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Bear McCreary's The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings of Power (2022)


Chen G.
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2 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

Ok, so definitely not the second :P

 

The MM just stuck in my mind far more than the others as it shows up a whole bunch of times

Fixed ;)

Just now, Jay said:

What?  Misty Mountains is absolutely a diegetic song.

 

Not the end credits version 😜

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4 minutes ago, Jay said:

What?  Misty Mountains is absolutely a diegetic song.


All the uses of its melody in the score are new arrangements of Plan 9's melody done by Shore

 

That's my point - it started as a diegetic song and got adapted into the score itself, hence why I recalled it more easily than the other bits they did.

 

For me it feels like the main theme of the film, which is partly a reflection of how much it ended up being used, and partly a reflection of how much I think Shore's new themes are a bit meh.

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5 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

Well it didn't help that his best new theme was essentially non-existent in the film

A theme to the titular character no less!

Just now, Richard Penna said:

Which one was that?

Pretty sure he is referring to the theme in Dreaming of Bag End.

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I didn't like any of those bonus tracks, except The Edge of the Wild.

 

Something about those melodies does not sit well with me - it's like the exact opposite of Bear's RoP melodies.

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AUJ had more musical issues with tracking, inserts, whereas for me at least, DoS and BoFA had major movie issues (translation: I think both films are pretty awful). Neither scenario results in a very satisfying musical experience.

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14 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

I didn't like any of those bonus tracks,

 

I do like them but that's not even the best setting of the new theme on that album, that would be this beautiful horn solo:

 

There was so much potential here!

 

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11 minutes ago, MedigoScan said:

To BoFA with the music being buried under soundeffects alltogether.

And the terribly choppy spotting in the battle (because they had no idea what would be how long) denying Shore the opportunity for proper longlined development and mood shifts.

Don't remember the DOS dial-outs but to me the worst offender is the removal of a fantastic Smaug B and A when he flies iverhead and sets fire to Laketown, leaving the buildup hanging.

I love the AUJ bonus pieces. I'd have loved scores based on them. But would we have gotten DoS, the best one, then?

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Just now, Holko said:

And the terribly choppy everything with the battle

Fixed

6 minutes ago, Holko said:

And the terribly choppy spotting in the battle (because they had no idea what would be how long) denying Shore the opportunity for proper longlined development and mood shifts.

Don't remember the DOS dial-outs but to me the worst offender is the removal of a fantastic Smaug B and A when he flies iverhead and sets fire to Laketown, leaving the buildup hanging.

I love the AUJ bonus pieces. I'd have loved scores based on them. But would we have gotten DoS, the best one, then?

DOS/TABA would have been recorded by the LPO though, so a trade I would have been able to live with.

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8 hours ago, Holko said:

And the terribly choppy spotting in the battle (because they had no idea what would be how long) denying Shore the opportunity for proper longlined development and mood shifts.

Don't remember the DOS dial-outs but to me the worst offender is the removal of a fantastic Smaug B and A when he flies iverhead and sets fire to Laketown, leaving the buildup hanging.

I love the AUJ bonus pieces. I'd have loved scores based on them. But would we have gotten DoS, the best one, then?

 

A lot of great Smaug statements were removed

From the one where he first starts talking, all the way to his final death scene.

(On the other hand the album microedited the opening segment of BOFA so much it was hardly recognizable)

 

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12 hours ago, Richard Penna said:

For me it feels like the main theme of the film, which is partly a reflection of how much it ended up being used, and partly a reflection of how much I think Shore's new themes are a bit meh.

 

Its certainly a major idea for the film, and its a shame it got lost in the subsequent scores. But these scores really don't have "main" themes.

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2 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

Has Nolwa Mahtar been already used in a trailer? I saw somebody mention that I can’t find it!


It’s used at the start of this one:

 

 

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Well, I managed to watch the fourth episode and write my analysis of the soundtrack, and as I said, I hope I catch up with the rest of the episodes during the week. The fourth episode was a bit more laid back, but featured some great variations on Adar's theme, as well as the Durin's theme, but the entire highlight is probably the White Leaves sequence, which features great statements of the three main themes of that storyline (Galadriel, Numenor, Elendil and isildur).

