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December 23, 2005 - January 10, 2006

1-10-06 Latest News

'In Elven Lands' CD Update
Xoanon @ 7:59 pm EST

January 31, 2006 marks the American release of Voiceprint Records (UK) "In Elven Lands," music inspired by the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Some of your readers may have heard the rhumors over the past few years of a project that features musicological reconstructions of what the music of Middle-Earth might sound like, including several songs with Quenya and Sindarin lyrics. A few of you probably even have the pirated demos that leaked out in spring of 2001 (thanks to the Audio department of Weta) that feature Jon Anderson (of Yes fame), if you do, don't tell me, I don't want to know.

First, I should make clear that this is not a Yes album. All respect to Jon and the Band, but from the beginning, we all decided to set aside our egos and professional personae to serve the vision of professor Tolkien. If anything, you can think of it as an album of ancient music. It also includes performances by Adam Pike (of The Syrups), legendary punk-rock producer Ethan James (on hurdy-gurdy), the world-music experts from Icarus Studios, Oakland-based early-musician Caitlin Elizabeth, Las Vegas-based world-music vocalist Kate St.Pierre and myself, Carvin Knowles, a world-music artist and film composer of some small note, just to name-drop a few.

* * * * * * *

My involvement with "In Elven Lands" began in 1998, when my contacts at New Line approached me about creating a demo of ancient music based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. They knew of my studies with the great early musicologist Eugene Enrico and asked me to do a simple reconstruction based on such clues found in poetry, myths, languages and actual descriptions of performances in Tolkien's many writings. I turned in the first demo a week before their films began shooting in 1999. Jon Anderson joined us at around that time. He too had been approached by New Line.

While we were recording, New Line Cinema's music department had three complete changes of personnel. All of my old contacts were long gone before the first demo shipped. None of us knew that Howard Shore had already been chosen to score the films and there would be no "songs" licensed from outside sources.

So without knowing that little fact, we mounted a major production. We unsuccessfully negotiated with the Tokien Estate for use of lyrics. Jon decided that I should write replacement lyrics and, after studying both Elvish tongues and Tolkien's theories about how languages change over time, I set to work creating some sacred poetry that illustrated linguistic evolution and ...well... the versatility and character of these languages.

When we found out that Howard had the score and we were completely out of the film, Jon asked me to finish the reconstruction as an album. But shortly after that, his success with Yes took him away from the project. He only finished four of the songs. Those of us who remained worked like madmen (and women) to create something worth having.

Jon only actually sang on four of the songs and wrote music and lyrics for two of them. He had intended many more but his renewed success with YES took him away from the project. But his guidance on the project was pretty phenomenal. He was a real sport about singing in Elvish, too. Hearing Sindarin with his Yorkshire accent is enough to make any fan smile.

The song that brought Jon onboard was a setting of the "Hymn to Elbereth," which had to eventually be re-written because of copyright issues with the Tolkien Estate. The result was "Verses to Elbereth Gilthoniel, " which were my own addition to the praises of the Vala who set the stars into the dome of heaven. It was, of course, modelled upon the existing verses scattered throughout the LOTR. My concept was simple: Like the mediaeval Catalonian "Cantigas de Santa Maria" which were a series of songs composed to the Virgin by various authors and musicians over the course of about a hundred years, I would add my praises of the Vala Varda: Elbereth Gilthoniel, to those of the great Author, using the same metre and language. Our performance goal was to to create a feeling of spirituality that mirrored the sacred-ness that Tolkien gave to the original hymn.

Jon's lyrics for "The Sacred Stones" mentions "The Songs of Evermore" and we were obliged to follow it with the classic Led Zeppelin song. That was sung by Adam Pike (of The Syrups). We knew that it would be pointless to try to out-zeppelin the Zeppelin, not to mention completely out of character for the album. So intead, we used our early-music techniques on their song and took it as far as we could, completely re-harmonizing it using ancient pythagorean systems. Adam's voice can be as dark as Jon's is light, so we went for the contrast. I can say with complete confidence that this is the most unique cover of this song ever.

