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<I>Lord of the Rings</I> Will Sing a New Tune

17 Aug, 2002 By: Dan Bennett

With DVD, there have been some firsts, and Howard Shore has scored one of them -- literally.

The composer, who won the Oscar earlier this year for his score of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, scored 30 minutes of new music for the “Special Extended” DVD Edition of the film, scheduled for Nov. 12 release from New Line Home Entertainment at $79.92 SRP.

The edition marks the first time such an extensive volume of music was recorded for a video release that had already been completed and seen theatrically.

“It was challenging, because we had to edit and add new sections, and the music was so precise and specific to the worlds within this film,” Shore said. “We brought back the London Philharmonic and a huge choir, and reunited to tackle completely new concepts.”

For the new music, Shore again took experimental approaches, such as using ancient Asian music, with one instrument featuring strings tied inside a hollowed tree base. Several additional scenes are added to the special DVD.

“The film was long, but we didn't want to lose some of the wonderful scenes [director] Peter Jackson needed to cut,” Shore said. “But we knew even then that we would see these scenes again with the DVD.”

For the scenes, Shore used the approach he took the first time. Some of his ideas came from music he had discarded originally then reworked; others came from scratch. What he sought was music that matched the different worlds in which the characters were appearing.

“We wanted to move from different styles, but very technically and seamlessly,” Shore said. “The music must work to support the story.”

The makers of the Lord of the Rings trilogy -- with the second installment, The Two Towers, to hit theaters in the late fall -- don't really see it as three different films.

“To us, it's one nine-hour film,” said Shore, who is hard at work putting finishing touches to the score for The Two Towers. “The books read that way, and we wanted to follow that lead. It's a single piece of cinema, we hope representing a wonderful, complex world where viewers can escape.”

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