS doesn't sound bad, but it is different, and I think those differences can be accounted for by....

 

The conducting, I feel, along with the preparation of the conductor's score and individual parts.  So, what other word am I avoiding....

 

Don't blame Poe, he's dead!

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I also love how the DOS soundtrack and the first half or so of the BOTFA soundtrack have this neat exotic feel that we haven't heard before in a Middle Earth film. Then the second half of the BOFTA soundtrack begins to seamlessly change into the style and feel of the music of LOTR.

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Right, that's what I mean.  The final 2 film cues are fine, but the majority of the score is nothing like how Shore would have scored a similar battle (if one existed) in LOTR, IMO.

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43 minutes ago, Jay said:

You think the second half of the BOFA OST sounds like LOTR?  To me its the furthest from it!

 

 

Well, maybe not quite the last half of the OST, perhaps the last third or so. I'm not talking about the battle music, I agree, it doesn't sound much like LOTR. I would say the music after the battle music sounds very much like LOTR, however.

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27 minutes ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

, the Bilbo's theme

 

Its Bard's family theme. Its kind of between Bilbo's theme and the Master's theme.

 

Makes sense: the Shire material (hence Bilbo's, too) is designed to evoke homeliness, and so too does the theme of Bard's family.

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9 hours ago, Falafel said:

 

I have no insight into accurate placement of BOFA music, unfortunately.

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44 minutes ago, Jay said:

 

I have no insight into accurate placement of BOFA music, unfortunately.

Ah well, enjoy the video anyway

 

Thankfully this seems to be obviously correct (You can hear the reverb tail of the last note in the film rip)

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3 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Its Bard's family theme. Its kind of between Bilbo's theme and the Master's theme.

 

Makes sense: the Shire material (hence Bilbo's, too) is designed to evoke homeliness, and so too does the theme of Bard's family.

Isn't the Family theme the same theme from Dreaming of Bag End? It sounds very similar.

 

Jerry Breakdown

Fire and Water

0:00  Opens with mysterious and majestic chiming percussion

0:18  The first hints of Smaug's theme- Smaug pending

0:23  Smaug's theme sweeps through the string section

1:03  The orchestra picks up, Smaug's theme in wonderful rendition

1:19  The Master's theme- a nice and simple Baroque feel to it

1:29  Strings take over again, but a bombastic brass statement overpowers at 1:34

1:50  Smaug's theme starts to take wing, but interludes into Girion's theme

2:01  In the Desolation of Smaug bonus features we find that Peter Jackson requested a more oriental feel to Smaug's theme. Shore went to Asia and used Gamelan instruments to add an ethnic flair. See here, a great video on the score of The Desolation of Smaug.

2:30  Probably my favourite moment of the track, complete with flute flourishes.

2:40  Smaug's theme with clashing percussion.

2:51  The rushing harp weaving through here is brilliant.

3:07  Girion- powerful statement.

3:23  Bard's theme.

3:34  Beautiful Bard's family theme- great vocalic usage.

3:55  One last dash of Smaug.

4:13  The arrow.

4:28  Powerful and triumphant.

4:44  Smaug's theme is extinguished, but will linger on with the dragon sickness.

5:40  Erebor- the mountain is theirs.

 

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

1:50 Smaug's theme starts to take wing, but interludes into the Erebor theme

 

22 minutes ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

3:07  Erebor- powerful statement

That is not the Erebor Theme, it is Girion's Theme.

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1 hour ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

Isn't the Family theme the same theme from Dreaming of Bag End? It sounds very similar.

 

No. Dreaming of Bag End features two of Bilbo's themes: The Baggins theme, and the Tookish side theme. Bard's family is quite similar, being that both themes are meant to be homely, and as Shore himself remarked, Laketown's soundscape shares The Shire's English sound. I believe Jackson's direction to Shore was "music for 17th century pirates in Cornwall."

 

Bard's Family is kind of halfway between the Baggins theme and the Master's - Bard's family life being the thing that anchors him in the face of greed, unlike the Master.

