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September 20, 2004 - September 29, 2004

9-29-04 Latest News

Geddy Lee of 'Rush' Confirmed for 'Ringers'!
Xoanon @ 4:43 pm EST


HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA -- TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2004 Geddy Lee, bassist and lead singer for the seminal rock group Rush, has granted an exclusive interview to the producers of the feature documentary, RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS.

His heartfelt comments on the power of J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories make it easy to understand how the world of Rock & Roll was forever changed by “The Lord of the Rings.” The fine connections between these two art forms is sharply drawn by Mr. Lee, as he explains the wonderful influence of Middle-earth on his early songwriting. The song “Rivendell” became Rush’s personal tribute to Tolkien, being written at a period when the most influential of rockers used Tolkien references in their most classic songs.

Rush, having retained through the years, the razors edge appeal to the rocker in everyone, has kept their music progressive and intelligent with the help of phenomenal singer/bassist, Geddy Lee. Starting his musical career rehearsing with his school friend Alex Lifeson, and playing all the tunes from the Brit's blues of John Mayall and Cream, Geddy Lee took strides with his musicianship and talent and also rocked out to the music of The Who and Led Zepplin. Joining in to make Rush the first Canadian band to make rock history and has been considered one of the greatest rock bands in the world, was fellow band member, (drummer) Neil Peart.

Singer/Bassist Geddy Lee's musical in-your-face approach to the instrument has been quoted to have, "impacted more bassists on a grand scale then any other bassist, in the last 20 years." His unique sound and voice has been compared to the distinctive voices of such rock greats as Freddie Mercury and Ozzie Osbourne. His singing abilities only adds to the extraordinary bass skills that he somehow balances with stride. Geddy Lee is in the Bass Hall of Fame for Guitar Player Magazine and has also been voted as the Best Rock Bassist more than 6 times running. His current solo album is titled "My Favorite Headache" and is available on his website as well as Rush's newest album "Feedback". You can purchase these through the band's official website located here: rush.com

RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS features a dynamic rock-driven score with many recording artists who were influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien. Many have come forward to provide a new spin on nostalgic favorites from previous "Rings" adaptations.

About the documentary:

Very funny yet often moving, RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS shows the hidden power behind Tolkien's books -- and how after 50 years a single literary work continues to spark the minds and hearts of millions, across cultures and across time. Ringers explores the real foundations of Middle-earth; a community of true fans who share a common bond. Moving beyond "cult classic" and over several different generations, the film unearths academics, musicians, authors, filmmakers, and a plethora of pop junkies -- the people gathered under the banner of 'Ringer.'

RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS spent 21 months shooting on three continents. Produced in association with the popular Tolkien fan-site TheOneRing.net, Ringers stands as the most comprehensive film document of the ongoing fandom of "The Lord of the Rings."

Current "Ringers" Interviewees include:

Actor - Sir Ian McKellen, Actor - Dominic Monaghan, Actor - Andy Serkis, Actor - Sala Baker, Author/Filmmaker - Clive Barker, Writer/Director/Producer - Cameron Crowe, Actor - David Carradine, Author - Terry Pratchett, Author - Peter S. Beagle, Author - Terry Brooks, Musician - Lemmy Kilmister, Musician - Geddy Lee, Tolkien Scholar - Dr. Jane Chance, Chairperson of the Tolkien Society - Christine Crawshaw, Author - Colin Duriez, Filmmaker/Critic - Chris Gore, Writer/Publisher - Forrest J. Ackerman, Actor - Bill Mumy, Author/Broadcaster - Brian Sibley, Illustrator/Author - Colleen Doran, Illustrator/Author - Jill Thompson, and hundreds of Tolkien fans!

Visit our website!

9-28-04 Latest News

Chance Thomas' Lord of the Rings Themes Surpass 1 Million Downloads
Xoanon @ 6:29 pm EST

Vivendi-Universal Games Registers Historic Milestone in Game Music

They have come relentlessly. Like an army of Uruk Hai. Month after month, the fans have come to www.LOTR.com to hear the music. More than a million have come, downloading MP3 after MP3 of Chance Thomas' original music from Vivendi-Universal Games' Lord of the Rings series.

"The response to Chance's music at LOTR.com has been fantastic," says Guy Welch, web marketing manager for VU Games. "Chance’s delivery of web-ready files, online liner notes, and behind-the-scenes photography helped us quickly create a unique way for fans to experience this brand."

By the end of August 2004 the total had reached 1,080,213 downloads. And the phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down. According to VU Games' tracking, fans downloaded more music in the last month than they had in any previous month. This in spite of the fact that the most recent games (War of the Ring, The Hobbit) were released about 10 months ago.

"We're not just talking about hits, measured in tens of millions. We're talking about actual mp3 downloads, " Chance said. "I never imagined the music would find such resonance with the fans. This isn't Green Day or Britney Spears or the Black Eyed Peas. It's a bunch of middle-aged guys playing violins. Orchestral, choral, and acoustic underscore written and produced exclusively for games. I'm not sure if anything like this has ever happened with game music before."

But music agent Bob Rice, who represents many top game composers including Thomas, has a different view. "Actually, it doesn't surprise me at all. Chance's music for Lord of the Rings has richness, it has melody, it's inspiring. And that's why over a million people have taken the time and made the effort to download it. They want to hear it again and again. It's just great music."

Gael Schults, a life-long student and performer of ancient music ascribes the lure of Chance's themes to their interplay of authenticity, accessibility and emotion. "Chance Thomas was able to get in touch with some deep emotion on that music. I still wake up hearing these pieces playing through my head, in those half-sleeping moments just before morning consciousness. It is a rare composer who can bring both the heart of ancient folk tradition and modern accessibility to the same table with this degree of palatable success."

When asked what this means for music makers in gaming, Chance said, "Taken alone, this might be no more than a spectacular aberration. But in the context of everything else that's going on these days - the sold-out live game music concerts, the recognition from BAFTA and the Grammys, and the relentlessly rising bar of game music quality - I think it portends amazing opportunities for us, and points to a significant trend sweeping through the entire world of entertainment."

G.A.N.G. founder and President Tommy Tallarico, a renowned advocate for game music adds, "The winds of change seem to be upon us. This is just more proof of how important video game music has become in our culture. Not only is the game experience itself benefiting from talented and experienced composers like Chance, but this proves that the fans are interested in the music outside the game as well."

