Author: Bear McCreary

The Lord of the Rings: Episode 101

In this new series of blogs, I explore the musical details of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, with one entry for each episode of the series’ first season. For a comprehensive introduction to my approach and my creative experience, start with my introductory four-part “Appendices:” Part 1 “Journey to Middle-earth,” Part 2 “Themes of Middle-earth,” Part 3 “Forming a Fellowship,” and Part 4 “There and Back Again.”

SCORING EPISODE 101
“A SHADOW OF THE PAST”

SPOILERS AHEAD: J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium takes place in a universe that was birthed in an event called the Music of the Ainur. Though that formation is not depicted in the beginning of this series, fittingly, the show still commences with music: the audience’s experience of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power begins simply with gentle echoes of a children’s choir over a black screen. I wanted to use this enigmatic opening to establish the first of many musical themes that will guide the narrative experience of this epic story.

(more…)

God of War Ragnarök

On a spring afternoon in 2016, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles during the E3 videogame event, I crossed the stage between a packed house and a symphonic orchestra, to conduct an original theme I had written that had never been heard publicly. Even before the game’s title was revealed, the audience experienced a sweeping, symphonic score featuring Nordic folk instruments, choir, and strong, melodic themes. After my overture, the curtains parted and a vision of an older Kratos stepped out of the shadows, announcing that a new entry in Sony Playstation’s blockbuster God of War series was on the horizon, one which aged the character and promised a more mature narrative. The game launched in 2018 to universal critical acclaim and fan enthusiasm, cementing the vengeful god Kratos and his son Atreus a place amongst the most beloved videogame characters of all time.

(more…)

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!

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)
Search

Blog Archives

Projects