Original Music uploaded to YouTube

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
Hey everyone,
Sorry I haven't been doing much on the forums these last two weeks. I have been busy writing some music. I have uploaded two themes to YouTube, Iluvatar and Varda (the hosts said last session that they wanted some Varda music). The link to my compositions is to my YouTube Channel Philmen32
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwdIXVyVMjMEiaJTfuE3SBA

They are simple leitmotifs that represent the beings, not fully fledged musical scores and are very much inspired by Howard Shore's work. They began simply but got more complex the more I worked on them.

Iluvatar's theme began with the one note discussed in the forums and evolved from there. That one note is taken from Howard Shore's Score of FOTR at the breaking of the fellowship. As Frodo stands on the bank of the lake Gandalf starts to speak (in Frodo's memory) and the one note sounds, to me a very Iluvatar moment. My leitmotif starts in a minor key representing the mystery of Iluvatar and has a formal grand sound. It has a three beat timing because I am from a christian background as was Tolkien and I cannot get away from a triune god. The piece changes to a major key and ends with the dominant indicating the completion there is in Iluvatar, nothing is unfinished.

The Varda piece if you listen carefully has Iluvatar's one note playing all through as she reflects his light. It started with the tinkling sound of the stars and has a gracefulness to it. Many of the individual elements of the piece can be pulled out at various times during the series to indicate her involvement.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Wow, that's really cool! I realize that actual musical pieces have to be scored to match a particular scene (with length and transitions to consider), but these are pretty awesome starting points, clearly connected to each other :)
 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks MithLuin. Yes the music in the LOTR & The Hobbit movies is made up of small leitmotifs that are woven together into the score and for each scene.
If you get the opportunity you and everyone should watch the LOTR movies while reading "The Music of the Lord of the Rings Movies" by Doug Adams to really get a good understanding of the themes.
I plan to write motifs for all the main characters for season 1.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Thank you so much for posting those, Phillip, and I'll make certain to link them from our Script Discussion segment videos, as well as share them with as many folks as possible.
 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Nicholas, I appreciate that. I am truly surprised at the number of views they have had so far. I don't know if it was mentioned in the session yesterday but something has sent people to them.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I've been hoping that at least everyone involved in the project is "Sharing" links to everyone else's stuff whenever possible. Doing so helps us all out, and attracts other talented people to come and work with us.
 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
My third piece of music has been uploaded to YouTube. This one is called "Valinor Rising". https://i.ytimg.com/vi_webp/Oi8dnatCaIE/mqdefault.webp
If you listen to it and think it has a familiar ring to it then you are right. It is a variation on the Grey Havens theme in the Return of the King by Howard Shore and Annie Lennox. It has the same chord structure underneath, is dotted with arpeggios to give it a busy feel but instead of the notes having a downward path (in ROTK) my version has them rising. I have imagined the Pelori rising as it is playing. It can be looped to be incomplete, but the final chord would be played when Valinor is complete (in Ep 6 or 7). The theme that most people would be familiar with which I call "across the sea" cannot really be played until the formation of the sea of Belagaer. When that happens Valinor is truly across the sea from Middle Earth and the theme would be played in the season one finale.

I have rerecorded this one with an orchestral library so the link for the previous version was broken. Here is the new link
 
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Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
And another track uploaded to YouTube. This one is Mairon. I was thinking about this one as I walked down to the butcher shop today and I let a familiar theme play over and over in my mind. It is youthful and exuberant with an element of whimsy, but lurking behind is a very familiar theme. Brownie points go to the first person who is able to recognise it.

I uploaded a new version which has some notes stressed and the second last chord is a now a dead giveaway. Surely someone will recognise that.
 
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Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
Yes, it has that sing song feel to it. It also remind me of the tune in Nausica of the Valley of the Winds which has a child singing it.
 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
I use Musescore2 Alex. When I first started writing music I used Finale Notepad but I found it had limitations. I find Musescore a much better program, but it would be much better if I had a midi keyboard to play directly onto it. I usually start with the piano and paper manuscript (talk about old fashioned).
 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
Well another piece of music uploaded today.
It originally started as Nienna's theme but it wasn't quite right. With the tolling going on it naturally became for the Doom of Mandos. The three beat rhythmic oboe is Vaire's loom. Her voice doesn't have to be present all the time, but parts of it can come through to show where Namo gets his inspiration from.

This one is Namo and Vaire.

 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Liked, commented, and shared!

If you guys haven't subscribed to Phillip's channel yet, you really should! Attracting viewers to his postings will help draw other talented individuals to our project, giving us more manpower to draw on as we put all of the parts together.
 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
I have just uploaded another piece of music to YouTube. This time it is for Nienna. Nich, I know you are a Kieth Green fan so you might hear some inspiration from one of his songs "Song for Josia" here. As I posted in the video notes, this one works well with just piano, but Trish wanted violins, so she got a violin and a cello. I will do a paired back version possible of me playing it on the piano soon. I hope you enjoy Nienna.

 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
Well you asked for it. Here is Manwe. After the discussion on the forums about Nature's Reclamation I felt that Manwe's theme had to rest there, but that was only a start. It went on to become quite regal. Thank heavens for music notation software. If I had to play this on the piano and record it I can grant that it would be nowhere near as good. I have even surprised myself with this one. I hope it becomes a favourite. It also helps that I have discovered the button that makes a single stringed instrument into strings (plural) which sounds so much better.

 
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