Fans seem to support Tallarico's view. Game music enthusiast Jesse Wang, representative of so many, said in a recent email to HUGEsound, "[These] soundtracks are absolutely amazing. I have never heard such passion and musical depth in a game soundtrack." Adds Shults, "Chance's innate ability to feel the ancient music so strongly...exceeds normal musical boundaries in it's ability to be true to the writings of Tolkien as well as to Ancient Peoples everywhere, whether real or imagined!"

Chance Thomas' themes for Vivendi-Universal's Lord of the Rings game series can be downloaded at www.LOTR.com.

9-27-04 Latest News

ROTK Reading Marathon & Medieval Dinner in NY
Xoanon @ 7:14 pm EST

Elizabeth S writes: HAMBURG, N.Y. – Dressed in the likeness of infamous characters from the popular The Lord of the Rings trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien’s final book in the series will be brought to life at an all-night reading marathon Oct. 15-16 at Hilbert College.

Kick-off reader for the marathon, an event the college has held for each of the trilogy books, will be WGRZ-TV anchor Maryalice Demler. She will read from the first chapter of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King from 7:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday in the Palisano Lecture Room in Bogel Hall. Half-hour readings by Hilbert students, faculty and staff throughout the night and morning will conclude at about noon Saturday.

With the stage decorated to simulate Mount Doom and the Black Riders’ city of Minas Morgul, Lord of the Rings background music and a presentation featuring images from the movie will help set the mood for Middle Earth. Trivia questions for prizes will also be displayed on screen.

Elvish writing master Jasen Cooper will be available to write names or short messages in the Elvish language Quenya.

A Lord of Rings book exhibit by Barnes and Noble will be displayed. Also, raffles will be held throughout the event, and t-shirts will be available for purchase.

The event is open to the public and attendees are encouraged to dress in costume. Rings will be distributed to the first 50 in attendance. A $2 admission will include buffets, snacks and beverages.

In keeping with the theme, a medieval dinner will precede the marathon from 5:15-7 p.m. Friday in the Campus Center Dining Hall, which will be decorated in a medieval castle setting. Magician Garrett Thomas will perform at the dinner and later during the reading marathon.

Entry to the reading marathon will be included in the cost for dinner at $10 for the general public, and $2 for Hilbert faculty, staff and alumni. A costume contest will be held at the dinner.

Information on the dinner may be obtained from Jason Enser, student activities director, at 649-7900, ext. 335, or jenser@hilbert.edu.

Proceeds from the reading marathon and dinner will benefit Hilbert Horizons, the college’s literary magazine, which is a co-sponsor along with the Hilbert Society of the Fine Arts, Student Government Association, and the Office of Student Activities.

More information on the reading marathon is available by contacting Charles Ernst, Ph.D., chairperson of arts and sciences, at 649-7900, ext. 315, or e-mail cernst@hilbert.edu.

Detailed Armageddon 2004 Report, LWW, Kong & More!
Xoanon @ 12:12 pm EST

Armageddon 2004 Wellington, New Zealand Gallery II
Click for more images

frodosgirl writes:

After a somewhat rushed, middle of the night posting about the first day of Armageddon, I though I’d send in a much more thorough telling of the second day along with some pictures.

But first, back to Saturday, since I have included a picture of part of the k'lexia cast. There was a presentation about k'lexia a new sci-fi show being shot out of Christchurch. They consider themselves somewhat akin to Babylon 5. The series has a set amount of shows (4 seasons worth I believe). They have backing to make the premiere and in a few weeks the creator of the show is headed to LA. With a trailer to try and secure a spot on the sci-fi channel. For more info check out http://www.klexia.com

Sunday I returned to Armageddon and started out by ordering my v. own fellowship cloak from stansborough fibres (http://www.stansborough.co.nz). I then headed up to the bleachers for another day of talks.

At noon, Sean was back. He spent some time chatting about stuff before he took questions. He talked about his love for reading and history (hence the reason why he studied English and history in school). He spent a long time talking about his new book (there and back again: an actor's tale of which I am a proud owner of a copy) and why and how it happened. It was really interesting to hear about how he wanted to give folks a bit of his experience, as well as give a more balanced view of the whole thing. He loved it and it was hard and rewarding and more. He realized that folk wanted to know about what it was like, so he found an author to help him (Joe laden) and set about doing a brain dump so Joe could write about his NZ adventure. I can't do justice to his explanation of it, so you will just have to all go get the book when it is released next month. He talked about how much he loves west wing (he finds it almost Shakespearian), about 50 first dates (he and drew have long wanted to act together) and about his role on Jeremiah. When asked about upcoming stuff, he said he would like to direct an episode of dead zone and that he is developing some movies. Someone asked Sean about whether he was aware of some of the fan fiction and had he read any of it. Sean was v. supportive of fan fiction and fan art (he saves any fan art he is given). He talked about how great it was that the movie inspired so much creativity, and that Tolkien wanted other writers to help expand the mythology he was creating. He also told a funny story about being given a rather explicit drawing of Sam and Frodo. He obviously takes it all in stride. By the end of his talk I really wanted to go find a nice quiet corner to read his book because I am v. interested to learn more about him.

At one, Andy took over. As with the day before, he immediately opened the floor for questions. Again he was asked about several of his past movies, as well as King Kong. He attempted to answer the questions so that both the new listeners and folk like me, who had seen him the day before, were entertained. He talked about the fact that a good director in his view is a collaborator. He told us that peter Jackson gave him one of the original rings from filming lotr for his birthday. [*snicker*] he was asked if his current look with beard was for the filming. ("yes," he said, "this is for lumpy." who is the cook on the ship in King Kong) he talked a bit about Gollum and the gimp suit. He confirmed that the Gollum MTV acceptance speech was Peter’s idea. I was most interested in his tales of studying gorillas for being King Kong. He started by watching the gorillas at the London zoo. There are 3 females and a male. One of the females took a shine to him. This resulted in the male making threatening sounds and banging on the cage when Andy came to visit. Also, once Andy took his wife along and the female threw a water bottle at her. I wonder if she is back at the London zoo pining for him now (the gorilla not his wife). He then told us about his trip to Rwanda, where he followed around and observed a family of 23 gorillas. He said it was pretty amazing. They just live in a giant salad bowl and our so peaceful and live in such harmony. He also had the chance to observe a dominance shift as one of the younger males began to take over from the current dominant silverback. Again he left us with the Sméagol Gollum scene to everyone's delight.

