JW in Lord of the RIngs

Discussion in 'Star Wars And Film Music' started by rehtul-minnau, Oct 20, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Moderators: Darth_Nub
  1. rehtul-minnau Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2010
    star 1
    After watching Fellowship of the Ring for the first time I decided that the music was rather lacking, and I began to wonder if JW's music would sound any better. I played with it little while, and found one particular track that seemed (to me) to go perfectly.

    Try this: Watch the scene in Fellowship of the Ring where the track "A Knife in the Dark" is played, but play "Anakin's Dark Deeds" instead, timing it so that as soon as you see the Nazgul step out of the shadows, the choir begins to sing.

    I thought it added so much to the scene that wasn't there before, especially because Howard Shore just seems to leave you hanging without any music as soon as Frodo puts the ring on.

    What do you fellows think; is "Anakin's Dark Deeds" worse, as good as, or better than what was played in that part of the movie?
  2. Jobal_Naberrie Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2010
    I tried it, and I really think it works so much better than the original. It had that nightmare feel, which is perfect, since Aragorn has left and these Hobbits have no chance against the Nazguls.

    I agree that there should have been music when Frodo puts the ring on. The music from "Anakin's Dark Deeds" was amazing there! Frodo is actually seeing the Nazguls as they once were, before they turned to mindless, faceless monsters, and I think that no music was a terrible mistake on Howard Shore's part.

    I especially love how "Anakin's Dark Deeds" goes with the part of the scene after Frodo gets stabbed by the Nazgul. Shore makes the music fast and slightly heroic because Aragorn is over there flinging fire everywhere. But when you think about it, the scene is extremely sad. Frodo has been stabbed by a Morgul blade, and this turns one to into a Nazgul.

    The only problem with "Anakin's Dark Deeds" in that scene is the part where Sam says Frodo won't make it to Rivendell. The music was to loud for that, but everything else is just perfect! The thing is, you don't really notice the mistakes in Howard Shore's score for Fellowship quite as much until you put in other music and realize how good it could have been.
    Thanks for the suggestion, Rehtul!:)

    As for fitting John Williams music into LOTR, has anyone tried "Anakin's Betrayal" during the Mount Doom scene in Return of the King when Gollum bites Frodo's finger off? Start "Anakin's Betrayal" at 2:40:00 in the movie. It works marvelously!

  3. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    :rolleyes:

    Now, watching the prequels with LotR music, on the other hand...
  4. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    Actually, switching the Hobbiton theme in for the Order 66 sequence isn't such a bad idea...
  5. Bacon164 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
    star 7
    I have to say, these are some of the most deranged opinions I've ever read.

    except Coffee's suggestion. That was amazing.
  6. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    lol@ Barriss' idea.

    I do think alot of LOTR music is pretty underwhelming, although Shore does get pretty inspired a few times.
  7. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    I watched the music special on the extended RotK DVD last night and immediately wanted to listen to the whole damn thing in one go. Also, go read the annotations for them sometime (I'm sure they're still online somewhere), they made me go "WTH I never noticed that" several times.
    My only complaint about the LotR soundtracks is that 2 or 3 times the sound department won over the music department! (and May it Be sucks, too)


    ... somebody should totally put up Coffee's idea on youtube, though.
  8. rehtul-minnau Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2010
    star 1
    If you haven't tried putting the music in as was suggested, try it, and then explain to me and the other poster exactly why our opinions are deranged.

    I do agree, Shore does have his moments. I like the part in the cornfield in FOTR; it completely made that scene. And I also like the music that is played when the signal fires are being lit in ROTK.

    I did read the Wiki page on LOTR music; I found it extremely difficult to identify all the listed themes when I later watched the movies. There where simply too many themes and motifs; and none of them where as developed as, say, "Luke and Leia", a theme that is heard only twice in the movie (excluding the end titles), but has a concert suite that is five minutes long. They where not even developed to the point of being as identifiable as "Qui-Gon's Theme" (which is a minor motif played only in TPM) or the "Mourning Theme" (yet another motif of minor importance, which I believe was played only twice in AOTC).

    I just wish Shore had spent more time on the quality of his themes, rather than the quantity of them.
  9. FalorWindrider Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2010
    star 4
    This is utter fanboyism. I love John Williams' music, and I tried what was suggested, but I really don't feel they mesh very well. Honestly, a soundtrack doesn't need to have a Wagnerian leitmotif playing every five seconds to be good.
  10. GreyJedi23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2010
    star 1
    I found the music composed my Mr. Shore to be beautiful, and not in need of any improvement. Not that it is perfect, but I did not find it lacking in any way.
  11. Jobal_Naberrie Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Exactly. It's great to have lots of themes, but having lots of themes that aren't at all developed gets annoying. In my opinion a movie should have about three or four developed themes, and a few motifs. It will sometimes depend on the movie, though.

