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Re: [mythsoc] Favorite Fantasy Authors on Record/CD?

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  • Carnimiriel Isilraen
    ... Warning - this has inspired a long ramble by a usual lurker. :) Though I have not heard this album, I have some opinions on music inspired by Tolkien. As a
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 30, 2005
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      virginiaprograsser wrote:

      >Excellent literature has sometimes found its way into auditory form.
      >For example, Bo Hansson's progressive rock classic from the 1970s
      >"Lord of the Rings":
      >
      Warning - this has inspired a long ramble by a usual lurker. :)

      Though I have not heard this album, I have some opinions on music
      inspired by Tolkien.

      As a singer who has had a very close personal relationship with the
      books since I was a young child, I have my own tunes in my head for many
      of the songs. I think for that reason I may be biased. Though someone
      else may come up with a much better song, it is not the one that has
      been playing in my head ever since childhood, so it will not resonate
      for me with a strong connection to the books.

      I have heard a recording of Tolkien singing one of his songs (was it
      Namarie?), and it was basically a Gregorian chant type melody, which
      seems very appropriate to me for Elven music. Tolkien certainly did
      have some ideas of his own about music, and many types of instruments
      are mentioned in his works.

      Of the Tolkien inspired music out there, I have to say that my favorites
      are recordings by the Tolkien Ensemble of Denmark. Though I don't
      necessarily like all of their musical choices, they are good musicians
      and have really tried to go with a more "ancient" sound that feels
      appropriate to Middle Earth. The singers are good too! I think they
      make better use of Tolkien's lighthearted texts, like the Merry Old Inn
      and Troll Song than some of the more serious music, but nonetheless I
      respect what they have done.

      Actually I have also set "Merry Old Inn" to music, which I sang at
      DragonCon one year with the band Emerald Rose, before I heard the
      Tolkien Ensemble's version. Surprisingly enough (or not) the tunes have
      many things in common. Mine is much more simplistic, but then I don't
      compose for a living, fortunately!

      I own the Starlit Jewel CD by Broceliande, which does not appeal as much
      to me, but they, like the Tolkien Ensemble, have been authorized to use
      Tolkien's texts (as far as I know they are the only two groups who have
      received this permission). The music is nice, and well played, though
      the musicians are maybe not quite of the high caliber of the Tolkien
      Ensemble. For whatever reason, it doesn't "speak" to me. Probably this
      is because it doesn't match my own internal soundtrack as closely as the
      Tolkien Ensemble's music.

      Now moving on to music inspired by Tolkien but not setting his texts, I
      cannot imagine anything with electric guitars and keyboards being very
      evocative of Middle Earth to me. However, I have heard Glass Hammer's
      Middle Earth-inspired music and have even had the pleasure of "sitting
      in" with them at the Gathering of the Fellowship to sing on a couple of
      songs. They are very good musicians whom I respect greatly.
      Personally, I think their music feels much more Middle-earthy when they
      use a more folksy style, and the more artsy, progressive rock material,
      while it may appeal to fans of that genre, doesn't do as much for me.

      Lastly, though there are many things I do not care for in the Peter
      Jackson films, the score by Howard Shore is, in my opinion, one of the
      most praiseworthy parts of the whole operation. Again, I don't agree
      with all his choices (that lament for Gandalf was not Elvish sounding at
      all and just plain ugly), but the score was not only well composed, but
      very evocative for me.

      I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on the music I've mentioned.

      Ellen Denham
    • Stolzi
      ... From: virginiaprograsser ... I have very much enjoyed the Tolkien Ensemble s recordings; on one or two texts I might prefer
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 30, 2005
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "virginiaprograsser" <MFSB@...>

        >What are some of your
        > favorite albums/CDs that successfully make this leap?
        >


        I have very much enjoyed the Tolkien Ensemble's recordings; on one or two
        texts I might prefer Broceliande's versions, but for me, the Ensemble wins
        overall.

        Diamond Proudbrook
      • Alisson Veldhuis
        The Tolkien Ensemble is also my favourite. I was introduced to them several years ago, and I love all their songs, except perhaps, Aragorn s Song of the
        Message 3 of 8 , Jan 30, 2005
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          The Tolkien Ensemble is also my favourite. I was introduced to them several
          years ago, and I love all their songs, except perhaps, Aragorn's Song of the
          Rohirrim and "Tall ships tall kings three times three..." They have
          exceptional voices and are very talented composers. My favourites,
          certainly, are the hobbit songs "Farewell we call to hearth and hall" and
          Pippin's Bath Song, as well as Strider's Song of Beren and Luthien, and the
          Elves' song to Elbereth Gilthoniel.