It was now two and john was back. Again questions started. He spent some time talking about his attempts to define the voice of Treebeard. He confessed that he suggested to Peter that they eliminate the ents from the story all together because he wasn't sure they would be able to pull it off. In john's research he talked to several Tolkien scholars and they all had different answers about what they thought Treebeard would sound like. He admitted that he would not give himself full marks for the end result, and shrugged. At the crowds pleas he did Gimli for us a few times. I asked john about the scene in raiders of the lost ark (yes, he alluded, they may make a 4th, they are working on it, but they will only do it if it will be great) where Salad is saying goodbye to Andy and gets kissed by Marion and breaks into a Gilbert and Sullivan song. I wanted to know if it was in the script. He told us a story about shooting that scene, the first he shot for the movie, and how Steven Spielberg told him right before they went to film it that Sala breaks into Gilbert and Sullivan songs when he is happy and to work it into the scene. Someone asked if Gimli wanted the ring, and john talked about how he felt that Gimli figured out at the council that the ring was evil and didn't really think on it past that. Not that he was impervious to it, but that he knew it was his job to protect Frodo and that was what he did. He talked about safety on sets. And said a bad director thinks they are god. He also said that lotr has smarter fans and they are also v. forgiving.

After john was done I took a break and headed back up to see the lion, the witch and the wardrobe panel at four. It consisted of Richard Taylor (special effects), Howard Berger (prosthetic design and application), dean Wright (visual effects supervisor) and some suit whose name I didn't get. [*sheepish shrug*] they talked a bit about the cast (4 relatively unknown children from the UK) and the effects. They started shooting here in NZ on 28 June 2004 and hope to wrap in December. They talked about the influence of the kiwi director (Andrew Adamson, the guy who did shrek) on choosing NZ, along with the economy, the skill, and a great location for the final battle scene. Richard and his team at weta did all the design work, as well as all weapons and armor. Howard’s team is taking care of creating creatures, both from people and animatronics (as well as stand-in's for the all-digital characters, referred to as 'stuffies'). And dean's team does all the digital stuff. The weta guys researched all of the books in order to flesh out Narnia into a real world, inventing 23 species' looks and cultures. And Howard and dean are turning those designs into reality. Aslan, who will be their biggest challenge, will be about 99.5% digital with a few animatronics stuff. Dean said they were thinking of trying to motion capture a real lion (like to see that!). Mr. Tumnas (James Mcavoy) is makeup on his top half and digital goat legs. He wears green-screen pants for his costume and they are doing live motion capture on the set, something that they were just starting to perfect at the end of the work with Gollum. His makeup takes 3 people 3 1/2 hours to apply. They talked a lot about how much technology has improved in such a short space of time. The weta sculptures sculpt a maquette in 'Leonardo pose', get it 3-d scanned, and then animators can manipulate the creature in the computer and send a pose to be cut out of polystyrene with the push of a button (which is how they are getting the statues for the witches stone garden). All in all I was blown away and am really looking forward to the movie.

More Sets Around Town: Narnia (yes really) and Hercules
weetanya @ 9:54 am EST

by TORn Staffer Tehanu

Well, I'm being a bit more cautious naming the sets that are springing up around town here in West Auckland, New Zealand. The first one HAD to be a Narnia set-- it was sticking out above the fence around the Lion, Witch &Wardrobe lot where the soundstages are. And to make doubly certain, I asked their publicist Ernie Malik about what you see in these first two pictures, and he confirmed that it's the London house that the Pevensie children lived in before going to their uncle's house in the country where their adventure started. In one photo it looks like a very ordinary house with a few roses peeking over the fence. In the other photo it's a bit clearer that only the front half of the house exists, and in the background are the warehouses that house the soundstages for the production. It looks grey and drab and wartime-y.

As for the other mysterious and exciting set that's out in the country a few miles away, it's developed a lot in the past week. I was doubtful that it was a Hercules set because it looked like generic medieval European architecture. But suddenly this week it's sprouted some vaguely classical and pre-classical Greek features -- pillars and pediments and so on, and so it does look very likely to be a Hercules set for the new mini-series that Sean Astin is involved with. Also there's a set-locator sign with a big "H" on it pointing towards it.

The wall with the tower is the right-hand wall of the courtyard, the steps form the centre, and the pillared wall with the upper gallery is the left-hand wall. The tower wall, with its different colour and its arched windows, actually looks like a different building from a different period of history entirely, but maybe when it's finished it'll be clearer what's intended. History buffs can help us all out here -- was Hercules a legend from before Homer? Are those Doric columns from after that period? Did the classical Greeks even invent arches? Who cares? I do, but then I care about stuff like the correct use of apostrophes as well.

9-25-04 Latest News

NZ Armageddon Con Pics & Report
Xoanon @ 10:44 am EST

Armageddon 2004 Wellington, New Zealand
Click for more, thanks to Myke for the images!

frodosgirl writes: I had a lovely time at Armageddon today in Wellington. It had increased in size by quite a bit, and the organizers are having some growing pains, but are managing to more or less pull it off. Walked around all the booths first and was pleased to come away with two finds. First off, the publishers allowed Dymocks special permission to sell Sean Astin's new book at the conference even though it isn't due out for more than a month. I snatched up a copy. I also discovered that Stansborough Fibres, the company that made the elvish cloaks, is now selling exact replicas of said cloaks. Before they were only allowed to sell scarves and shawls and a different version of a cloak, but Newline has given them exclusive rights to make and sell the cloaks from the movies. You can order online at stansborough.co.nz. The cloaks are really beautiful (I'm ordering mine tomorrow) and the people from Stansborough are so nice. You should all go buy a cloak as they are a steal for $795NZ.

Had the chance to sit through talks with Sean Astin, Andy Serkis and John Rhys-Davies. Sean talked of a number of things, from how much he loves NZ to his experiences on the lotr set to what his Daughter Alexander thinks of Goonies to his latest project, Hercules. Andy talked about Gollum (of course) and a bit about King Kong, including his recent trip to studies the gorillas in Africa. John talked of Gimli and the makeup difficulties plus thoughts on many of his various movies he's been in, as well as giving us all advice on potential husbands and wives. All of them were very warm and courteous. They each dealt with the diffuculties with the current facility like the professionals they are. Before and after they signed many, many autographs. I had the pleasure of getting to talk to John a bit as things were closing up. He is such a gentleman.