    What was it exactly that didn't mesh?
  12. Bacon164 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
    star 7
    In regards to meshing, your comment speaks for itself.

    No. It's not supposed to be "extremely sad." We are in the middle of a scene in which the Nazgul have nearly succeeded in taking the Ring for themselves. It's "supposed" to be "extremely" frightening and yet, when Aragorn has arrived, relieving. You can hear overbearing Ringwraith themes in this piece as well as fragments of the Fellowship theme, which doesn't fully form until the Council of Elrond sequence.

    And if we're going to go into the whole concept of leitmotif, Shore has done more with the concept than Williams ever did throughout the entire prequel trilogy. Aside from Across the Stars, can you identify a major theme in AOTC or ROTS that corresponds to a character? For whatever reason, Williams purposely downplays and moves away from leitmotif in the last two scores. Some think it's because Lucas botched up Williams' score for TPM so much.

    What Shore did with Lord of the Rings is both simple and eloquent. Throughout the score, the themes in it and the orchestration itself gradually moves from point A to point B to point C and to point D. There is a very clear progression and resonance that, despite William's efforts, nothing in Star Wars ever has, possibly due to the nature of each respective franchise's production (films being produced one at a time and the saga being made backwards with one production break lasting over fifteen years).

    If you're referring to the Funeral music, that isn't heard at all in AOTC, but once in TPM and ROTS. I don't know what the hell you're talking about when you say the music isn't developed; I guess that's a matter of perception and opinion. All I can say is that if you're looking for quality leitmotif, you won't find a lot of it in the Prequels, but if you're looking for it in LOTR, it's all over the place and Shore is doing some very interesting things with it.

    And now you're just showing blatant bad taste. You're talking about a score that won two academy awards and is thought by hundreds of thousands of people to be the best score this century has produced so far. I guess if you guys had worded your comments differently ("even though LOTR music is widely regarded to be one of the best scores of the 21st century and it won two Academy awards, I think it SUCKS because point 1, 2, and 3") it wouldn't come across as so overtly ignorant.

    One more thing: Shore did compose music for the Knife in the Dark sequence in Fellowship of the Ring. It was cut from the film (but can still be heard on the Complete Recordings) due to the belief that it would be more frightening without music. So if you think it was a "terrible mistake," blame Peter Jackson or LOTR's version of Ben Burtt.
  13. Bacon164 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
    star 7
    Okay, I'd like to apologize for coming off like an ass and a general douchebag. I see one of you were referring to a "mourning motif" from AOTC, and I mistook that for the mourning funeral choir from TPM and ROTS. My mistake. However, the point still stands that this trilogy's music is widely regarded to be one of the most intricate and ambitious music in modern history, comparable in length and scope to Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. I don't see any validity in claims that any of Shore's themes are underdeveloped; some aren't meant to pop out at you, but there are many that do. In fact, most of the valid criticisms of the film trilogy I've heard center around the notion that the score tells the story of the films more effectively than the films themselves do; in other words, some think that music is the only thing driving a viewer's emotion.
  14. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    That wouldn't be too far off; I tend to think that the only things that kept LOTR from being an utter stinkbomb was the quality of the actors involved and the basic values of the story-it's too good to screw up easily, although God knows the screenwriters and Mr. Jackson tried their hardest.
  15. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    I hope the "too many themes" complaint wasn't directed at the million little 3 to 5 note motifs that are pointed out every now and again (Gollum has like 7, the Ring seems to have dozens, etc. (exaggerated)). I know they gave me a headache too, but they so don't count as proper themes in the sense that makes LotR comparable to SW. They're there and it shows the immense thought Shore put into most of the little moments (where Williams would simply play one of the film's favourite 3 themes a bit quieter and call it a day...), but you can't expect something that's played two-and-a-half times to automatically turn into a thematic concert suite.

    Not that LotR is lacking in those either. I wasn't really talking about the tiny motifs, but things like For Frodo, where the choir seems to forget that it was singing the Fellowship theme and instantly switches to the Mordor theme. I've seen a lot of people describe it as AAAHHAAAAHH-noise, when it's in fact Shore being terribly clever.

    You know what's just AAAHAAAH-noise to me? Battle of the Heroes. Duel of the Fates was so much more intricate. BotH really was a step backward.
  16. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    Of course nobody's going to notice the 100+ themes in Lord of the Rings unless they read the book (which is one of the best analyses of film music ever, by the way). I believe that Shore used leitmotif as a compositional tool the same way we think of composers building their music from rhythms, harmonies and counterpoint. In using leitmotif, Shore also created a stringent set of rules for himself to follow. I compose. I can tell you that one of the worst things a composer can have is total freedom. The beauty of art, I find, usually comes from making the most out of a little. Since Shore committed himself to an approach in which he almost always had to use certain themes at every moment, his challenge was to take those narrow conditions and create the best possible music that met them.

