In the first part of the 20th century, live music accompanied the otherwise silent movies. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, today, concerts that pair projections of popular films, such as The Lord of the Rings, with live performances of their scores, showcase the music and the imagery in a whole new light.
Susan Lewis: The lush music for the three-part film adaption of The Lord of the Rings was written by composer Howard Shore for orchestra, choir, and soloists. After the complete recordings were released, Shore also created three scores that could be performed live in concert, synced with projections of the film.
Howard Shore: You’re seeing the imagery of the film, you’re hearing the dialogue, you have the story, but you’re getting this wonderful symphonic performance of the music.
SL: The complex classic fantasy is set long ago in a place called Middle Earth. The score’s musical themes and leitmotifs express characters and ideas, such as the pivotal formation of the Fellowship – which pledges to destroy the ring that embodies evil that threatens the land.
HS: A young Hobbit stands up and says, 'I will take the ring,' who is Frodo. And then each part of the Fellowship comes to his aid…It’s a scene where you see the heroism and honor from all different races.
SL: The theme builds through that scene in fragments. And finally in that scene you hear the culmination of the theme in its full glory.
HS: We don’t try to recreate the film experience. We let the music play in all of its wonder and glory and dynamics.
SL: The Lord of the Rings, in concert with projections, has been staged all over the world.