Hall Of Fire Chats This Weekend
Demosthenes @ 12:19 am EST

'A land was made for the Edain to dwell in, neither part of Middle-earth nor of Valinor, for it was sundered from either by a wide sea; yet it was nearer to Valinor ... And they called that land Elenna, which is Starwards; but also Anadûnë, which is Westernesse, Númenórë in the High Eldarin tongue.' So bright was the dream -- so bitter the waking.

AKALLABÊTH. The very name sends chills through the heart of men and elves. The Island kingdom of Númenor was intended to be a blessing and a gift for the Children of Men. From their first king Elros sprang the line of great Kings, the Dúnedain, Lords of the West. But evil and corruption eventually infested the island like a plague.

What went wrong? Was this similar to the Valar bringing the Elves to Valinor? Were the Valar foolish or innocent to bring Men so close to what they most desired, but couldn't have? Were they negligent in allowing Sauron, servant of Morgoth, to have free rein? Was Sauron alone responsible for the downfall of the Dúnedain?

What was Tolkien trying to say through this tragic story? What ancient myths and legends might have inspired him? If you are the least curious of the origins of such heroes as Elendil, Isildur and Aragorn or interested in the history of Gondor, you will want to join us this week in #thehalloffire as we discuss 'The Downfall of Númenor'.

See you this weekend!

Upcoming topics:

10/2/04, 10/3/04: The Hobbit: Chapter 15: The Gathering of the Clouds
10/9/04, 10/10/04: Tom Bombadil
10/16/04, 10/17/04: The Hobbit: Chapter 16: A Thief in the Night
10/23/04, 10/24/04: Political Systems in Middle Earth
10/30/04, 10/31/04: The Nazgul/Ringwraiths
11/6/04m 11/7/04: The Hobbit: Chapter 17: The Clouds Burst


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9-23-04 Latest News

Hollywood Bowl LOTR Concert Reports
Xoanon @ 8:25 pm EST

Hollywood Bowl LOTR Concert


“One Concert to Rule Them All: A Review of the Lord of the Rings Symphony

September 21st is just an ordinary day to most people; but to legions of fans known as “Ringers,” this marked the eve of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins birthday. It also marked the premiere event in Hollywood for The Lord of the Rings Symphony: a six movement piece for soloists, mixed chorus, children’s chorus, and orchestra. The gala event took place at the world’s largest outdoor theatre: the Hollywood Bowl. John Mauceri, a man who collaborated with Howard Shore to transfer the award-winning movie score into concert format; conducted the evening’s performance. Performing were the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Chapman University Choir, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, and the Hollywood Bowl High School Honor Choir. Performing soloists included boy soprano Eugene Olea, vocalist Susan Egan, and soprano Carolyn Betty.

As the concert began, a welcoming speech from Howard Shore appeared on the video screens. When the message ended, the conductor took his place at the podium and began with “The Prophecy,” the opening music implemented during Fellowship of the Ring and the first in line with Movement One. While the music lingered throughout the sold-out crowd of 18,000, the video screens displayed drawings from conceptual artists Alan Lee and John Howe. Each drawing appropriately fit the pieces without distracting the audience too much from the music.

Movement Two marked the introduction of the soloists: only Olea and Egan performed for this movement. Egan, who played the original Belle on Broadway in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; sang the haunting “Gandalf’s Lament” with superb Elven-diction. Olea sang during “The Breaking of the Fellowship,” marking the end of Movement Two.

After the intermission Movements Three and Four were performed; spanning the Two Towers segment of the trilogy with ease. Soprano Carolyn Betty now joined her comrades on stage. Her performance of the “Evenstar” rivals that of the original singer (Reneé Fleming). During “Forth Eorlingas,” both Betty and Olea sang together. Egan ended Movement Four with an eerie rendition of “Gollum’s Song.”

In contrast with the previous four movements, the Return of the King segment was short: Movement Five contained five songs while Movement Six contained only four. Betty sang during the “End of All Things” and “The Return of the King.” A baritone from one of the choirs sang a short solo during “Return of the King,” and his splendid performance embodied the true spirit of Aragorn. Movement Six concluded with Egan performing “Into the West” and the orchestra building to its finale with reverent power.

The concert as a whole was very enjoyable; but was it really one concert to rule them all? It was definitely not a perfect concert; in comparison with the film score, several of the songs seemed much slower than usual (whether this was a directing choice or if it had something to do with the acoustics in the theater I have not the slightest), Olea, while having a decent voice probably wouldn’t have been my choice to pick as the “boy soloist.” You could see the nervousness of the situation through his eyes and the decision not to sing “out.” Although Egan’s voice was perfect for “Gollum’s Song,” it did only little to help “Into the West;” a song I believe only needed a better singer than Annie Lennox to do the job properly. Betty was perhaps one of the best soloists at the concert. Her voice gives proved her reputation as “upcoming opera soloist.” Her voice transcends a mystic quality essential to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Granted, there were a few notes she did not start on correctly.

The choir itself seemed to drag some of the pieces and in some cases, either missed the entrances, or due to a technical sound issue; it sounded as if the choir started too softly on pieces that begin with authority. Nevertheless the choir’s sound was reminiscent of the films, if but sounding a bit underdeveloped.

What really made the concert for me was the brass and strings section. The brass is found heavily in the themes of man that are implemented throughout the movements. The swelling richness of the brass ringed throughout the concert and was a joy for my listening ears. The strings and especially the concertmaster knew how to play good Celtic style music when introducing the theme of the hobbits. In fact, the concertmaster took it upon himself to embellish some parts during “The Return of the King.”

Its amazing how nine hours of a movie-music masterpiece transformed to two and a half hours. As the program indicates, “Together with Mauceri, Shore worked on the form and transitions from the longer film scores, transforming them into manageable instrumental movements: a series of tone poems free of the specific visual linkage with the films and adhering more to the traditions of the programmatic orchestra works of Strauss, Liszt, Smetana, and Sibelius.” This is what makes the Lord of the Rings symphony an epic of a larger scale: anyone can be moved by its haunting themes and resolutions-even those who haven’t seen the movies.

Hurricane Kailin

Here are a few pics from the Bowlmoot 2, held yesterday at the Hollywood Bowl and Camrose park. There was a picnic from 3pm till 7pm at the park, and then we all wandered over to the Hollywood Bowl to hear the Howard Shore soundtrack music for the LOTR films. I'll let someone else write the review of the whole day, picnic and concert, I just wanted to pass along a few pics.

The first pic shows the Eye of Sauron pinata we had, which was mighty clever. The White robed figure next to it is Saruman-ella, aka Kristi from Tolkien Forever. She seemed an appropriate figure to be controlling the ropes for the Great Eye.