          Another musician I have come across and really enjoyed is David Arkenstone's
          Album "Middle-earth." It is all instrumental, and very well done and (to me)
          very evocative of Tolkien's story.

          Another I came across in Buenos Aires, actually: Andy Grimsditch, who did "A
          Tolkien Song Cycle." His best on that CD is Bilbo's Song of Earendil, which
          is absolutely enchanting. Most of the others on that CD are, I felt,
          mediocre at best.

          Alisson





          �Roses are scentless, hopeless are the morns,
          Rest is but weakness, laughter crackling thorns,
          If thou, the Truth, do not make them the true:
          Thou art my life, O Christ, and nothing else will do.�
          -George MacDonald, Diary of an Old Soul, Feb. 4




          From: "Stolzi" <Stolzi@...>
          Reply-To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Favorite Fantasy Authors on Record/CD?
          Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2005 14:50:46 -0600


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "virginiaprograsser" <MFSB@...>

          >What are some of your
          > favorite albums/CDs that successfully make this leap?
          >


          I have very much enjoyed the Tolkien Ensemble's recordings; on one or two
          texts I might prefer Broceliande's versions, but for me, the Ensemble wins
          overall.

          Diamond Proudbrook
        • Rateliff, John
          I bought the Bo Hansson album in a used record bin in Fayetteville years ago (c.1980). It s not very Tolkienesque, but it s a good album of instrumental music.
          Message 4 of 8 , Jan 30, 2005
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            I bought the Bo Hansson album in a used record bin in Fayetteville years ago (c.1980). It's not very Tolkienesque, but it's a good album of instrumental music. I still listen to it, and was quite pleased about two years ago to finally get it on cd (and, more recently, Ipod). Makes good background music when I'm working.
            I'd say the best Tolkien-inspired music is probably the Howard Shore score. Donald Swann's music is fun, but as unlike Tolkien as can well be imagined, and the choice of Wm Elvin as singer was unfortunate; I wish David Emerson would record his more folk-song interpretation of Swann's pieces. The Starlit Jewel performance is pleasant, but I don't listen to it very often, and I hardly ever play the Tolkien Ensemble discs for some reason. I want to like the symphony from about ten years back but find I simply can't listen to it; everytime I try my attention wanders before it's played five minutes. Perhaps the military band recording I have is simply too bland; is there a better performance of the piece available?

            ........................................
            Does anybody else in this group enjoy their favorite
            authors/literature as translated into music? What are some of your
            favorite albums/CDs that successfully make this leap?
            :)Steve/virginiaprograsser
            ..................................

            The soundtrack for Terry Pratchett's SOUL MUSIC does a wonderful job of charting the entire history of rock music, a la the Discworld, but I don't know if it's availible outside the animated film itself.

            A wonderfully inappropriate musical adaptation of a great fantasy author is the album THE KING OF ELFLAND'S DAUGHTER, featuring the likes of Mary Hopkins and Christopher Lee, P.P. Arnold, and others. It's much funnier than it was intended to be. They would have done much better to simply have Lee make a spoken-word reading of the book itself.

            --JDR

            > ----------
            > From: Mike Foster
            > Reply To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2005 7:31 AM
            > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Favorite Fantasy Authors on Record/CD?
            >
            > Well, I agree with Wendell. I came upon this record in an 88 cents
            > budget bin, where it belonged, not long after it was released. While
            > pleasant enough, the music is undistinguished and kind of pointlessly
            > spooky, like Yoko Ono but with melodies.
            >
            > Above all, the music's link to the book was tenuous, and "Flight to the
            > Ford" as Hansson played it didn't seem to fit with the text.
            >
            > Mike Foster
            >
            > WendellWag@... wrote:
            >
            > >
            > >In a message dated 1/30/2005 10:02:44 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
            > >MFSB@... writes:
            > >
            > >The best of Bo Hansson's albums, and one of the few progressive rock
            > >instrumental recordings that still holds up on repeated listening.
            > >J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy provide the inspiration for
            > >a series of strange, other-worldly tracks that transcend their source
            > >material. Hansson's keyboard playing is quite unlike the work of such
            > >rivals as Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman, less heavy and "gothic" and
            > >more oriented toward jazz. His guitar work as is flashy and aggressive
            > >as his keyboards ("The Black Riders/Flight to the Ford" is a great
            > >showcase for both), and the backing by sax, flute, and drums creates
            > >an overall rich sonic palette.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >I listened to this a couple of years ago. To me, while it may have been a
            > >good album, it felt nothing like the book. I posted to this mailing list at
            > >that time about my reactions to the album. Not many people seemed to have
            > >ever listened to it, and nobody seemed to agree with my reaction.
            > >
            > >Wendell Wagner
            > >
            > >
            > >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
            > >Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
            >
            >
            >
            > _____
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            > * To visit your group on the web, go to:
            > * http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mythsoc/
            > *
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            > * mythsoc-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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            > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
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            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Mike Foster
            I too wish that David Emerson would record Errantry Mike ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            Message 5 of 8 , Jan 30, 2005
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              I too wish that David Emerson would record "Errantry"

