Howard Shore’s score for The Lord of The Rings movies have won three Academy Awards and four Grammy Awards upon their original release. And now, when the maestro is working on the score for The Hobbit movies, he’s taking it full swing with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO).
The orchestra has cancelled its tour (“Heights of Passion”) of New Zealand because it coincides with recording dates for the soundtrack for the second Hobbit movie, thus the refunds were made available right away for those who had already bought the tickets to the performances in Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, and Auckland.
The orchestra has already begun its work on the original score in Wellington Town Hall, which has been closed for the time being until the end of the next month, under “strict security” announced by Wellington City Council.
The music for the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, was recorded mostly overseas with some essential help from the London Philharmonic Orchestra, notably making the top 10 charts in the United States. However, with this year’s slight change of events, according to NZSO chief executive Christopher Blake, the orchestra is rather delighted at these signs of recognition.
“It’s wonderful to have our national orchestra involved in this iconic New Zealand film. It means our music will be enjoyed by literally millions of people worldwide, and it is further recognition of our world-class standards of performance, and of New Zealand’s international standing in the film industry.”
Blake has also noted that NZSO already has a considerable experience in recording film soundtracks. “Recording film soundtracks requires particular focus and efficiency – our musicians have to play to the highest levels and often under significant time pressures. It’s a demanding process to be part of and we know our players will do a fantastic job.”
Glenys Coughlan, Wellington Venues chief executive, also adds: “This is a brilliant achievement for Wellington and it has been challenging for us to stay ‘mum’ on this while we negotiated all the arrangements. The benefits of this go well beyond the use of the town hall, and I think we are fortunate to have such a strong advocate for Wellington in Peter Jackson.”
Following the recording of the score, the Town Hall is expected to close while the century-old venue undergoes $43.7 million of earthquake strengthening.
Howard Shore is an essential part of the production and has a massive amount of experience in his industry, being an original composer of well over 80 individual films. His ear, as well as his hand, is perfectly balanced on a tender edge of the string of the sound. So while the composer is already getting rather busy with the beginning of recordings, he is still receiving recognition for his work on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The soundtrack for the first film in The Hobbit trilogy got him nominated for the Best Original Film Score of the Year by the World Soundtrack Academy.
And although facing a fierce competition on every note, either be from Anna Karenina‘s Dario Marianelli, Jonny Greenwood’s musical mood from The Master, Mychael Danna from Life of Pi, or equally impressive Thomas Newman from Skyfall, our Howard Shore and The Hobbit are still holding a firm grip on the top, having recently won the Saturn Award for Best Production Design for Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent, and Simon Bright.