Now that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, has been released and many of us have had time to see it, we can begin to appreciate the enormous effort that has gone into its making. Sometimes, when a film’s musical score is so good you come away not recalling the music at all, because it blends seamlessly with the action. Sometimes, for example in 2001: A Space Odyssey, a film stands out forever as being associated with a piece of music, (Also Sprach Zarathustra: Richard Strauss).
Andy Barclay from the London Philharmonic Orchestra describes crafting a film score using only natural instruments – and spoons! Speaking to The Guardian, Barclay, a percussionist with the orchestra responsible for realising Howard Shore’s soundtrack, said:
“I always go to see films I’ve played on thinking, ‘I’ll listen out for that bit’; and then I get to the end and realise that I haven’t listened to the music, which is a compliment because you shouldn’t be. If you don’t notice it, then it’s probably been good,”
It is clear that there is much respect between the composer, the orchestra and the individual players. They were completely on-board with Shore’s imaginative soundtrack from the outset. Shore knows the players well, writing to their strengths.
“This is very much an LPO sound that they’ve created for Middle-earth,” he says.
The composer, alongside director, Peter Jackson has gone to great lengths to ensure the Hobbit characters have been presented individually:
“Listen carefully and you’ll hear that not only do different characters and places have their own themes, Wagner-style, but Shore uses different instruments to establish theme, mood and location too.”
Find the full interview here, at The Guardian.