To give each civilisation it's own character we have assumed some simple analogs: The English Folk tradition is used to represent the Hobbits. The Elves music is based on the mediaeval sacred and art-music styles and the Troubador/Trouvere tradition. The music of Numenor is an evolved version of the Elven music with added Greek and Macedonian influences. The Dwarves music follows the same rules as the Elves music, but instead of flowing musical lines there is a solid and angular architecture. The music of Rohan has harmonies in common with the Hobbits' music. A look at latter-age music comes when we apply Shape-Note traditions to Organum-style harmonies to give an impression of a religious hymn to Illuvatar, as performed in the countrysides of Gondor.

Our influences included the works of Troubadors (Alan de la Halle), the Minnesingers (von Eschenback) the Notre Dame School (Leonin and Perotin), Ars Nova (Hildegard von Bingen, Machaut and Landini), early English composers (John Taverner) as well as anonymous works such as "Sumer Is Icumen In" and all those 13th century dance pieces and John Playford's "The English Dancing Master 1652."

I'm sure that's enough information to get you started. I have, if you are interested, the complete text of the album notes, which includes brief concise statements about our approach and execution and some notes about language and mythology.

If you need more information, feel free to contact me. I will be attending ORC in a couple of weeks and I should have some promo copies available before that.

Thanks for your kind attention

Carvin Knowles
In Elven Lands

Pre-Order 'In Elven Lands: The Fellowship' on Amazon.com today!

Join Us And Watch The FOTR EE This Weekend
Demosthenes @ 4:38 am EST

This Saturday, Hall of Fire is going to the geek side. Instead of a topic chat, we'll be hauling out our copies of the Fellowship of the Ring EE DVD, dusting them off and popping them into the DVD player. And after the usual confusion, at around 5.30pm EST we'll all press play on our individual DVD players and proceed to cheer and jeer (or discuss and argue, if you like!) the finer points of the film.

We'd be delighted if you could join us.

We plan to take a break midway through the film, to allow for stretching of fingers and backs. Barliman will be on hand to serve drinks and snacks (and to enforce the house rules).

* * *


Saturday January 14

Time zone conversions:

Not sure what time the chat will be where you are? Check this little conversion table out for some help.

5.30pm EST (New York)
4.30pm CST (Chicago)
3.30pm MST (Salt Lake City)
2.30pm PST (Los Angeles)

10.30pm GMT (London)
11.30pm CET (Paris)

6.30am AWST (Sunday 11th) Perth
8.30am AEST (Sunday 11th) Brisbane
9.30am AEDT (Sunday 11th) Sydney
11.30am NZDT (Sunday 11th) Wellington


On TORn's IRC server, in the #thehalloffire channel. After joining the server, type /join #thehalloffire to get there.

If you've never been to TORn's IRC server before, you can join through our java applet and type /join #thehalloffire once you're signed in. We recommend you visit our FAQ for some guidelines on using our IRC service. Barliman’s is a place for good conversation about JRR Tolkien’s works. We welcome you to our community and ask that you, and all guests, abide by some simple guidelines.


Once everyone is in #moviechat and has their DVD ready to go, the ops will moderate the room and have a countdown to "Play." I expect that we will be able to give minute-markers throughout the evening for latecomers. A break will be taken midway through -- the exact point will be announced in the topic.

* * *

That's all, folks! See you this weekend!

1-09-06 Latest News

'Talking Tolkien' Podcast
Xoanon @ 2:00 pm EST

Talking Tolkien – A podcast about the Tolkien Society Archives.

Since 1969 the Tolkien Society has been collecting all sorts of items that have been created or inspired by the writings of JRR Tolkien.

In their archives they hold a variety of objects, from paintings by Italian fans to key rings from fast-food chains.

In 2002 Xan Phillips interviewed the Tolkien Society’s archivist Pat Reynolds. Xan was making a two hour radio special which was to air just before the release of ‘The Two Towers’ the second film in Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy.

Thanks to the cinematic triumph of the films the globally perceived images of Frodo and Gollum were to change forever. So how would effect the literature and marketing ephemera surrounding the Professor? - it was an interesting point in ‘Tolkien time’.

The visit to the archives also brought up the opportunity to look at some of the previous items the society had collected, to delve into the history of the books and, of course, talk about Tolkien.