              Mike

              Rateliff, John wrote:

              >I bought the Bo Hansson album in a used record bin in Fayetteville years ago (c.1980). It's not very Tolkienesque, but it's a good album of instrumental music. I still listen to it, and was quite pleased about two years ago to finally get it on cd (and, more recently, Ipod). Makes good background music when I'm working.
              > I'd say the best Tolkien-inspired music is probably the Howard Shore score. Donald Swann's music is fun, but as unlike Tolkien as can well be imagined, and the choice of Wm Elvin as singer was unfortunate; I wish David Emerson would record his more folk-song interpretation of Swann's pieces. The Starlit Jewel performance is pleasant, but I don't listen to it very often, and I hardly ever play the Tolkien Ensemble discs for some reason. I want to like the symphony from about ten years back but find I simply can't listen to it; everytime I try my attention wanders before it's played five minutes. Perhaps the military band recording I have is simply too bland; is there a better performance of the piece available?
              >
              >........................................
              >Does anybody else in this group enjoy their favorite
              >authors/literature as translated into music? What are some of your
              >favorite albums/CDs that successfully make this leap?
              >:)Steve/virginiaprograsser
              >..................................
              >
              >The soundtrack for Terry Pratchett's SOUL MUSIC does a wonderful job of charting the entire history of rock music, a la the Discworld, but I don't know if it's availible outside the animated film itself.
              >
              >A wonderfully inappropriate musical adaptation of a great fantasy author is the album THE KING OF ELFLAND'S DAUGHTER, featuring the likes of Mary Hopkins and Christopher Lee, P.P. Arnold, and others. It's much funnier than it was intended to be. They would have done much better to simply have Lee make a spoken-word reading of the book itself.
              >
              >--JDR
              >
              >
              >
              >>----------
              >>From: Mike Foster
              >>Reply To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              >>Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2005 7:31 AM
              >>To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              >>Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Favorite Fantasy Authors on Record/CD?
              >>
              >>Well, I agree with Wendell. I came upon this record in an 88 cents
              >>budget bin, where it belonged, not long after it was released. While
              >>pleasant enough, the music is undistinguished and kind of pointlessly
              >>spooky, like Yoko Ono but with melodies.
              >>
              >>Above all, the music's link to the book was tenuous, and "Flight to the
              >>Ford" as Hansson played it didn't seem to fit with the text.
              >>
              >>Mike Foster
              >>
              >>WendellWag@... wrote:
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>>In a message dated 1/30/2005 10:02:44 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
              >>>MFSB@... writes:
              >>>
              >>>The best of Bo Hansson's albums, and one of the few progressive rock
              >>>instrumental recordings that still holds up on repeated listening.
              >>>J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy provide the inspiration for
              >>>a series of strange, other-worldly tracks that transcend their source
              >>>material. Hansson's keyboard playing is quite unlike the work of such
              >>>rivals as Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman, less heavy and "gothic" and
              >>>more oriented toward jazz. His guitar work as is flashy and aggressive
              >>>as his keyboards ("The Black Riders/Flight to the Ford" is a great
              >>>showcase for both), and the backing by sax, flute, and drums creates
              >>>an overall rich sonic palette.
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>I listened to this a couple of years ago. To me, while it may have been a
              >>>good album, it felt nothing like the book. I posted to this mailing list at
              >>>that time about my reactions to the album. Not many people seemed to have
              >>>ever listened to it, and nobody seemed to agree with my reaction.
              >>>
              >>>Wendell Wagner
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
              >>>Yahoo! Groups Links
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>
              >>
              >>The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >> _____
              >>
              >>Yahoo! Groups Links
              >>
              >>
              >>* To visit your group on the web, go to:
              >>* http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mythsoc/
              >>*
              >>* To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              >>* mythsoc-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >>*
              >>* Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >
              >
              >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
              >Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >


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