Music published for Season 5

Phillip Menzies

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Staff member
Now that I have got the Oath of Feanor published I can start to get some new pieces of music up. this first one was a commission from the hosts in Session 5.01 where they asked me to do something for the sorrow of the Eldar what with the Dagor Bragolach coming up this season. I have just published it on YouTube and my notes below speak about the significance of this piece in my development of the Ainulindale.

This is a significant piece in my development of SilmFilm music and was a commission from the hosts in session 5.01. With the Dagor Bragolach in this season it is the beginning of the downfall of the elves in Beleriand and the sorrow that follows, although this is written to encompass any future sorrow that the elves will experience. The true significance is that this piece, the Sorrow of the Eldar and another piece the Grief of Men (coming soon) will combine to for the third theme for the Ainulindale thus moving my development of my musical interpretation of the Ainulindale one step closer. I plan to finalise the third theme for season VI when Luthien dances for Mandos to free Beren from his halls.

Musically is made up of slow descending chords. At the beginning you will hear the now familiar three note chime representing the call of the elves being played this time by the marimba. We also hear throughout the addition of Nienna’s theme played by the clarinet. This does not dominate and drops away when the choir comes in representing the Children of Iluvatar’s many sorrowful voices for the music of the third theme came from the Children of Iluvatar, not from any of the ainur. As the piece nears its end, the contrabass adds an element of discord, adding to the tragedy and wrongness of elves losing their lives and the final chord leaves the whole piece unresolved.

My thanks to the artist contributions for this video, the details being in the notes on YouTube.

 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
The Death of Beor/The Gift of Iluvatar

This piece was formerly released under the title Strange Gift. It is set at the scene depicting the Death of Beor but it highlights three separate themes, the Grief of Men, The Good Life and The Gift of Iluvatar. I have used Tolkien’s text to demonstrate what pictures could not. The scene imagined by SilmFilm includes a discussion between Finrod and Adanel but a random artist impression of Adanel would not have gotten across the ideas as the text and artwork does.

The first theme “The Grief of Men” is a melody written by Karita Alexander called “Strange Gift” and is associated with a race of humans who are given a gift of eternal life with the price being that they will no longer bear children. I felt that this deep sadness illustrates the sadness that is experienced when humans die and have renamed it. When I was putting this piece of music together, I found myself being drawn into a lighter and happier piece which I have called “The Good Life” and will be played in the scene as Beor and Finrod reminisce about Beor’s life, but can be used equally for any normal human existence in peace and contentment. The final theme came as a counterpoint to the original melody and has an air of mystery to it but rises to something glorious. Those astute listeners will recognise the Gift of Iluvatar as the theme that plays at The Waking of Men at the Rising of the Sun as this new gift of life is bestowed upon humans. The Gift of Iluvatar and the Grief of Men are then played together to show that the Gift is tinged with sadness. This will be the conversation with Adanel. Iluvatar’s Note played continuously by the violins plays from the entry of The Gift of Iluvatar theme to the very end of the piece. It is joined towards the end by the harp plucking the note, reminiscent of the Girdle of Melian theme and as all other instruments fade, Iluvatar’s Note stands alone at the end.

The artwork is a combination of the scene at Beor’s deathbed and the content of the conversations. Although some of the scenes are not from Tolkien’s world, they depict the ideas of what The Good Life means to humans and what the Gift of Life means finishing with the mystery of our final fate. Artist details are in the YouTube notes.
 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
I was right in the middle of composing the House of Haleth theme and thinking about the stockade battle when I got sidetracked on this one. Boldog is a major character and I have not done anything for orcs yet. So Here is something for both Boldog and his orc armies.
BOLDOG LEADER OF ORCS
An original piece of music for the Silmarillion Film Project podcast with the Tolkien Professor. Boldog is an orc general from the Lay of Leithian. SilmFilm has taken this minor character and include him in this theoretical adaptation. Bolog is a maiar spirit in the service of Morgoth that inhabits the body of an orc. Boldog is given his own theme one of few individuals who are maiar spirits but inhabit a body rather than creating a body and wearing and changing it like a garment. You will hear throughout Morgoth’s triad as Boldog and orcs are his creation and are driven by his will. Astute listeners will hear the three notes usually associated with elves, but rather than a single clear pure note, it is played by clashing notes a semitone apart. The main part of the theme is three rising chords which indicate the spirit being violently squeezed into a body it was not designed to inhabit. The final playing of Boldog’s nine note theme have the notes overlapping again indicating the vuolent forcing of the spirit into a body. The text is by JRR Tolkien from the History of Middle Earth where he explores further the origins of orcs and other creatures.
 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
Time for another #SilmFilm musical contribution, this one for the House of Haleth. I want to express a very big thank you to Kathleen Dallin who provided vocals for this piece.
Musically the theme has a constant beat representing Haleth’s implacable will with little variation in a minor key. It is vocalised in a haunting way at the start to show that there is something special about Haleth and that she is destined for greatness. Each section represents a different stage of their story, with brass leading in the orc battle as Curufin comes to the rescue to the sounding of trumpets and Timpani beating the way through Nan Dungortheb as this part of the story is akin to a forced march to get through this dangerous land. The face off against Tevildo Prince of Cats has the violins playing trills and the lower strings moving in circular motion to get across the high tension as well as the wily nature of Tevildo and his band of cats. The Forest of Brethil, their final destination has more traditional strings and flute to show an agrarian style with vocalisation again with humming and la’s, but now it has changed to a major key to indicate that the People of Haleth have finally found a place where they can be content.
My YouTube notes have details of the contributing artists.
After a late reply from a contributing artist I have made a slight change to the video with a new link. See if you can guess which image has additional restrictions on it?
 
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