If you’re a regular reader here at TORn, you know by now about composer and sound engineer Jordan Rannells’ immersive audio soundscape of music and ambient sounds, bringing to life Middle-earth. His soundscape is designed to be listened to whilst reading The Lord of the Rings – and in fact, is timed perfectly to fit with Andy Serkis’ recording of the books.
The Hobbit and The Silmarillion
Following the success of his Long-Expected Soundscape, Rannells is at it again! This time he’s tackling two more of Tolkien’s works, in epic scale. Read on below to find out what Rannells told us about his latest projects.
A new kind of Middle-earth experience for Hobbit Day
Jordan Rannells composed an original score, designed sound FX and recorded nature ambience to match all 60+ hours of Andy Serkis’ The Lord of the Rings audiobooks. Each moment is timed exactly so that when you hear Serkis describe Grond tearing through the gates of Minas Tirith, you hear it happening; when the eucatastrophe happens, we hear its theme; when the water of Wellinghall rains down around us, we hear it come and go. It is so simple to put the Soundscape together with the audiobooks, but you can also listen without them and just escape to Middle-earth any time you need to. Listen to the wind in the grass on your way to Edoras; hear the turmoil in the score as Boromir confronts Frodo; duck as the wings of the fell beast fly over you.
Rannells uses Dolby Atmos to achieve the highest level of 3D immersion possible, using the latest technology and sound design tools used in big franchises like Marvel, Game of Thrones and more.
Now, after spending a year and a half designing his first soundscape experience, An Unexpected Soundscape and A Soundscape of Eä are on the way. The Hobbit and The Silmarillion are next on Rannells’ journey, as he seeks to complete the Legendarium in this new immersive adaptation.
Listeners will be able to hear the dwarves as their barrels crash by; catch whispers of Gollum and the spiders of Mirkwood; witness the Coming of Tuor to Ulmo, and even the creation of Arda itself. New challenges present themselves in bringing the up-close-and-personal world of The Hobbit to your ears, such as recording movement and footsteps for each of the dwarves. Then, in the opposite direction, large scale and epic abstract sound design are required for moments in The Silmarillion.
Find out more about Rannells’ epic undertaking on his website. You can also experience the first chapter of the Long-Expected Soundscape on his YouTube channel. Celebrate those Baggins’ birthdays surrounded by the sounds of Middle-earth!
So as you’re all aware, the MTG The Lord of the Rings cards are all the rage and getting fans excited as can be. Well, I am no stranger to this and have purchased a few things myself. In this first video, this newb will be opening up and going through my Food and Fellowship Commander deck. This is just the first MTG video you’ll see from Collecting The Precious. I’m addicted to the art of these cards, and will be getting more for sure.
Late last year we brought you news of the incredible artistic feat which is composer Paul Corfield Godfrey’s series of operas, telling tales from The Silmarillion. Already available at that time were Fëanor, Beren and Lúthien, The Children of Húrin and The Fall of Gondolin. Last week, the fifth and final part, The War of Wrath, was released.
These stunning and suitably epic operas all use text taken directly from Tolkien’s writing (with full permission from the Tolkien Estate). You can order your copies from Volante Opera’s website. Check out this video (really way more than a trailer!) to give you a taste of this labour of love:
After months of hype and fantastic artwork reveals, The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth cards are officially available at most major stores – and selling out fast.
Magic: The Gathering (MTG) has created a Willy Wonka style Golden Ticket race to find a rare 1/1 foil card of the one ring of power. It’s only available in Collector Boosters (says COLLECTOR right on the box). MTGxLOTR has crossed over into “mainstream” pop culture with this chase for the ring.
Tons of YouTubers, Twitch streamers and TikToks are posting videos opening packs of Magic: The Gathering’s new LOTR crossover cards. xQc, one of the biggest twitch gaming stars in the world with millions of followers and a recent $100 million streaming deal (you read that right), was seen opening Collector packs this weekend. Much of it is driven by the search for THE ONE RING 1-of-1 foil card, written in Elvish font, and currently worth $2 million on the open market. Other serialized & numbered “Sol Ring” cards, as the magic ring is called in this card set, are being valued at over $10,000.
Over the weekend, Nerd of the Rings teamed up with TORn staffer Justin to split the cost of a box of Collector Boosters, which currently retail for around $400, and streamed opening half a box each. The results were surprising! Thanks to the superchat donations, another box of these cards will be opened on Nerd of the Rings’ live stream next Sunday.
We did some homework to try to figure out what you should be buying, with so many packs available. The basic rule is, if you are simply chasing great artwork and collecting the valuable cards for display or resale, you’ll want to buy Collectors Packs. Those have the best chance to get great cards.
A listing at TCGPlayer.com has a rare “Sol Ring” One Ring card serialized (with xxx / xxx) for $11,000.
Here’s the official press release from Wizards of the Coast / MTG:
The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ Now Available
Gather the Fellowship on Tabletop, Arena, Local Game Stores
RENTON, Wash. — June 26, 2023 — Wizards of the Coast, a division of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), has released the highly anticipated Magic: The Gathering set. This Universes Beyond card set combines Magic’s deep and strategic gameplay that players love with characters and settings from the classic trilogy from J.R.R. Tolkien for a one-of-a-kind experience in Middle-earth.