The second pic is the rather dead and defeated Eye of Sauron.

The third pic is two dead people. Err, rather, it's Haldir and Mini-Boromir, as played by Danielle and Veronica.


Diane Shearer

I see you don't have a review of the Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl yet. Shall I tell you about it? My 45th birthday was yesterday, the 22nd. My husband surprised me with tickets to the LOTR Symphony on the 21st. He's always been good about presents and he's pretty understanding about my LOTR obsession (Aragorn standee at the foot of the bed, every shelf filled with action figures, every wall covered with posters, etc.) but he totally outdid himself this time! The Bowl is over 2 hours from our home, depending on traffic, but we still arrived in good time to get one of the highly coveted parking spots. They have 1800 parking spots for 18,000 seats. For those not familiar with the Bowl it is an open air theater. They allow you to bring picnic baskets before the show. It's very relaxed. In the box next to us a family was celebrating their daughters' 20th birthday and everyone around them sang to her. A lot of people dressed up. I saw many Return of the One Party T-shirts among the capes and wigs. There was a Gandalf the Grey who looked so good people stopped him for autographs afterward. When people in Hollywood do costumes they do them well! There was an Arwen sitting right near us in the red and black gown from ROTK. On the other side there was an Aragorn in the Gondorian battle armor. He was perfect, hair, beard, the right size; you had to look twice to make sure it wasn't Viggo! Eventually those two were brought together and posed for pictures. There was a really great Legolas and a Gandalf the White, though it was a woman so the spell was broken. We spotted several celebrities. In fact, I literally bumped into Amy Ackerman from Angel! As is usual with LA audiences the place was only half full until nearly 8:00, but then they came streaming in. Having listened to the soundtracks hundreds of times I thought I knew what this music sounds like, but hearing it live in the open air with crickets in the background was a whole new emotional high. I was brought to tears several t imes throughout the performance. The high point for me was the fifth movement, starting with Hope and Memory which is the lighting of the beacons, then going into The White Tree and The Steward of Gondor which is Faramirs' music. Absolutely breathtaking. It was conducted by John Mauceri who worked directly with Howard Shore to develop the Symphony, finding two hours of performance music within the 11+ hours of the score. He said that he was directly responsible for the Symphony being ready for it's first performance at the World Premiere of ROTK in Wellington, which Howard Shore conducted, then he conducted the second performance the next night. He was very excited that on the 22nd he would be conducting in Hollywood while Howard conducted in London simultaneously in honor of The Birthdays. The soloists were wonderful but the Soprano, Carolyn Betty, was particularly spectacular. Afterward they received a good 10 minute standing ovation, something you don't see often with LA audiences who have seen and heard everything and are very hard to please. My interest in LOTR has given my many wonderful memories with my family over the last few years. This was a night I will always treasure.

50th Anniversary Houghton Mifflin/TORN Contest!
Xoanon @ 7:45 pm EST

The folks from Houghton Mifflin write:

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original U.S. publication of The Fellowship of the Ring on October 21, bookstores around the country will be hosting special LOTR events, including trivia games, costume contests, and other activities. See the complete list of participating stores below.

TORN readers who attend one of the events and post an event report on the site will be eligible to win one of five copies of Houghton Mifflin's spectacular new anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings! (Winners will be selected randomly.) This special edition, the finest we've ever produced, features a text fully corrected under the supervision of Christopher Tolkien to meet the author's exacting wishes, two large-format fold-out maps, a ribbon placemarker, gilded page edges, and a color insert depicting Tolkien's own paintings of the Book of Mazarbul.

Just remember to email your report to Xoanon@theonering.net Subject: HoughtonMifflinCONTEST


140 Wildwood Parkway
Birmingham, AL 35209
10/21, 6:00 p.m.

Warwick's Bookstore
7812 Girard Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

Barnes & Noble
11 W. Hillsdale Blvd.
San Mateo, CA 94403

1710 Briargate Blvd. #209
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
10/21, 6:00 p.m.

9515 E. County Line Rd.
Englewood, CO 80112
10/21, 6:00 p.m.

1910 Wells Rd.
Orange Park, FL 32073
10/21, 7:00 p.m.

738 Marsh Landing Parkway
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
10/21, 7:00 p.m.

Notre Dame Bookstore
Eck Center
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Barnes & Noble
2590 Citiplace Court
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

7000 Arundel Mills Circle
Hanover, MD 21076
10/21, 7:00 p.m.

Lowry's Books
22 N Main Street
Three Rivers, MI 49093
Week of 10/4

Barnes and Noble
Mall of America
118 East Broadway
Bloomington, MN 55425
10/23, all day event

2855 N. 19th Ave., Suite C
Bozeman, MT 59718
10/21, 7:30 p.m.

Barnes & Noble
235 Daniel Webster Highway
Nashua, NH 03060

2015 Walden Avenue
Buffalo, NY 13290

21182 Salmon Run Loop West
Watertown, NY 13601

Malaprops Bookstore
55 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801

8301 Concord Mills Blvd.
Concord, NC 28027
10/21, 6:00 p.m.

Barnes & Noble
6100 North May Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73112

1005 W. Burnside
Portland, OR 97209

2116 N. Roan St.
Johnson City, TN 37601
10/21, 7:00 p.m.

Davis Kidd
4007 Hillsboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37215

6155 Eastex Freeway
Beaumont, TX 77706
10/21, 6:00 p.m.

3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway
Grapevine, TX 76051
10/21, 1:00--7:00 p.m.

5000 Katy Mills Circle
Katy, TX 77494
10/21, 7:00 p.m.

Borders Books
50 S. Main Street #78
Salt Lake City, UT 84144
10/21, 6:00 p.m.

Village Books
1210 11th Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
10/22, 5:00 p.m.

University Bookstore
1754 Pacific Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402
10/21, 6:00 p.m.

Auntie's Bookstore
402 West Main
Spokane, WA 99201
10/23, 1:00 p.m.

212 RHL Blvd.
Charleston, WV 25309
10/21, 7:00 p.m.

Just remember to email your report to Xoanon@theonering.net Subject: HoughtonMifflinCONTEST

Tolkien Seminar in Denver, CO area
Xoanon @ 7:33 pm EST

Neil writes: Huge fan of the site! Wanted to bring to your attention a LOTR/Tolkien seminar in the Denver/Boulder CO region that desperately needs attention. It's endorsed by Michael Tolkien but hasn't been well advertised and is in danger of being cancelled. I got a call from the person organizing it because I am a local Lord of the Rings junkee and have connections to fanbases, etc. and I'm asking for you to get a quick word out on theonering.net if at all possible. You can make reference to www.unlockinglotr.org which has all information including cost and registration information. Help me One Ring.Net- you're my only hope!

