Ever since I read the Lord of the Rings as a young teenager, I have loved the different landscapes and characters which Tolkien created. Some years ago (more than I care to admit!) I began to compose music which represented some of those different aspects of the novels.
I realise that anything musical based on the Lord of the Rings will always be held up against the superlative work which Howard Shore did on the film scores. My offerings are perhaps a slightly different take on the books – different enough I hope to make them stand in their own right.
Some of the original ideas for this growing body of work were created some 20 years ago, and my musical language has changed over the years, but these pieces are interesting to me precisely because they do trace my musical development over the past two decades.
- Middle Earth – this starts with the forging of the rings of power aeons ago, and forms a sort of main theme to the whole collection.
- Hobbiton – this represents the carefree existence of the hobbits, blissfully unaware of the rising darkness in lands far to the East
- The Story of the Ring – this describes the moment Gandalf casts the ring into the fire, and the words of Mordor appear on its surface.
- Leaving Home – the hobbits leave their homes in the Shire, not knowing if they will ever return.
- Tom Bombadil – I wanted to write a piece which reflected Tom’s unusual nature – his slightly mad behaviour and his big heart.
- Flight to the Ford – Frodo races towards the river, pursued by the Dark Riders. The Ringwraiths plunge into the river and are washed away.
- Rivendell – the beautiful castle of Elrond, where Frodo finds healing and a momentary peace before beginning the journey into Mordor.
- Caradhras – The journey taken by the Fellowship over the mighty mountain.
- Moria – The journey takes a darker turn when the Fellowship are forced to take the road under the mountain, through the Mines of Moria, where an ancient evil has awakened…
- Lothlorien – The Fellowship have lost Gandalf, and are welcomed into the elven realm of Lothlorien, ruled over by Galadriel.
- Gollum – I always felt slightly sorry for Gollum – the hobbit-like Smeagol who was ruined by his lust for the ring.
- Ride of the Rohirrim – This starts quietly, with a vision of Edoras, windswept and standing alone on it’s rocky outcrop. Then the riders ride forth.
- Ent March – The Ents are awakened from their apathy and march to wreak revenge on the works of Saruman and the Uruk-hai.
- Minas Tirith – the majesty of the city, built in seven levels around a huge outcrop of rock.
- March of Gondor – A march theme for the desperate battle between the world of men and Mordor
- Isildur’s Heir – a stately theme for Aragorn, true king of Gondor.
- Shelob – A theme for the Mother of Spiders, who guards the stairs to Cirith Ungol
- The Ringbearer – a theme for Frodo himself.
- Where the Shadows Lie – Frodo and Sam travel across the wastelands of Mordor to The Cracks of Doom, to cast the ring into the fire.
- Shadowfax – the white horse, the king of horses, Gandalf’s steed.