Author: Bear McCreary

The Lord of the Rings: Appendices Part 4

SCORING “THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER”
THE APPENDICES: PART 4
THERE AND BACK AGAIN

This is the fourth of four blog entries chronicling my personal experience scoring the first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The first, “Journey to Middle-earth,” can be found here. The second, “Themes of Middle-earth,” can be found here. The third, “Forming a Fellowship,” can be found here.

(Photo Credit: Monica D Photography)

CONDUCTING THE FINALE

Composing the score for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power was my primary focus in my early months on the project, but I soon realized there were other ways in which I could contribute to the show.

I was excited to create soundtrack albums, compose material for trailers, do press events, travel to premieres, and – best of all – perform the music live!

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The Lord of the Rings: Appendices Part 3

SCORING “THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER”
THE APPENDICES: PART 3
FORMING A FELLOWSHIP

This is the third of four blog entries chronicling my personal experience scoring the first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The first, “Journey to Middle-earth,” can be found here. The second, “Themes of Middle-earth,” can be found here.

JOINING THE FELLOWSHIP

In the summer of 2021, I spent my first creative weeks on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power composing more than fifteen themes that I felt were necessary to tell the story. I did not send a note of music to the showrunners during this time, because doing so would deprive them of the fresh perspective necessary to judge the themes in narrative context. If the themes were all I hoped they would be – memorable, distinct, and inherently conveying essential truths about their subjects – then I believed it best for the the showrunners to hear them in actual scenes.

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The Lord of the Rings: Appendices Part 2

SCORING “THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER”
THE APPENDICES: PART 2
THEMES OF MIDDLE-EARTH

This is the second of four blog entries chronicling my personal experience scoring the first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The first, “Journey to Middle-earth,” can be found here.

CALLED TO ADVENTURE

I have always approached my art with an intense level of passion and dedication. When I saw the behind-the-scenes documentaries on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy in my early twenties, I realized there were many other people out there like me, and I made it my quest to find them. I discovered just such a dedicated group of professionals working on Ronald D. Moore’s Battlestar Galactica, a series I was honored and fortunate to score throughout most of my twenties. Battlestar completed its run in 2009, the year I turned thirty.

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The Lord of the Rings: Appendices Part 1

SCORING “THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER”
THE APPENDICES: PART 1
JOURNEY TO MIDDLE-EARTH

This blog entry is the first of a four-part series that will chronicle the personal journey that led me from reading The Hobbit as a boy to scoring The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendary novels and their appendices. This chapter will cover the ‘First Age’ of my career: my childhood discovery of fantasy genres and film music. Subsequent chapters will detail the challenges I faced composing, recording, and producing nine hours of music in nine months on this ambitious project.  Finally, I’ll share the thrills of performing the score publicly in the run-up to the show’s launch. For longtime readers, much of this first blog will be a recap of my early life, but I nevertheless wanted to take a few paragraphs to introduce myself to people who are probably new to this site.

(Attending the “The Rings of Power” premiere in Los Angeles, August 2022)
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Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank

This weekend marks the theatrical opening of Paramount’s animated feature Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank. Inspired by the iconic Mel Brooks’ classic Blazing Saddles, the film features an all-star cast led by Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Cera, Michelle Yeoh, Ricky Gervais, and the legendary Mel Brooks himself. I was honored to collaborate closely with the film’s producer and co-director Rob Minkoff (co-director of the original The Lion King) to compose the score and produce two songs for this hilarious family adventure film.

My journey on this film actually began six and a half years ago, which these days feels like a lifetime ago. I recall leaving the offices of Bad Robot on a crisp, windy afternoon in February of 2016, having just attended the final dub mix of 10 Cloverfield Lane, wondering where my career path would lead next. At that moment, I got a call from my agent who told me that producers of a new animated feature were looking for composers to submit demos. By the time I got home, they had sent ten minutes of footage, mostly pencil animatics with some fully produced CGI to my email inbox. Despite the rough form, the energy and comedy were palpable, and I caught myself laughing watching Samuel L. Jackson’s Samurai cat and Michael Cera’s helpless dog spar.

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