 

1 hour ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

0:18  The first hints of Smaug's theme- Smaug pending

 

The liner notes often refer to these chords, which often appear on their own and serve their own thematic purpose. They are to Smaug's theme what the Hobbit accompaniment motifs are to the Hobbiton theme. I like the name Dragon Breath motif for them.

 

1 hour ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

 2:01  In the Desolation of Smaug bonus features we find that Peter Jackson requested a more oriental feel to Smaug's theme. Shore went to Asia and used Gamelan instruments to add an ethnic flair. See here, a great video on the score of The Desolation of Smaug.

 

The gamelan (which is the percussion you keep referring to) is only part of Smaug's oriental palette. There are also Shakuhachi (in 1:03), dizi, rebab (you can see in the production diary in 7:08), tanpura, tibetan bowls and bells and on and on - instruments that the Gamelan Orchestra that they turned to happened to have. Some eastern instruments used in other parts of the score (Tabla for the Woodland Realm, for instance) also came from the Gamelan Orchestra's storage.

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I have a small question maybe Doug or Jim or someone else could answer - if the music near the end of Sons of Durin was indeed intended for the Balin-Dwalin exchange and thus tracked for the 'Will you follow me, one last time?' scene, was anything actually composed for that scene in the first place?

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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/

 

Quote

It was a wonderful thing to collaborate on this song with Fran Walsh, Billy Boyd & Stephen Gallagher… I found myself doing mad and previously unimaginable things, like chatting with Howard Shore on the phone and recording (remotely) in Abbey Road Studio No.2 with Peter Cobbin and Kirsty Whalley at the helm.

 

 

Quote

I began working on the arrangement and, soon after, Billy came up to Auckland where we spent a day with some wonderful musicians at Roundhead studios (Nigel Gavin / mandolin & percussion, Justine Cormack / violin), laying down ideas and putting together demos. A couple of weeks later – after travel back and forth between Auckland and Wellington – I finally found myself in the midst of the most extraordinary recording session of my life. I was at Park Road Post in Wellington in the company of Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson, Stephen Gallagher, Billy Boyd, Peter Cobbin and Kirsty Whalley, remotely recording the London Symphony Orchestra who were in Abbey Road, while Howard Shore listened in via Skype from New York. And we had a real, actual Dulcimer player. Outrageous!

1

 

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!

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1 hour ago, SUH said:

Nice to see them back at Abbey Road with the LSO!

 

I'd imagine that's a mistake on Kelly's part. The London Symphony Orchestra never recorded these films: it was the Philharmonic.

 

For the end-credits songs - both this and "Song of the Lonely Mountain" - I believe a freelance orchestra named "London Metropolitan Orchestra" was used.

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How much unreleased music exists for BOTFA? I found a complete cue breakdown for AUJ and all its unreleased music, but couldn't find an equivalent for this film. I know this score is significantly shorter than the two that preceded it, but surely there's some unreleased stuff there. Thorin's funeral being an obvious first example (as an EE scene, I doubt it was recorded with the rest of the score... or was it?)

 

Also the Thorin theme source on horn, after the battle.

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1 hour ago, crumbs said:

(as an EE scene, I doubt it was recorded with the rest of the score... or was it?)

 

Also the Thorin theme source on horn, after the battle.

 

I seem to recall Thorin's funeral was recorded specifically for the Extended Edition, yes.

 

The diegetic Erebor theme: what's the problem of ripping that from the film? There's nothing else in the soundscape of that scene.

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Regarding Fire and Water - I hope Jim Ware won't mind me sharing this PM from a few years back:

 

Quote

This sequence (up to Smaug's death) was a good two and a half minutes longer when scored. A significant amount of music was dialled out in the final cut.

 

I can't recall if the EE restored any of this, but certainly it wouldn't have been 2 and a half minutes worth of footage (the added bit with Bard can't have been more than 30 seconds - I get the impression this must have included the destruction of the windlance, and the decision not to restore this particular sequence remains inexplicable). So when you add that to the unreleased music from the film, we could be looking at a fairly substantial chunk.

 

Doug has also suggested that there was quite a bit of music for the chariot chase sequence which wasn't featured in the EE.

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