Podcast: Xan Phillips presents
Feature Title: Talking About Tolkien
Running time: 29 minutes
Link: http://www.xan.co.uk/volume_39.php
Web site: http://www.xan.co.uk/

1-07-06 Latest News

LOTR Concert: Germany
Xoanon @ 11:27 am EST

Bastian Holze from DEAG CLASSICS writes: On May 28th, the Deutsche Entertainment AG organizes a big live concert named: "The Lord of The Rings Symphony" in the Kölnarena of Cologne, Germany.

A classical orchestra is going to play the original film music from Peter Jacksons trilogy "The Lord of the Rings", written by the Academy Award Winning Composer and Conducter Howard Shore.

This concert takes place in line with a impressive Multi-Media-presentation of the original Illustration from the Tolkien books. It's a Must See for every LOTR-Fan or community member! For further information and ticket selling, please click our webpage. ]More]

1-06-06 Latest News

Serkis, Baker, Rangi & Rhys-Davies at Collectormania G-Mex
Xoanon @ 9:40 pm EST


This February Manchester will play host to the largest collectors event in the North of England, and to launch the show with a real bang we will be giving you the chance to meet the stars of the greatest tv shows such as Star Trek, Lost and Stargate SG-1, and this Winter’s biggest blockbuster movies, King Kong, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe!

The first ever Showmasters mega-event in the heart of Manchester will be bringing together over 400 stalls of movie and sci-fi merchandise from around the world as well as autograph sessions and free exclusive talks with the stars of blockbuster films and cult tv, plus promotions and displays, and much more! Guest stars will be travelling from as far away as New Zealand and America to see the fans over the weekend, so if you’ve ever wanted to meet the actors “in the flesh”, listen to fascinating behind the scenes stories, and collect genuine autographs in person, this will be the perfect opportunity!

There are nearly 30 stars already confirmed to appear including Andy Serkis, the man who brought Gollum to life in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and who has now taken on the mammoth role of Kong in the latest King Kong movie; Stanislav Ianevski and Robert Pattinson aka Viktor Krum and Cedric Diggory, two of the tri-wizard champions competing against Harry Potter in the latest movie Goblet of Fire; Avery Brooks who played Captain Sisko in the ever popular Star trek Deep Space Nine; Michael Shanks and Chris Judge, two of the key team members of Stargate SG-1; Ian Somerhalder best known as the intense brother Boone in Lost; plus a plethora of heroes and villains from your favourite movies and tv shows! Check out the website for the very latest announcements and complete information on the guests.

And for those of you looking for something unusual to spend the last of your Christmas money on (or to start on next year’s round of gift buying!) there will be a massive dealers hall with specialist companies from the USA and Europe and plenty of stalls of collectables and merchandise to peruse, everything from Anime to Xena and plenty in between! As well as classic collectables and the latest crazes, toys, comics, cards, movies and models, there will also be more unusual merchandise such as original cinema posters, replica swords and jewellery from the movies, and even original film props and costumes! And let’s not forget the displays and promotions from film companies, exclusive competitions, and give-aways running throughout the weekend. So there is bound to be something to keep the big kid in all of us happy!

Collectormania G-Mex is running from 11th to 12th February 2006 at the G-Mex Central Hall in the heart of Manchester, and standard admission starts from just £5 adults, £3 children. So if you want to chase away those Winter blues with a great weekend of entertainment then why not come along to a show that’s a real event!

Collectormania G-Mex
Sat 11th and Sun 12th February 2006
Central Hall, G-Mex Centre, Manchester, M2 3GX
Open Saturday 9am to 6pm, Sunday 10am to 5pm
Saturday admission: Early bird £10 (from 9am), standard £5 adults, £3 children under 12 (11am to 6pm).
Sunday admission: No early bird, standard £5 adults, £3 children under 12 (10am to 5pm).
Infoline: 01908 671138