Here's the information:

It's entitled: "Unlocking the Lord of the Rings: A Seminar by JRR Tolkien Expert Joseph Pearce"
Dates: Saturday October 2nd and Sunday October 3rd
Cost: $20 for two days!

The Details:

Acclaimed author Joseph Pearce visits Longmont for seminar

“Pearce is adept …at showing that while it is possible to enjoy the work (The Lord of the Rings) without sharing the beliefs, one cannot ignore the positive and aesthetic effects of Christian orthodoxy and the appropriateness of Tolkien’s coherent myth for expressing these."
Michael Tolkien

Since its “discovery” by college students in the 1960’s JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings has captured the imaginations of millions. One only has to remember sales that have reached into the millions of copies as well as its perennial place at the top of readers’ popularity polls to realize the tremendous impact of Tolkien’s work. Now Peter Jackson’s award-winning movies have re-introduced a younger generation to the adventures of hobbits and elves, so that many are reading the books for the first time.

You are cordially invited on an intriguing discovery of the magic and power behind The Lord of the Rings. Acclaimed speaker Joseph Pearce, the author of over a dozen books, is known worldwide as a person with perceptive insight and understanding of both Tolkien the man as well as the stirring myth that has captured the imaginations of every generation. Pearce’s books Tolkien: Man and Myth and Tolkien: A Celebration will be available at the Unlocking the Lord of the Rings seminar at discount prices to registrants.

Seminar Schedule:

Saturday, Oct. 2 - Raintree Conference Center (Longmont)

7 pm: “The Man Behind the Myth” The life and loves of JRR Tolkien and why he described himself as a “hobbit.” Intermission (wine and cheese or soft drinks)

8.30 pm:: “The Myth Behind the Man” Why did Tolkien believe in the profound relationship between myth and truth?

Sunday, Oct. 3 - Silver Creek HS Auditorium (Longmont)

10.45 am: “The Truth Behind the Myth” An investigation of the truths about our world. Why did Tolkien himself call LOTR a “fundamentally religious” work?

TORn takes home 2 Movies.com Awards!
Xoanon @ 1:48 pm EST

Garfeimao writes:

TORn takes home 2 Movies.com Awards!
Click for more images

The categories were for both Official sites, and Fan Run sites, and then winners were picked by Popular vote among fans, and by the Editor's of Movies.com. That's why there are two winners in each category. Sometimes it's the same site, and sometimes two sites won an award.

The awards event was held at the Lucky Strike bowling alley at the Hollywood and Highland complex, and included a complimentary game. We were treated to an open bar and food (hot dogs and hamburgers, a bowling alley staple if ever there was one) and everyone from Movies.com were super nice. This is one group that understands hospitality, with one staffer actually fetching bowling shoes for the guests.

I didn't know that much about Movies.com, but found out they are part of the Disney web family, so they are much bigger than I thought they were. Some of the other guests I talked with were from the DanRadcliffe.com site, the TeamNicole.com site, and Keith from the Ian McKellan site. Because this was a local event, and not too terribly big, it was basically just local staff for the various websites in attendance. But that didn't seem to matter, it was a very nice event hosted by cool people and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. They even gave us gift bags on top of the awards, so kudos there.

The awards of interest to LOTR fans are as follows:

TheOneRing.net won the award for the Best Movie Fan Website, as decided upon by the Editors of Movies.com. Muggle.net won the Fan vote in this category.

TBHL won the award for the Best Director Fan site in the Fan Vote category, while Spielbergfilms.com won the Editor's choice award.

BillyBoyd.net also won the Best Official Actor site award as voted by the Fans, while Adam Sandler's official site won the Editor's choice award.

Click here for a full list of winners

Shore Concert at Royal Albert Hall Report
Xoanon @ 1:36 pm EST

Cati writes: Hi I just wanted to tell everyone about the lord of the rings concert in London at the albert hall that took place last night as there is nothing about it on your site already. It was really amazing v I’d never been to the royal albert hall before it was really pretty. Typically there was loads of traffic that night and we only arrived 1 minute before the orchestra came on stage. The whole hall was packed even the standing places at the top. We booked the day the tickets went on sale and had some of he best seats in the house right down near the front right opposite where Howard Shore was conducting.

In the first half they played 2 movements both from fotr including the prophecy concerning hobbits lothlorien and many meetings. It was really amazing. The choir were London voices and some boys from the London oratory school( the were so sweet) and fantastic singers. This is a bit depressing as I’m much older and will never be able to sing as well. The playing was done by the London philharmonic. The solos in the second half were sung by sissel who was very good although perhaps not as good as annie lennox for into the west. In the second half they played the other 4 movements for the other 2 movies. At the end there was a standing ovation from the whole audiences shore and sissel had to come on stage again 4 times to bow unfortunately no amount of clapping, screaming or whistling provoked an encore.

My friend and I waited at the stage door after the concert with a huge amount of other people several wearing cloaks and many more wearing their one rings. After much waitig and fot stamping(it was very cold) howard shore finally put in an appearance. At this point I was slowly becoming crushed as the crowd all took a few steps forward. My friend gave up and went nearer the back to get pictures on my mobile while I tried to closer without being starved of oxygen. I heard one woman yell as we were being asked to take yet another step back “we do appreciate this you know”.

Finally the moment came and he took my tickets to sign and I yelled “you can have 2 more flautists anytime you want them!” I don’t know whether he heard but I made the offer! It was about 23:00 by the time we were on our back home after an amazing night.

9-21-04 Latest News

TORN'S Baggins Birthday Picnic Report
Xoanon @ 6:43 pm EST

Arwen writes: The third edition of TORN’s Baggins Birthday picnic, which took place this Sunday September 19th in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, turned out to be once again a party of special magnificence. The weather was a delightful mix of bright sunshine, blue skies, and thanks to a constant breeze which occasionally swelled up to a wicked wind, the temperature remained pleasant -when the previous two years had been scorchingly hot- (pictures to be posted shortly).

Food was plentiful and delicious, between yummy mushroom tortes and a variety of salads, and many many many desserts. Of course, per tradition the infamous yellow jackets were present. However, maybe because of the wind and the semi-protection of the mosquitoe net in the food tent, they seemed less numerous than the previous years (or maybe I’m getting used to them!).