 

BTW, I also updated the spreadsheet with information from the missing episodes.

 

Anyway, here is my analysis. I hope you enjoy and feel free to share your thoughts!

 

My Analysis of The Rings of Power - 1x04: The Great Wave

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I've been meaning to tell you that the Elrond chord progression is wrong. I rushed when I made my score introduction video, and put the first chords as G-Gm, but having had time to see other analyses, it's clear that the first four bars should be G-C-Eb-Gm. Could be problems with the rest too, but I'm sure Bear will release his own notations soon, and then the whole thing will be resolved. 

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9 hours ago, Knight of Ren said:

BTW, I also updated the spreadsheet with information from the missing episodes.

 

I don't know if anyone has mentioned it already, but "Nobody Goes Off Trail" features an extended performance of Nori's theme compared with "Both Our Bloodlines" from ep. 3. Just in case you'd like to include that in your spreadsheet 🙂

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10 hours ago, Bounty95 said:

 

I don't know if anyone has mentioned it already, but "Nobody Goes Off Trail" features an extended performance of Nori's theme compared with "Both Our Bloodlines" from ep. 3. Just in case you'd like to include that in your spreadsheet 🙂

Ohh, I hadn't noticed before! I'll check it out again and definitely will update the spreadsheet. Thanks!

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15 hours ago, Jay said:

This afternoon I listened to the 17 concert arrangements from the score, but I listened to them in the order that the theme first appears within the show, and boy, it was a great listening experience!

 

Basically, I listened to this:

 

8        Valinor
2        Galadriel
7        Sauron
12        Harfoot Life
4        Nori Brandyfoot
14        Halbrand
13        Bronwyn and Arondir
10        Elrond Half-Elven
5        The Stranger
37        Where The Shadows Lie (Instrumental)
3        Khazad-dûm
11        Durin IV
22        Nampat
6        Númenor
18        Elendil and Isildur
32    0:00-3:11    The Mystics
21        Nolwa Mahtar

 

Try it out!  I thought it had a real great flow to it.  Quite a nice hour-long album, here.


Actually shouldn’t Where The Shadows lie (Rings of power theme) be the 4th theme after Valinor, Galadriel and Sauron? It is first heard at the end of the Forodwaith cue in the first episode.

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I think it works better where I placed it :)

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So your list isn't really in order of appearance then. I agree the whole thing plays great though!

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TBH I never noticed the Rings (Where The Shadows Lie) theme appeared in the Forodwaith track - are we 100% sure about that?  It's not listed here, for example.

 

Is @JNHFan2000 correct, or is @TheUlyssesian correct?

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

TBH I never noticed the Rings (Where The Shadows Lie) theme appeared in the Forodwaith track - are we 100% sure about that?  It's not listed here, for example.

 

Is @JNHFan2000 correct, or is @TheUlyssesian correct?

I'm pretty sure they refer to the title card.

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What does that mean, it was in the episode, but not on the episode's album?

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22 minutes ago, Jay said:

What does that mean, it was in the episode, but not on the episode's album?

No, @TheUlyssesianis correct, it's right at the end of the Forodwaith track. I dunno why @JNHFan2000 didn't include it. Tbf they might not have recognised it at the time.

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Gotcha

 

I still prefer my order to listen to the concert arrangements, because it places that one where it's theme is used within the underscore instead of as a brief title card bit

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On 24/08/2022 at 8:48 AM, Monoverantus said:

I can't believe it took me so long to realise that the title "Where the Shadows Lie (Instrumental)" not only implies the track has lyrics, but also gives away what they are:

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The blogs have not increased my appreciation for Bear, this score, or his methods. Quite the opposite actually. I understand now why I don’t like his work: I just don’t like the way he goes about composing. And that’s okay.

 

In a weird way I find it kind of funny, for years I’ve defended Giacchino against his haters who just don’t like his methods of composing. But now I have found a composer where I feel that way and so now, finally, I get it. His work still doesn’t bother me much and I enjoy it but I totally understand someone disagreeing with his methods. It’s fair.

 

In a Ent-sized nutshell, I understand how Thor feels.

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Fascinating read. I wonder whether he will be able to maintain this exhausting work ethic for the subsequent seasons. From a fan's perspective, this would be a dream come true. 

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2 hours ago, blondheim said:

In a weird way I find it kind of funny, for years I’ve defended Giacchino against his haters who just don’t like his methods of composing.

Out of curiosity, what is it people don't like about Giacchino's methods?

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44 minutes ago, Bounty95 said:

Fascinating read. I wonder whether he will be able to maintain this exhausting work ethic for the subsequent seasons. From a fan's perspective, this would be a dream come true. 

 

It feels like a delicate balance between going hard on himself mentally and physically, but maintaining that creative control and having the pride of an entire show under his belt. At least you'd assume he's now got time to recharge for the next season.

 

I wouldn't have been against additional composers being involved at all for a score of this scale, but it's pretty cool knowing that every note of what we're hearing is him.

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5 hours ago, Gibster said:

 

I can't read this, it just feels so ... corporate.

And I can't help but cringe when he says he was part of "the fellowship" now over a Zoom call.

 

In a way, this is a poignant metaphor for the lack of human elements in this show.

 

But I'm surprised he got a relatively delicate theme out of watching endless hours of Galadriel in constant bitch-face mode.

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17 minutes ago, TolkienSS said:

But I'm surprised he got a relatively delicate theme out of watching endless hours of Galadriel in constant bitch-face mode.

 

If what I hear about this upcoming episode is true, he might have had a good hearty laugh at the episode's expense. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna come friday. I have already packed drinks for the occasion!

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9 hours ago, Jay said:

Gotcha

 

I still prefer my order to listen to the concert arrangements, because it places that one where it's theme is used within the underscore instead of as a brief title card bit


title card is still a part of the main program. It’s like saying history of the ring theme over LOTR movie title cards shouldn’t be counted since they aren’t the movie proper.

 

i think this appearence of the theme definitely counts but I understand if you wanna place it at the end.

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I think of it as the kind of prefiguring (ahnen) of a form the leitmotif will later take, which you get either in overtures or even within the body of leitmotivic works: technically, the presentation of the motive associated with the sword in Das Rheingold ("So grüß' ich die Burg / sicher vor Bang' und Grau'n!") is "jumping the gun" in terms of the way that motive will be gradually rolled-out in Die Walküre.

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11 minutes ago, Monoverantus said:

I think a lot of those complaints reveal more about the person saying them than the composers themselves. Just like one composer could be described as either "drawing from many sources :up:" or "having no identity :down:", another composer could be described as either "having a distinct voice :up:" and "being a one-trick pony :down:".


I sort of agree with this statement, although I think, like math, there are definitive ways to clarify musical intention. Only appreciation and enjoyment can be ascribed to opinion; intellect in music is simply a fact and is or is not.

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3 hours ago, blondheim said:

I sort of agree with this statement, although I think, like math, there are definitive ways to clarify musical intention. Only appreciation and enjoyment can be ascribed to opinion; intellect in music is simply a fact and is or is not.

Now it's my turn to sort of agree, because, yes of course there's a difference between objective and subjective statements. However, whether "intellect" in music is worth more appreciation is still subjective. I'm a prime example myself, for being very indifferent to John Williams, though I recognise that he's on a whole other level than Howard Shore.

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21 hours ago, blondheim said:

The blogs have not increased my appreciation for Bear, this score, or his methods. Quite the opposite actually. I understand now why I don’t like his work: I just don’t like the way he goes about composing.

 

 

Well, his methods seem to consist in writing everything by himself in detailed sketches with all the indications needed by the orchestrators, and writing the whole day for an insane amount of hours. It doesn't sound too different from JW's work ethics. And 9 hours of music of that complexity to be written in a single go during 9 consecutive months is a huge task. I'm not familiar with McCreary's previous work, but I still don't see what is so wrong with his ROP scores, and even less with the methods he has used to compose them.

 

Just now, Monoverantus said:

Now it's my turn to sort of agree, because, yes of course there's a difference between objective and subjective statements. However, whether "intellect" in music is worth more appreciation is still subjective. 

 

I think one of the sources of disagreement is that not everyone here seems to agree on what is "intellect" in music. 

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