Category: Blog

The Lord of the Rings: Episode 103

In this series of blogs, I explore the musical details of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. 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.” I also blogged about scoring episode 101, and scoring episode 102.

SCORING EPISODE 103
“ADAR”

SPOILERS AHEAD: Over the first two episodes, the score to The Rings of Power introduced and developed most of the major musical themes for the season. The majority are divided into musical cultures, each with an anthem and subsequent character variations. “Galadriel” and “Elrond Half-elven” relate to the music of the Elves, “Valinor.” “Durin IV” is a Dwarven theme that relates to the rousing theme of his father, “Khazad-dûm,” as “Nori Brandyfoot” relates to the music of her people, “Harfoot Life.” “Bronwyn and Arondir” represents a forbidden relationship in The Southlands, a location signified by the rustic “Halbrand.” “The Stranger” and “Sauron” stand out from the pack as unique oddities, each with their own mysterious attributes not shared with any cultural musical language.

Nevertheless, two new major musical languages come to the forefront in the third episode, “Adar.”

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The Lord of the Rings: Episode 102

In this series of blogs, I explore the musical details of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. 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.” I also blogged about scoring episode 101.

SCORING EPISODE 102
“ADRIFT”

SPOILERS AHEAD: In the first episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, “A Shadow of the Past,” the score introduced a number of significant musical themes. Over the course of the next two episodes the music will continue to expand as the narrative introduces new characters, locations, and story arcs. “Adrift” brings to the score several significant musical themes and cultural styles that will be central to the story moving forward.

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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.

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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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