Doug Adams likes his life, he says so on his professional and personal blog and its obvious when you speak to him. Chances are if you appreciate the “Lord of the Rings” films’ soundtracks, you would like his life too. He will soon be the published author – instead of the hard working unpublished author he has been for several years – of the landmark “The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films,” which is an in-depth study of the Howard Shore magnum opus that accompanies Peter Jackson’s film trilogy.

Adams is no stranger to, appearing at several different installments of the One Ring Convention (known as ORC or ELF) where he previewed his progress on the book and enlarged the understanding of both casual and dedicated fans of the soundtracks.

Tonight marks the North American debut of the “Fellowship of the Ring,” film played with the score performed live and it seems tickets are still available.

Recently, as detailed on his blog Adams has been with Shore in Lucerne, Switzerland for live performances of the music of “The Fellowship of the Ring” with the film. He also went with Shore to the first great “Rings” composers Wagner’s museum in Tribschen. How did he fall into one of the coolest music-geek jobs imaginable?

“I was kind of doing the typical young musician existence,” he told TheOneRing by phone. “For a long time I worked in film and music journalism but that has all been overshadowed.”

Adams was writing for Film Score Monthly when the chance came to delve into the work Shore was doing on what promised to be the potentially epic “Lord of the Rings” films with Peter Jackson. He and Shore were acquainted from some previous journalistic endeavors, notably the Frank Oz directed film, “The Score.”

Shore mentioned the Rings saga to Adams but noting that “this one could be a little bit bigger than the usual project.” After a period of non-contact Adams received a rough version of the soundtrack (from Abby Roads studios no less) and an invitation from Shore to discuss the film further.

Adams was in Shore’s offices several times and it went from there as a ‘neat interesting idea’ that grew as the films and the overwhelming fan reaction grew. They watched the film together and kept revisiting possibilities and ideas. These discussions kept progressing until the idea morphed into the shape of the planned book, expected to be published in the last quarter of this year. It will likely set the high water mark for film score publications.

“It is a weird hybrid between a coffee table book and a text book,” said Adams of his project now years in the making. “Fans of these films are used to visual opulence. We don’t want to be the ones to drop the ball on that front.”

While many of the visual details are still in the works, it is certain that the book will come with a multi-media DVD. Saul Pincus is overseeing the video side of the DVD but Adams has been scouring Shore’s archives of audio and video selecting bits for both the text and sound presentation. Fans of the film will be fascinated to understand how the films developed and how the music formed simultaneous to it.

A lot of the book is finished and it is the DVD that is taking a lot of the polishing work at this point. It will contain recording studio sessions and a video documentary as well, all edited by Adams.

“I am personally there selecting tapes. It is all part of my workload.”

“I hope people like it. I know it is a specialized corner but people who love those films connected with the music. It feels like it’s honoring the music and highlighting things at the same time. If they enjoyed the film I think it augments that enjoyment.”

While the book is written for the masses it definitely has serious music scholarship at its core, as those fortunate enough to see Adams’ presentations at One Ring Conventions will recall.

“You could make it a masters’ thesis if you want to but I wanted it to be approachable. I don’t want people to feel like they are sitting down to crack open a dictionary. I want to make something that is engaging, both intellectually and emotionally. I hope it will get people looking at this as a very serious music venture.”

He hopes the book can overcome the stigma in some circles that anything connected with pop-culture is somehow unworthy of consideration as serious music.

At the same time it must appeal to fans, and Adams credits his experiences presenting some of his material at conventions as a great way to evaluate his material. At the first TORn convention with Adams the size and scope of the book wasn’t quite envisioned and it was thought it might come much sooner. Years later there are those who have been anxiously awaiting the final product.

“We are getting very close,” Adams promised.

After tonight’s performance of the live score to the film, the U.S. debut is slated for Wednesday, May 21 and Thursday, May 22 at 8:30 p.m. in Virginia at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

Details on the release of Adams’ book will be updated at as they become available.

Posted in: Share: Divide line