Ringers showed up en masse, and this year’s picnic probably had the biggest crowd of all three events. Costumes were aplenty, with many hobbits, a few elves, some Rangers, and the occasional random Mordor orc or Mumak commander (very creative indeed!). Thanks to the generosity of New Line Cinema and Sideshow Collectibles, all guests were treated to fantastic mathoms: a deck of cards from ROTK, with the images all taken from the Alan Lee drawings of the film’s end credits; a ROTK mini poster, and a Sidehow keychain. The winners of the three contests (trivia, costume, and impersonation) walked home with Sideshow’s Helm’s Deep Environment, Golden Hall Environment, and The Morgul Lord!

Picnic’s Uber MC Quickbeam kept the crowd entertained, whether giving humorous deliveries of lines from the movie, or updating all fans on the status of the Ringers: Lord Of The Fans documentary, which production team is working against the clock to complete a rough cut of the film by the Sundance Festival’s submission deadline of Friday September 24th.

To make this year’s picnic an afternoon to remember, two very special guests made a surprise appearance: Rohan’s unsung hero Gamling: Bruce Hopkins, and the Dark Lord himself: Sala Baker. Bruce and Sala gracefully served as judges during the costume and impersonation contests, and afterwards mingled and chatted with the fans, posing for pictures and signing autographs. After our special guests had left (Bruce was catching a plane back to New Zealand later on that evening), it was time to wrap the party, and the guests started to leave slowly. All faces were smiling and happy, and everyone had the greatest of times, here at the end of all things. It was time to drive home, pet my little dog Chipie and tell her “Well, I’m back!”.

Announcing The Sillymarillion by D.R. Lloyd
weetanya @ 1:44 pm EST

Click for larger image

Cold Spring Press is pleased to announce the release of the long-awaited parody to The Silmarillion – D.R. Lloyd's The Sillymarillion (ISBN 1-59360-025-9, $11.00, 168 pp).  

From the back cover:  

Blasphemy! Heresy! Not since Bored of the Rings has there been such a blatant desecration of the sacred works of J.R.R. Tolkien! True fans of Middle-earth, rise up against this upstart and his distorted retelling of The Silmarillion. No self-respecting Dark Lord would ever enter a rapping competition, nor would beautiful elf-maidens ever behave like this! The greatest tragic love story in fantasy history was not made possible through the efforts of a ferret, nor were the great battles of the First Age covered by TV news crews! D.R. Lloyd’s The Sillymarillion dares to be the first and only – and therefore we can claim without contradiction – the funniest,  most outrageous parody of the good professor’s great posthumous masterpiece.

Click for larger image

The action begins in the land of Valium, an idyllic paradise, but now the tranquility has been shattered by the theft of the magical Siliputi by the Dark Lord Mostgoth. The King of the Neuter has vowed revenge and his people have rebelled against the gods themselves. Fleeing to the continent of Myrtle-earth in pursuit of their enemy, the Neuter become embroiled in a long and boring war.

The reader will encounter spoiled Elven princesses, cross-dressing gods, and
rodents possessed by malevolent spirits, but these will all somehow seem strangely familiar...

[Order now from Amazon.com!]

9-20-04 Latest News

Hartford Symphony LOTR Concert Review
Xoanon @ 1:05 pm EST

Greyseasunder writes: I just got back from spending the weekend with my in-laws, just so that I could see the Hartford Symphony’s rendition of the Lord of the Rings Symphony. I live in New Hampshire, while my in-laws live in southern Connecticut. I drove over 3 hours to get to their home, and then another hour and half to get to Hartford. While I had to suffer through Friday and Saturday with my in-laws, waiting until that magical time of 3pm on Sunday, I did it and made the trek to the Bushnell Theatre for the afternoon concert.

Well, let me tell you, I’ve been waiting since late spring to experience the LOTR Symphony, after I first heard of it taking place (off the onering.net) and ordered my tickets. I’ve been sitting at my computer at work listening to the soundtrack over and over again for nigh on 5 months in anticipation of Sundays event. While Howard Shore canceled on the concert due to workload, it was still well worth the long wait. My friend nick who returned his tickets upon hearing that Mr. Shore was no longer conducting, does not know what he missed. It was truly a once in a lifetime event and I will remember it forever. I’ve just come into work this morning and have fired up the soundtrack again and I’m getting goosebumps remembering what I heard/saw/felt experienced.

My wife and I arrived in Hartford at about 2:30pm- a beautiful and crisp autumn day. Was a bit chilly so my wife had to put on a sweater. The sky was cloudless and sunny as the crowds gathered at the Bushnell. We walked into the hall and what a beautiful theatre! Cream colored walls with gold accents. We quickly surrendered our tickets and were seated. The theatre was spectacular! Overhead the ceiling was decorated with scenes of the zodiac and complex geometric patterns that reminded me of the inner workings of a clock or old watch. Gorgeous.

Our seats were right up front, E section of the Orchestra stage left a little off center. We could’ve reached up and touched the performers. Though I’d have liked to been a bit more to center and further back, as we could not see the entire orchestra, it was still wonderful. Several kids went up to talk to the performers throughout breaks in the concert. The artists seemed to be very enthusiastic to talk to with them.

Up on stage there must have been close to 200 performers. I’m not sure of the exact numbers, but it was incredible. Besides the musicians, three solo vocalists there were a male, female and children’s choruses. In back of them all was a large screen. I’d heard there was to be a multimedia show along with the music. I’d assumed it was going to be stills from the films- however I was wrong and pleasantly surprised. Alongside the music, images of Alan Lee & John Howe’s sketchwork were displayed. Though rough, it was beautiful- full of feeling and raw power- and the images chosen were just cryptic enough to not giveaway some plot elements. My wife has not read the books and has only gotten through the first dvd of the second film as yet, so that was good.

Now, I have to tell you, I’m a bit of a sap where LOTR is concerned. I first read the hobbit in 2nd grade- I think I was maybe 7 years old. And I read the LOTR trilogy immediately after. I’m 35 now, and I’ve read those 4 books once a year since then. When I think of the LOTR, it brings back a lot of happy memories of childhood and fantasy. When I first heard that the films were going to be made, I cringed. I seriously doubted that anyone could ever come close to the magic of the books and I was truly frightened that someone would mess them up. I still have nightmares about when someone with the initials R.B. created an animated version of the first two books back in the late 70’s. Anyways, so when I finally did see the new films, well, I have to tell you- I cried. Several times throughout each film to tell you the truth. I’m a 35 year old male and I’m not afraid to admit that I openly wept at points throughout all three films. Mr. Jackson hit the mark spot on with each. Yeah, he did a little tinkering, but it was for dramatic purposes and I’m not so big a fanatic that I cannot admit that he made some improvements. Anyways…back to the symphony.