    I love all of the Star Wars scores too... but... there are just too many funky developments (or lack thereof) for it to be called a truly cohesive musical saga. How do you explain Anakin's theme featuring prominently, then all but disappearing, then giving way to the Imperial March, then the Imperial March being completely absent (Episode IV), then returning in grand fashion? What happened to all the themes from Episode II aside from the love theme? Why do new themes for the dark side/Sith come up in Episode III at the expense of the existing themes for Vader and the Emperor? What's this droid motif and why is it only featured in Episode V? Why wasn't Battle of the Heroes foreshadowed at all? Why is there a different Imperial theme in Episode IV? Why isn't Luke and Leia in Episode III? Why does the Trade Federation theme play for the revelation of the Clone Army, or Leia's theme for Ben's death?

    Et cetera.

    To be clear, I'm not one of these revisionists that think the Imperial March should be inserted into Episode IV or anything like that. I wouldn't change a thing. I'm just pointing out that Williams, due probably in large part to the total production time of the films (28 years!), did not compose a cycle of scores in true Wagnerian fashion. That's not to say that he didn't get damned close at times. There are so many things I love about the leitmotif in Star Wars that are classic Williams - not Shore. One thing is the way in which Williams will abandon a theme, as far as leitmotif goes, but still give it a little cameo in the next movie. Duel of the Fates in Episodes II and III (I'm not talking about the tracked music, either). The droid motif and the Throne Room theme in Episode VI. It's kind of... heartwarming to hear that these themes aren't forgotten.
  17. Jobal_Naberrie Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2010
    I was thinking of better themes for the characters and things in LOTR from the soundtracks that I listen to. This is what I came up with:


    The Fellowship theme: Main Theme from Braveheart (I don't know exactly whose theme it is, but I think it's Wallace's theme. It's played during the first part of "Murron's Burial" and "For the Love of a Princess".)

    Arwen And Aragorn: Across the Stars (From Attack of the Clones)

    Frodo And Sam: May it Be (From Fellowship of the Ring end credits. I like the instrumental version from "May it Be and Themes from Lord of the Rings" by Erich Kunzel & Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.)

    Eowyn's theme: Marion's Theme (From Raiders of the Lost Ark)

    Nazgul theme: Duel of the Fates (From The Phantom Menace)

    Gollum's theme: Irina's Theme (From Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)

    Sauron's theme: The Emperor's Theme (From Star Wars episodes I, II, III, and VI)

    Faramir's theme: Qui-Gon's Theme (From The Phantom Menace)

    The Ring's theme: the Ark's Theme (From Raiders of the lost Ark)

    Orc theme: It's a theme played at about 5:00 into the Star Trek (2009) end credits. (I really have no idea whose theme this is.)

    Some of these I'm not so sure work very well, it's just an idea.
  18. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    I started "Last March of the Ents" as soon as the crawl fades in RotS...it was very nice.
  19. rehtul-minnau Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2010
    star 1
    Unfortunately, I do not have the soundtrack for LOTR, so I had to watch the movie and try to hear the music over dialouge and sound effects. I wasn't exactly certain which music "Last March of the Ents" was, but I am supposing that it is the music played right after Treebeard calls the Ents together to attack Saruman's tower. If that was the right music, I did think that the first few seconds went fairly well; but as soon as the singing begins, it no longer fit quite as well, in my opinion - it is too serious. Not that that part of the movie wasn't serious - it was. But it was also fun, and the "Last March of the Ents" didn't seem to have that.
  20. Emperor's Prize Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 1999
    star 4
    Yeah, well, "The Last March of the Ents" wasn't supposed to be fun. The decision to head to war was not taken lightly. And the Ents knew their peril -- they knew they could very well have been marching to their doom. That's the vibe the film was going for at that moment, and that's why the score has a "serious" tone.

    From Doug Adams' Music of the Lord of the Rings Films book:

  21. rehtul-minnau Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2010
    star 1
    I didn't say that it didn't fit well in The Two Towers, I said I didn't think that some of it fit into ROTS.
  22. Jobal_Naberrie Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2010
    I keep hearing about a "Moth Theme". Is that the theme he's talking about? Is "The Last March of the Ents" an example of this theme?
  23. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
  24. Jobal_Naberrie Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Ok, thanks!:)

    I tried putting "Love Pledge and the Arena" in the scene with Arwen and Aragorn in FOTR, with Across the Stars starting to play as soon as the camera zooms in to Arwen and Aragorn. I thought it went quite well except for Across the Stars got a little too loud too quickly.
    I also tried putting the love theme from Braveheart in that scene, but I didn't think it went as well as Across the Stars did.

    What do you guys think?

  25. Bacon164 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
    star 7
    [image=http://emilytheperson.com/thumbs%20down.jpg]
Moderators: Darth_Nub
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.