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 Posted:   Nov 6, 2013 - 4:15 PM   
 By:   Smaug   (Member)

Anyone else notice for the first time Shore's credit on the album, which he seems so proud of "Music composed,orchestrated, and conducted by Howard Shore" (not to mention produced also by Shore) has been relegated on the Smaug soundtrack to just "Music by Howard Shore".

After ripping his score to pieces for The Hobbit 1, I heard there was something going on with Hobbit 2 and Conrad Pope (a.k.a The Wolf) was called in with Shore writing themes and things getting adapted and whatnot.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 6, 2013 - 4:46 PM   
 By:   Mike_H   (Member)

from Doug Adams-

http://www.jwfan.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=23304&page=40

Shore wrote every note you'll hear, same as ever. He writes themes away from picture, then writes the actual compositions to picture. It's the same process he's always used.

At the same time, he supervised the orchestration and the recording. This is a newer part process, however, he's implemented it to a lesser degree on his last couple of projects (going all the way back to Hugo), so it's not entirely new. No one noted a significant difference in sound then, and no one will notice one now.

Does the NZSO sound like a different ensemble to discerning ears? Sure, a bit -- but no more so than the sound of the LPO changed over the years as membership changed. The ensemble that played FOTR wasn't exactly the same as the ensemble that played TTT, etc. If you picked up on this, you'll notice a slightly different sound to the group. If you didn't notice this, you won't notice anything here. The engineers, etc. are all Middle-earth vets, so they've made sure the sound flows seamlessly.

Does the conducting change the sound? Well, not really, to be honest. Shore's principal job as a session conductor is to make sure that the ensemble understands the overall concept. So Shore worked with Pope through much of the summer -- and continuing through the fall -- to make sure he understood the concept. A session conductor is obviously not playing with tempo or even with interpretation, because that messes with the sync and the mix. It's a different gig. Even most of the balance comes from the ears in the booth.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 7, 2013 - 7:48 AM   
 By:   Smaug   (Member)

I don't buy it. Considering the history of successfully writing,orchestrating, conducting, and producing scores for four complete movies and 15 hours of music, all of a sudden they are changing techniques?

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 7, 2013 - 7:59 AM   
 By:   captain_avis   (Member)

I don't buy it. Considering the history of successfully writing,orchestrating, conducting, and producing scores for four complete movies and 15 hours of music, all of a sudden they are changing techniques?

I'm not sure I would call the scoring experience on An Unexpected Journey entirely successful as the numerous posts about tracked & re-written music will attest. It seems to me that the post-production on this new trilogy is considerably more rushed, probably to a large extent due to the decision to split two films into three less than a year before the first one came out.

I think this new scoring process is a direct consequence of that and, in fact, it may be the only way that Shore can readily write and adjust the scoring to match last minute editing and arrival of effects shots. I predict that we'll find that the Desolation of Smaug album will differ from the film in placed just like AUJ's score and for the same reasons.

Chris.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 7, 2013 - 10:08 AM   
 By:   Jon Lewis   (Member)

The NZSO is a capable orchestra who have made some excellent Liszt and Sibelius recordings for Naxos. I'll be interested to hear what they do.

Of course it makes a huge difference who is actually standing there conducting. And Shore has a very distinctive conducting style. But Pope is a great musician and composed my favorite score of last year so I don't doubt he'll do a worthwhile job.

 
 Posted:   Nov 7, 2013 - 10:09 AM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

I don't buy it. Considering the history of successfully writing,orchestrating, conducting, and producing scores for four complete movies and 15 hours of music, all of a sudden they are changing techniques?

You know, maybe Shore has decided to trade a bit of control for some of his life. He was 55 when he did the first "Lord of the Rings." He's 67 now. Not old, but maybe at a time in his life where he's earned the right to say "I can oversee somebody else doing the grunt work of orchestration and make it sound the same without having to do it all myself."

Of course, I know nothing. But I find that, typically, the real stories behind moves like this are much more mundane than those of us who spend too much time thinking about them tend to believe.

 
 Posted:   Nov 7, 2013 - 10:25 AM   
 By:   mstrox   (Member)

SchiffyM, it seems like you pop up every time somebody needs to be the voice of reason in a thread - thanks as always for bearing that burden!

Doug has no reason not to be straightforward about things (he may have reasons to say nothing at all, including nondisclosure agreements, but he certainly doesn't have a reason to lie about things). I would anticipate that, when the album comes out, we won't be able to clearly hear who's in the room waggling the baton. If this is what helps keep the great music flowing from Shore's pen, in such high quality and on schedule, then it's a gift.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 7, 2013 - 10:36 AM   
 By:   Mike_H   (Member)

I would anticipate that, when the album comes out, we won't be able to clearly hear who's in the room waggling the baton.

Especially since 99% of everything is recorded to click and the balance is sorted out in the booth.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 7, 2013 - 10:41 AM   
 By:   eggerty31   (Member)

I would anticipate that, when the album comes out, we won't be able to clearly hear who's in the room waggling the baton.

That won't stop people saying they can hear the difference and endless arguments about how better it would have been had Shore conducted/orchestrated/made the tea.

Unlike LoTR, these Hobbit films are not being done 1 a year. There is only 6 months between films 2 & 3. Maybe, just maybe, changes like this mean that Shore needs to call in help to take over some of the duties so he can concentrate on writing the music for the third film.