With The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™, players will join the Fellowship and relive or create their journey through Middle-earth. Each game is a new adventure, and players will decide whether they bear the burden of The Ring to save Middle-earth or claim its power and cast the realm into shadow.
“Much like The Lord of the Rings, Magic: The Gathering is about fellowship,” said Bill Rose, global play lead for Magic: The Gathering. “We can’t wait for Magic fans and new players to come together on the journey there and back again through the thematic gameplay that Magic fans all over the world have come to love and appreciate.”
Iconic scenes from the Third Age of Middle-earth are brought to life through stunning original art. Each card is a mini masterpiece, providing a new interpretation of the beloved characters, lands, and relics that Tolkien brought to life in his classic trilogy. Some adventures just can’t be contained in one book or one journey.
The pivotal moments of The Lord of the Rings are so powerful, it took multiple cards to depict them in their entirety. Collectors can assemble special combinations of Magic cards to recreate climactic scenes in larger tableaus, like the Battle of the Pelennor Fields at Minas Tirith or Bilbo’s Birthday party.
With thematic gameplay, like having any creature become a Ringbearer, this nostalgic tale has been seamlessly integrated into Magic: The Gathering. The story may play out very differently, and the effects of the Ring on your Ringbearer will linger even if someone else claims it.
One of One Ring
The One of One Ring Promotion is an extraordinarily rare promotion only for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™. The card is mechanically identical to other versions of the card with English text, but this one copy of this premium foil card with raised gold foil will be inserted into an English language Collector Booster pack and printed with 1 of 1 numbering and with Elvish script. The precious One Ring could fall into the hands of any player, presenting a unique opportunity for collectors and fans of the franchise
Additional collectable opportunities continue with new Sol Ring art cards featuring the Elven, Dwarven and Human Rings of Power, each with Elvish script and unique framing on the card. As a staple in the Commander format, Sol Ring is one of Magic’s most famous and used cards, making these unique versions highly desirable for collectors and players alike.
As the Ringbearer, the One Ring changes the abilities of a creature that has been tempted by its power. It immediately becomes legendary and can’t be blocked by creatures with greater power. In time, The Ring’s other abilities will provide valuable combat bonuses, increasing in power as The Ring Tempts You mechanic enters into the game through other cards.
Celebration Weekend and Arena Play
The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth ™ is available now. Local game stores in the Wizards Play Network (WPN) will be hosting key events to celebrate the launch. Participating game stores will welcome new players into the fellowship in a celebration event weekend on July 7-9, so anyone can learn to play Magic in a relaxed environment. All WPN events can be found using the Wizards Store Locator.
The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth ™ is also available now on Magic: The Gathering Arena in Alchemy and Historic formats. ARENA is the online playable version of MTG, with apps on iphone and android.
Now, The Towers Collection (for The Two Towers) is available – and we have some promo codes for TORn’s followers! Read on below to find out more…
The Long-expected Soundscape is designed to be listened to whilst reading Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (and is timed specifically to sync up with the Andy Serkis audiobook recording). It is created with Dolby Atmos for full 3D immersion in headphones, and includes an original score, ambient nature and environment sounds, and designed and recorded sound effects. The soundtrack is downloadable at https://jordanrannells.com/ – and can also be accessed very easily through all usual podcast apps.
Ways to listen
Rannells suggests various ways to enjoy his creation:
1. Simply experience the atmosphere alone, without the books
2. While reading Tolkien’s works (yes you might read a bit faster, but all you have to do is wait and enjoy the music and sound effects for a bit until you hear the next significant sound or cue, and then keep reading)
3. Synced up (perfectly!) with Andy Serkis’ audiobook so you can enjoy them together (step by step process on how to do that on Discord)
4. Just as background for DnD, Lotro and so on…
Exclusive promo codes
If you’d like to get your hands on this wonderful soundscape, you can use the code TORN25 (for a discount on the whole collection), or TORN10 (for a discount on an individual book). These promo codes are good only until June 10th, so don’t delay!
Once you’ve experienced this beautiful aural world, you’re definitely going to want more! So you’ll be glad to know that Rannells has plans for The Hobbit and The Silmarillion soundscapes! He’ll be launching a Kickstarter for these, this coming December; if you’re interested in getting involved, and perhaps even having a small voice or performance role on one of those projects, join the Long-expected Discord. Happy listening!
Staffer greendragon recently had the pleasure of sitting down with composer Paul Corfield Godfrey and tenor Simon Crosby Buttle to find out more about these epic works, which are finally being made available for us all to enjoy. It’s been a suitably (in a Tolkien-esque sort of way!) long quest, which has included copious correspondence between Godfrey and folks such as Rayner Unwin and Christopher Tolkien – and has even featured an appearance by one of the Tolkien family in a performance! Find out all the fascinating details in our zoom chat: