Category: Personal

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 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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Looking Ahead – So Say We All

I will never forget the summer of 2009, when my unique band, The BSG Orchestra, rocked out on a crowded stage in San Diego during Comic Con, performing my score for Battlestar Galactica, just months after the epic series finale aired. The venue was bursting with my brilliant musicians, many of the cast, crew, writers, producers, and executives, as well as fans from around the world. Together, we experienced a collective euphoria, because we all loved the show with the same intense passion. After the last encore, the crowd erupted into an unprompted chant of “So Say We All,” a moment that remains one of the most magical and memorable of my life. As the house lights came up and the crowd dissipated, I collapsed into a sweat-soaked heap on the couch in the greenroom and realized that, for the first in my life, I had no new cues for the show to write. Battlestar Galactica had been the most significant part of my life for six years, and now, with this concert complete, it was over.

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Cinematic Shrines of My Youth

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When I was growing up, film scores and movies were my religion, and the local cineplexes and video rental stores were my holy sites. Every weekend, I made pilgrimages to these communal spaces to soak in new movies and cement social bonds with my friends and family. After a recent trip to my hometown of Bellingham, Washington, I realized my childhood’s sacred places had closed, enveloped by merging media conglomerates, or made irrelevant by streaming digital content.

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(Halloween, 1995. That’s me dressed up as Darkman, the titular character from the first major studio film directed by Sam Raimi.)

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Summer 2018 Catch Up – Aurora, Tau, and Ryze

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2018 has blasted by in a flash! The last few months have been a whirlwind, and I realize I’ve fallen a bit behind with my blog. With this update, I plan on catching up on a few of the projects I’ve scored that have come out this summer, and I will look ahead at what is over the horizon for the rest of the year.

AURORA – QUEENDOM COME

First up, I was thrilled to collaborate with singer-songwriter AURORA to produce a Celtic-inspired version of her track “Queendom Come.” The single was used by Electronic Arts for the official E3 reveal trailer for Unravel Two.

Last spring, I got a call from my friend Steve Schnur at EA who said that the marketing team really loved this particular AURORA song, but wished it had a more acoustic, even Celtic, sound. Somehow, Steve thought of me as someone who might enjoy doing music in this style! I listened to her song and fell in love with it immediately. The harmonic progression was satisfying, the melody and vocals were haunting, and the lyrics were nostalgic and moving. I knew right away I would have a blast working on the track.

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Remembering Beth Krakower

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As posted to my Facebook and Instagram accounts 9/6/18:

What can I say about Beth Krakower that hasn’t already been shared by the massive outpouring of love and grief I’ve witnessed from our shared community?

Beth and I worked closely together for fifteen years. She was among the first people in the film music industry to believe in me, and to help me believe in myself. Together, we hatched ambitious schemes of creating soundtrack albums, labels, concerts, live events, websites, and more. She encouraged my wildest ideas, with equal parts enthusiasm and practical advice. She was a road manager, a publicist, a spirit guide, and a close friend.

I am heartbroken she is gone.

Today, I searched through thousands of photographs from events I did with Beth over the last dozen years, in search of the best one of her and I together. Beth was a very effective publicist, so effective, in fact, she consistently pushed me into the spotlight, while stepping back from it herself. She always made a point to grab a snapshot of me wherever we went. If I could only send a message back in time, I would tell myself to grab that camera out of her hand, and ask someone to take a picture of her and I instead. Alas, I seemingly have only one image of Beth and I standing side by side. Through the blurry low resolution, one can see how elated we both were in this moment. Beth’s true superpower was making her friends feel this way every time they were in her presence.

Rest now, my friend. Your fight is finally over. We are all grateful for the time we shared with you.

Updated 9/7/18:

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With so many shows and tours, I forgot all about Florence in 2013! I found one more, and its in focus. ❤️

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