Andy Serkis – Lord of the Rings, King Kong, 13 going on 30
Ian Somerholder - Lost
John Rhys Davies – Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones trilogy, James Bond
Avery Brooks – Star Trek Deep Space Nine
Michael Dorn – Star Trek The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, CHiPs
Stanislav Ianevski – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Robert Pattinson - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Tolga Safer - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Matthew Lewis - Harry Potter movies
Chris Judge – Stargate SG-1
Michael Shanks – Stargate SG-1
Katee Sackhoff – Battlestar Galactica
James Callis – Battlestar Galactica, Bridget Jones’ Diary
Danny John-Jules – Red Dwarf, Blade II
Robert Llewellyn – Red Dwarf, Scrapheap Challenge
Ray Park – Star Wars The Phantom Menace, X-Men, Ecks Vs Sever
Kenny Baker – Star Wars trilogy
Dave Prowse – Star Wars trilogy
Jay Laga’aia – Star Wars Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith
Paul Darrow – Blakes 7
Shane Rangi – Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia
Sala Baker - Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia
Annalise Morris – Chronicles of Narnia
Reuben Dejong - Chronicles of Narnia
Sean Francis - Chronicles of Narnia
Kenneth Cope – Randal & Hopkirk (Deceased)
Julie Caitlin Brown – Babylon 5
Walter Howarth – Dr Who comic artist
Cynthia Cummens – Star Wars artist
Leah Moore and John Reppion – Comic artists

Check out collectormaniagmex.co.uk for all the latest updates and information on all the guests and show.
All guests are subject to work commitments.

1-04-06 Latest News

LOTR Bloopers To Be Screened at ORC!!!
Xoanon @ 6:59 pm EST


Only Official "The Lord of The Rings" Convention To Take Place in Pasadena from January 20 - January 22, 2006

For the first time ever, fans of The Lord of the Rings, the Oscar winning New Line Cinema trilogy, can view exclusive blooper footage at the ultimate Lord of the Rings fan event, ORC (The One Ring Celebration). Taking place at the Pasadena Center in Pasadena, CA from Friday, January 20th through Sunday, January, 22nd, the only official LOTR convention is an opportunity for fans from around the globe to celebrate Peter Jackson's film interpretation of Tolkien's classic tales.

Throughout the weekend, stars from the films including Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, Miranda Otto and John Noble will meet with fans who will be transported to Middle earth while experiencing educational and entertaining workshops and seminars that cover all aspects of Tolkien lore. For more details please visit

Get your tickets now!

Note: BLOOPERS will be shown all three days of the convention. GREAT TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE!

12-27-05 Latest News

LOTR Exhibit to Head to NZ?
Xoanon @ 9:58 pm EST

Helen writes: A magazine I was reading recently had a one line mention of the LOTR exhibition coming back for another showing at Te Papa, Wellington NZ, next year. I hadn't heard about that happening so I emailed Te Papa and asked for confirmation. I thought some of your readers might be interested in their reply - the relevant parts are below:

"Thank you for your e mail requesting information about the Lord of the Rings exhibition. I am pleased to advise you that the Lord of the Rings exhibition will open at Te Papa on Good Friday 14th April and closes on 20th August 2006. May I suggest that you visit our website which is up dated on a regular basis and will feature more details about the exhibition when they are to hand.

I do hope you find this information helpful."

Moira-Antoinette Low
Information Officer
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

12-23-05 Latest News

Tolkien Birthday Toast!
Xoanon @ 11:44 am EST

From The Tolkien Society

3rd January 2006

The toast is “The Professor”
Tolkien Birthday Toast!

At 9pm (local times) on January 3rd fans around the world are invited to raise a glass and toast J.R.R. Tolkien’s Birthday

The Tolkien Society has a webpage where fans across the globe can let other fans know where they’ll be celebrating if they’re hosting a party, or just what particular tipple they’ll be raising. Fans will be able to check the webpage and see who is celebrating where and if they wish to get in touch and join in.

The Birthday Toast event should be understood to consist of the saying of the toast and a drink (not necessarily alcoholic) of an individual partaker’s choice. The information posted by anybody on the Birthday Toast web pages will not be sold or passed on to any third party (outside of the context of the web pages and the ‘Birthday Toast’ event). Further details can be found at the website above.

The organisers do not condone drinking alcohol if it endangers the health or safety of the drinker or others, or contravenes the law.

The Tolkien Society wishes you all a Merry Christmas!

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