Don't understand why (and it's not just here - I've noticed this on many different boards on many different topics) some people are so quick to think there is some great conspiracy and underhand things going on and that has become the default thinking.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 7, 2013 - 11:51 AM   
 By:   Smaug   (Member)

"Doug has no reason not to be straightforward about things" What are you talking about? Shore published his book!

This is not some grand conspiracy, this is film music which the general public doesn't care about in the least. I also know from people involved that Hobbit 1 was a clusterf@#k and we can hear it in the final film.
Especially with the history of the huge success of LOTR, this doesn't make sense. This is the vehicle that made him famous. It's his Godfather, his Star Wars. It's like John Williams is doing Star Wars but not going to be attending the recording sessions because of "scheduling conflicts."

Shore loves to talk about doing his own orchestrations and conducting. All of a sudden it's not important ("It's a technician's job"). I believe Tolkien is so important to him and I think this straightforward "Music by Howard Shore" is a compromise. He writes the themes and that's it. A compromise between the great success of LORT and a relationship that since King Kong just doesn't really work.

 
 Posted:   Nov 7, 2013 - 12:39 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

I believe Tolkien is so important to him and I think this straightforward "Music by Howard Shore" is a compromise. He writes the themes and that's it.

Where are you getting this "he writes the themes and that's it" from? Have you just made it up?

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 7, 2013 - 1:03 PM   
 By:   DougAdams   (Member)

"Doug has no reason not to be straightforward about things" What are you talking about? Shore published his book!

This is not some grand conspiracy, this is film music which the general public doesn't care about in the least. I also know from people involved that Hobbit 1 was a clusterf@#k and we can hear it in the final film.
Especially with the history of the huge success of LOTR, this doesn't make sense. This is the vehicle that made him famous. It's his Godfather, his Star Wars. It's like John Williams is doing Star Wars but not going to be attending the recording sessions because of "scheduling conflicts."

Shore loves to talk about doing his own orchestrations and conducting. All of a sudden it's not important ("It's a technician's job"). I believe Tolkien is so important to him and I think this straightforward "Music by Howard Shore" is a compromise. He writes the themes and that's it. A compromise between the great success of LORT and a relationship that since King Kong just doesn't really work.


Hi Richard,

I have a copy of Shore's handwritten Smaug sketches for every composition in the score sitting next to me on the desk at the moment. Themes and full cues, the whole shooting match. Conspiracy theories--no matter how large or small--hold no water here.

You are, of course, free to assume I'm being dishonest ... though I'm not sure why I would be. The LOTR book is a done deal and I get no royalties from The Hobbit at all. In fact, my only Hobbit deals have been with WaterTower, not Shore, and they're all upfront, one-time-only payments.

My Smaug invoices are already done. The end; I get nothing more.

I'm not sure why I'm posting my financial info on a film music message board, but hey, why not ... At any rate, I'm in no one's pocket.

Peace,

Doug Adams

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 7, 2013 - 10:48 PM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)

So what's the truth then? Someone else orchestrating the score to Shore's detailed sketches like it's "usually" done instead of him doing it all himself?

 
 Posted:   Nov 7, 2013 - 11:10 PM   
 By:   Wedge   (Member)

As Doug has said on his blog, "[Shore's] sketches are detailed and essentially complete." In cases such as this, the orchestrator essentially becomes a scribe who can be trusted to read shorthand and write it out longhand. Shore, Williams, Rosenthal ... are all examples of composers whose sketches tend to leave very little (if anything) to the imagination.

 
 Posted:   Nov 7, 2013 - 11:33 PM   
 By:   pete   (Member)

Howard Shore never walked on the Moon!

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 8, 2013 - 9:01 AM   
 By:   Sketchkid   (Member)

http://www.amazon.com/The-Hobbit-Desolation-Original-Soundtrack/dp/tracks/B00FFT1BJ0/ref=dp_tracks_all_2#disc_2

Pre-order with track titles up for the Special Edition release.

 
 Posted:   Nov 8, 2013 - 10:14 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Um, I'm not sure why anyone wants to debate with Smaug.

I mean, I've read The Hobbit a lot, and Smaug isn't to be trusted.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 8, 2013 - 6:32 PM   
 By:   skgai   (Member)

Thanks for the direct responses Doug. I've been concerned that there had been a rift between Shore and Jackson during these films. I just finished watching the extended edition bonus material and there is no special feature for Howard Shore's score. (Nor is there documentaries on writing, editing or sound - it was a big disappointment) With that and not conducting or orchestrating Desolation of Smaug as I was really worried that we might even get a rejected score coming up. But your assurances are good to hear because I love Shore's interpretation of Tolkein as much as I like Jackson's.

 
 Posted:   Nov 8, 2013 - 9:06 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Well, there was a rift when Jackson scrapped Shore's score for "King Kong".

I was really rather relieved when Shore was signed for "The Hobbit."

I think "The Hobbit" is brilliant, musically.

And I'd take Doug Adams' word over any innuendo and third-hand rumor-mongering any day.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 8, 2013 - 10:50 PM   
 By:   Cooper   (Member)


About the Extended Edition ("An Unexpected Journey"):

Did Shore compose any material for the new scenes this time, or are they few--and short--enough not to need score? I guess re-tracking is also a possibility...

Looking forward to the film (and soundtrack album). Haven't actually seen it yet, but the Extra Tubby, Second Breakfast, Bonus Baggins Blu-ray is on its way.

Smaug: Dude, LOST's Kate pilfered Arwen's ears! Good to see Jackson/Boyens/Walsh addressing the Tolkien Babe Drought situation in this one. Hello Tauriel, Daughter of Mirkwood.

 
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