Howard Shore Talk

Yesterday afternoon we set off into London in the direction of the Royal College of Music. We were off to see a talk by Howard Shore specifically dealing with his work on the Lord of Rings movie soundtrack. There was also to be a signing afterwards, so we had a few goodies lined up to be scrawled upon.

The Royal College Of Music hall where Howard was interviewed.
The Royal College Of Music hall where Howard was interviewed

We arrived to find a short queue so took our place and waited in the sun for the word to proceed into the building. A request to enter duly arrived and we made our way into the building and through into a concert hall. Sitting near the front we sat and waited for Howard to arrive. The compere came on the stage shortly after 6pm to tell us that Howard was running a little late. before he could finish however, Howard arrived and he was greeted by an enthusiastic round of applause which he took very graciously.

Up onto the stage and into an interview which went on for maybe a bit to long, as interesting as it was. The interviewer was a little to prone to giving counterpoint views based on his own experiences rather than just letting Howard talk. I can’t remember the interviewers name, he was from ‘Music From The Movies’ magazine who had organised the evening. I’m probably being overly critical but I was here to hear Howard speak, not someone else.

Mr Howard Shore on the right with an overly enthusiastic interviewer on the left.
Mr Howard Shore on the right with an overly enthusiastic interviewer on the left

The floor was then opened to questions from the audience and Howard answered in a very detailed and thoughtful manner. Many people congratulated him on his (and the movies) recent success at the Academy Awards. We found out that Howard and Peter Jackson have put a proposal forward to Warner Music for a deluxe box set that contains all the music from all three movies. The set would be 8 CD’s plus 1 DVD and contain the complete musical score from the extended DVD editions of the movies. The DVD would contain documentaries and footage taken at a performance of the score done previously in Vancouver. Something to save up for perhaps.

A man who likes to use his hands for communicating, hardly a strange habit for a conductor I suppose.
A man who likes to use his hands for communicating, hardly a strange habit for a conductor I suppose

Listening to the next question.
Listening to the next question

More questions were had and answers provided, Howard talking about his working with Peter Jackson and the three month recording period for The Return of the King. Howard also talked about the coming performances being put on of the score and how he enjoys working with the London Philharmonic Orchestra on such performances as they have been playing the music for three years and know how every instrument should sound, whereas other orchestras play well but don’t have the benefit of experience with the music to make everything sound perfectly as it was originally intended.

Howard said that during the writing and recording of the movie score he often felt like Frodo making his journey with the score as his ring. During these times Peter would be Howard’s Sam, supporting him when needed. At other times the roles would be reversed and Howard would be there to help Peter in times of need. Howard also talked of his appreciation of New Zealand and the many Kiwis who made the film what it is. He said he still finds it strange working on other films where he doesn’t have the NZ experience of working out of cottages in Seatoun and working with Peter, Fran and Philippa over coffee tables and in kitchens as ideas were bantered around. The memory of writing the score in NZ, in places such as Wellington and around Queenstown in the South Island has strongly affected Howard and he will always remember his time in our country.

Illustrating another point.
Illustrating another point

Brief mention was made of music that Howard was working on at the moment (‘The Aviator‘ score) and his next Peter Jackson score for the ‘King Kong‘ remake. There was also a quick question about the proposed movie based on ‘The Hobbit’. Howard would be ready to do the music for this movie but the ongoing rights issues have to be sorted out first (the movie rights are owned by one company, the distribution rights by another and they have to nut out a deal so that both companies make a lot of money, welcome to Hollywood).

Time quickly ran out and we all got into a line to have our items of choice autographed. Due to time constraints we didn’t really get time to talk to Howard, we only had enough time to ensure our names were spelt right (“Keryn, K-E-R-Y-N” “A?” “No, E, like in egg” “Oh…”) but we got our Return of the King CD and issue 6 of out Lord of the Rings Fanclub magazine signed as well on the title page of Howard’s interview so contained.

One interesting tidbit came up from a question asked by the person before us in the line. Howard has an on screen part in the forthcoming extended edition of the ‘Return of the King’. He is a rider of Rohan drinking with Legolas and Gimli in a scene in Edoras.

Signing the CD.
Signing the CD

Signing the magazine.
Signing the magazine

That was about it. We made our way out of the building, put everything back into my bag and made our way back to the tube station for the trip home. I’d better stop now anyway, Keryn wants to play games and is getting annoyed. I must learn about priorities…

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