Last month we had the awesome privilege of sitting down with Daniel Falconer of Weta Workshop. We talked about the last 20 years of collecting Middle-earth, and how things have changed over those years. We also chatted about current stuff like the new Strider Statue; the things to come; and the hopes for items we may see in the next 20 years. You all are going to love this lengthy conversation, as we pick Daniel’s brain and get into all the stuff he’s seen over the last 20 years at Weta Workshop. We at TORn thank Daniel for his time, and Weta Workshop for lending him to us for a couple of hours!

Continue reading “Collecting The Precious: Exclusive Interview with Daniel Falconer of Weta Workshop”

Have you ever wanted to listen to the sounds of Mirkwood? Hear the flow of the Brandywine River? Or perhaps stand in the midst of whistling winds on Caradhras? Soon, you will be able to – thanks to the extraordinary concept and creativity of Jordan Rannells.

Jordan is a composer and sound engineer, with many years experience in the business. His work will be familiar to some Middle-earth fans: he’s an editor for the Prancing Pony podcast. He also has his own podcast – Music of Middle-earth – and, as if that wasn’t enough, he worked with renowned Tolkien artist John Howe on his audiobook Ultimate Fantasy Art Academy.

But Jordan has a dream and a vision – or perhaps one should say, a ‘hearing’! He has long felt that audio books are lacking something. In computer gaming, the artificial realm is brought to life with music, sound effects and ambient sound; the same has long been true of radio plays. And yet, when we listen to books record by brilliant readers such as Stephen Fry and – most recently in Middle-earth – Andy Serkis, we generally only hear their voices delivering the text.

Jordan has a plan to change that. He’s creating (to quote his own words) ‘an audio soundscape to accompany your journey through Middle-earth while you read J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings’. He tells us:

This is something that has never been done before. It is on a scale far above any of our wildest Tolkien fan dreams. I will have CHAPTER SPECIFIC audio.

  • I will be writing an entire score. Each piece will run alongside the length of an entire chapter of the book.
  • I will be using advanced 3D immersive audio equipment to record the natural world. These recordings will be inserted into the Soundscape to make you feel like you are walking alongside the Fellowship.
  • I will be designing and mixing sound FX for creatures like the Balrog, Ringwraiths, and many more to appear along your journey through the story.

All of these layers will be presented separately and together to have a multitude of listening experiences for your adventures in this world. They will be composed and mixed for the purpose of listening while you read, but these files will also be excellent for relaxing, D&D nights, immersing into other fantasy worlds, and more!

Composer and Sound Engineer Jordan Rannells

Jordan recently shared with TORn some insight into HOW exactly he will create this incredible soundscape. Thanks to the latest technology (such as 3D microphones), he can capture locational sound, which will surround the listener. He intends to record specific, different sound environments for all the realms of Middle-earth (no two forests will be the same!); and to have continuous, through-composed audio, with no looping. He also plans to create different speed versions of the soundscape – with one timed perfectly to be played as background whilst you listen along to Andy Serkis’ recording of The Lord of the Rings!

All of this is a huge undertaking, of course! We’re looking forward to hearing how Jordan’s journey to create this audio feast progresses; we hope to connect with him in the coming months, as he conjures and explores his soundscape for Tolkien’s world. Meanwhile, if you’re as excited by this project as we are, you’ll definitely want to know more – and see how you can get involved, and perhaps even lend your voice to the work! Click here to read all the details about this amazing undertaking. We wish Jordan the best of luck – can’t wait to hear the finished product!

Well, we’re back – with Episode 2 of our collectibles themed podcast. (If you missed it, you can find Episode 1 here.) In this episode, we talk about the importance of having a clear concept of what you want your collection to be, what you want in that collection, and being open to when a special piece crosses your path. We think this topic is important when collecting, because it’s very easy to feel the need to have everything, and thus get overwhelmed and burned out. We hope you enjoy the podcast – and we’re already working on episode 3!

Continue reading “Collecting The Precious Podcast Episode 2: A Focused Collection”

Pete the maniacal writes: I’m the founder of InRetroSpectPodcast.com a label of experimental video game podcasts exploring subjects and topics in electronic entertainment not covered in the mainstream press. I wanted to get in touch as we’ve just released the first part of a Lord Of The Rings series exploring the games, books, films and geography of the lands that inspired them, through a psycho-geography filter and I thought it may interest your readership.

From the website: Strider begins his longest journey yet, travelling through a book, two games, three films and around the world to examine the different landscapes of Middle-Earth. Part One of Three. Click here to listen.

Magpie writes: Doug Adams, author of the CR liner notes, annotated score and upcoming book on the LOTR soundtrack, has devoted his latest podcast at Film Score Monthly to the Complete Recordings of the ROTK. In the 15 minute podcast he answers questions posed by fans about the CR-ROTK including; how film edits affected the music, what scene Arwen’s Song was intended for, a question arising from his talk at ORC re: a new Ring Theme and the difference in sound for ROTK’s score (than in the first two movies) . Continue reading “Doug Adams Podcast Available”