Alastair Willis was conducting, standing in for Mr. Shore who is currently working on another project. The theatre darkened, and Mr. Willis stepped up on stage.

The next two hours were pure magic and fantasy. I’ve listened to the soundtracks over and over again probably several hundred times by now. The performance was absolutely flawless!

The concert was divided into 6 sections (sorry, I’m no musician, so the specific wording sometimes escapes me)- the first 4 were devoted to the Fellowship alone. Along with the music, the lights adjusted to go with whatever the theme of music was at the moment- red for war/battle, green for elves. The performance started with “The Prophecy”. Up on the screen we were shown images of the map of middle earth, alternating in english and runic script. The Prophecy quickly moved into “Concerning Hobbits”.

When listening to the soundtrack before going to the concert, I’ve always loved the darker & triumphant pieces- such as “The Bridge of Khazad Dum” or “The White Tree” or “The Ride of the Rohirrim” –more than the nostalgic pieces- such as “Concerning Hobbits”. No more. When the Hartford Symphony started in with “Concerning Hobbits” and I saw images of Hobbiton up on the screen, well- bring on waterworks number one. I wept. I’m such a wuss. Absolutely beautiful- nostalgia, love for home, childhood all things hobbitish. A truly beautiful piece of music, played flawlessly. I marvel more and more at Mr. Shore’s craftwork. My wife thinks I’m such a dork…

The concert progressed through the first film- high points (well the whole thing was one wonderful, continuous highpoint) for me being “The Bridge of Khazad Dum” – wonderful male vocals and images of the balrog up on the screen. Simply astounding. Lovely dark red lighting bathed the performers along with gobos (covers over the lights) that simulated fire.

The last highlight before the end of the first film and intermission was a spectacular rendition of “The Breaking of the Fellowship”. A small boy sang part of this in english, unfortunately I do not remember the words, but it was beautiful and as with the entire performance, flawless. Waterworks #2.

A short intermission followed. Several adults and children went to the stage to talk with the performers who seemed very enthusiastic to talk with them. I stayed right in my seat and tried to soak in what I’d just heard/experienced. On to the 2nd and 3rd films music.

I understand the need to emphasize the first film/book/part of the symphony- its background and the backbone to the entire story. Unfortunately, in my opinion, a lot of the best, most dramatic music, is in the 2nd and 3rd films. Half the performance was devoted to the first film, was a shame- lots of good music in the other films that never made an appearance. What can you do though? Only two hours to cram it all into…

After the intermission, two lovely ladies walked onto the stage alongside the conductor and sat down. Their voices were to be heard later on with INCREDIBLE renditions of “Gollum’s Song” and “Into the West” as well as “Evenstar”. Once again, yep, tears on all three songs. I was pretty wrung out by the end.

'The Riders of Rohan' left me a wreck- so dramatic, so tragic and beautifully performed. All I could picture in my head was the golden hall and the lands of the horsemen depicted in the film. The violin soloist delivered a PERFECT performance during this part. Amazing.

'Forth Eorlingas'- my god, stirred the blood! I’m getting goosepimples just thinking about it 24 hours later. My wife, who is a reluctant LOTR novice at best, nudged me during this part and mouthed “WOW!”. I couldn’t say it better myself.

We moved forward to the end of the second film ending with “Gollum’s Song” – I love Emiliana Torrini’s rendition on the soundtrack, and didn’t know what to expect from someone else performing it. I love Emiliana’s voice- so liquid and sinister yet tragic at the same time. The woman who performed it yesterday (unfortunately I do not have my program with me to look up her name) was astounding. Though much lighter in feel, and less smoothly sinister like Ms. Torrini’s, it still retained the tragedy and lurking evil appropriate for the song that gives voice to my most favorite villain.

On to the final two parts of the score- divided into before the destruction of the ring, and after.

'Hope and Memory' well, yep, yet again, tears on my part. Beautiful and epic. “Minas Tirith”- instead of a boy soprano vocal, one of the women sang the part (you know- where faramir and his troop are chased from Osgiliath by the Nazgul and Gandalf comes to their rescue). Astounding!

Moving into “The White Tree” (one of my utter favorites from the soundtrack) and “The Steward of Gondor”. So glorious and epic in feel! Can’t say enough how PERFECT their performance was!

The set was then bathed in blood-red light, for the final two parts before the fall of the ring- “Minas Morgul” & “The Ride of the Rohirrim”. War, bloodshed fire and ultimate triumph! Goosepimples again as I type. Segueing directly into the final movement of the afternoon’s performance.

'The End of All Things'- THE pinnacle to our adventure. And the Hartford Symphony let you feel it. Heart thumping bass, drums and the full choir unleashed. With the one female singer giving voice to the final moments of the one ring before its destruction. Haunting, beautiful and it set me to tearing up again. Honestly I’m really not THAT big a wimp, but somethings in life you feel passionately about, and all things LOTR-related and this music, this perfect music to accompany this epic tale, well, that’s one of them.

The afternoons performance settled in with the finale- “The Return of the King”, “The Gray Havens” and “Into the West”. All wonderfully done and giving you that final feeling, like the feeling you get when you finish reading The Trilogy- like you just lost your best friend in the entire world. Its over, the end of the adventure. I sat their stunned listening to “Into the West”, performed with as much grace and beauty as Annie Lennox did. Wonderful, epic piece of work and music. Up on the screen we were greeted with images of the Gray Havens and a lone ship sailing off into the sunset.

As the final strains of music stopped, and the house lights came up, the Hartford Symphony received a well-deserved 10-minute standing ovation. I do not know how long those folks have practiced for those two performances (there was one Saturday as well) but its probably been as long as I’ve had tickets waiting to use to see them.

I'm spent folks, still basking in the memory of the music from yesterday. I feel today like I feel everytime I read the books and come to the conclusion of them- words cannot express how I feel. If you get the chance to experience one of these performances where you are, DO IT! It only comes around once, and its not to be missed. Its like stepping into the books for 2 hours of your life. Once there, you are never the same again…

Go back to Special Reports Archives