Shana: I attended a Film Score Monthly Magazine forum on LOTR music when I was in Chicago for the Howard Shore concert October 9. The guy leading this was Doug Adams, who is writing a book on the music of LOTR. He had a proof copy of the book to pass around, and some great details to share, so I thought ya’ll may be interested in this report that I did to post on Main on the message boards.

A few of us (Fantasy Fan, djdeathskiss, Friend of Gandalf, Lttlberr, Earendil’sgirl and me) were lucky enough to attend a forum by Film Score Monthly Magazine,, on the music of LOTR when we were in Chicago for the Howard Shore concert. Leading the discussion was Doug Adams, a writer at FSM who is working on a book titled, The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films. Howard Shore actually contacted him about doing this book, so he obviously has great access to Mr. Shore. And from the Q and A session that Doug and Mr. Shore led, it was quite obvious that Mr. Shore feels quite comfortable with the amount of knowledge Doug has, since there were some points that Mr. Shore just handed over the mic to let him answer a question about his music. In addition to lengthy phone calls and visits to the studio with Mr. Shore, he also flew to New Zealand and saw parts of the pickups and stuff for ROTK. He also spent a week in London and attended parts of the recording of the ROTK soundtrack for the movie (not the cd).

In the interest of getting to the good info, about Doug’s book, I’ll skip all the stuff about the forum, except for a few nuggets that Doug told us about:

Sissel will be singing in the EE. According to Sissel herself, she’s singing in Elvish, but she doesn’t know what part of the movie it’s in. Doug said he thought it was near Pelennor, though, perhaps (SPOILER) part of the extended scene with Pippin looking for Merry.

The nine-disc cd set will be similar to the ROTK special edition soundtrack, in that it will most likely also have a documentary part with the cds. The cds will have every bit of music recorded for the EE editions of the three movies. It also will include some out takes, such as the first version of the fellowship theme, and music from an Arwen scene that was cut from the movie.

The book is scheduled to be released about the same time as the nine-disc set, in early 2005, most likely. The release dates are deliberately tied together, and holding up release is making sure they won’t be competing with another LOTR release.

Mr. Shore himself was “THISCLOSE” to attending the dinner, which I probably would have died and not been able to write this if he had. But, apparently he does read TORn occasionally, to keep up with what his fans are saying.

I shamelessly hogged Doug’s book–I was actually downing Twizzlers during the intermission of the symphony, because I spent so much time drooling over this book, I didn’t even really eat dinner—which New Line, he said, had put together for him recently with a lot of photos from the movies. Fantasy Fan was sitting next to me and she will verify that I wouldn’t let go of this book.) The book looks awesome. I think it’s important to note that it starts with a brief note from Mr. Shore, saying that Doug has his express permission to do this and his help.

The first thing I noticed was that it had ALL of the songs, in English and Elvish, Dwarvish or whatever language was being used with the English translation, from the movies, every line. That in itself was incredible to read. Then, there are chapters that have each race, and broken down how Mr. Shore came up with the music for each race, the first place it appears, the foreshadowing for it (like how in FOTR when the trumpets sound when Boromir is talking foreshadow to the Gondor theme in ROTK) and some reflections on that piece. And for the musicians out there, there iswritten music when talking about the different themes. It’s not the entire score, but just about a line or so for each theme.

During the Q&A, Doug said that they had identified and written at least 75 different musical themes in the book, and this is the largest section of the book. The book is very comprehensive and even for people like me who love the music, yet don’t really read music or understand all the complicated details of it, it’s very easy to read.

Oh, and I was able to actually manage a coherent thought when I was talking to Mr. Shore at the reception (don’t know where it came from) and he did say that there were plans for a CD to be released of his symphony.

Sorry this is so overdue, I was worried about leaving something out, and wanted to have time to do this justice. I totally recommend this book, it is awesome, and thanks to Fantasy Fan for making sure that I didn’t leave out any good details.