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A Magpie's Nest > ROTK > D05 The Last Ship leaves

Title: D05 The Last Ship leaves

magpie - November 18, 2007 03:17 AM (GMT)
CR-ROTK D05 The Journey to the Grey Havens
ROTK-OST, Track 18, The Grey Havens

There are a lot of humming voices in this track. The AS-ROTK only mentions humming voices. But I think I remember reading that lyrics came in at the end and I determined the line & times stamps for the ROTK-OST track 18, The Grey Havens, to be:

[05:16] Am
[05:23] rn
[05:27] n'A

[05:31] nor
[05:34] An
[05:38] nn

[05:41] n'I
[05:45] thil

and said this:
The syllables of these lyrics are very softly hummed and even hard to distinguish from the non-syllabic humming that precedes it in the movie. I'm pretty sure I have the general time stamps correct. But I'm not so convinced of the individual syllables but here is my best guess. The assumption I've made is that the first syllable is held for 8 counts and everyone after that for 4.

I've listened briefly to the CR-ROTK track and it's not jumping out at me. I'll have to see if I can dig out that quote and take a closer listen at some point.

magpie - January 12, 2008 03:59 PM (GMT)
Okay... here is some info. Sometimes I'm very explicit in my references and resources but I wasn't with this one and now I have to go track down what I found re: this piece.

the source text, "The Grey Havens" was found on the DVD that came with the ROTK Special Edition Soundtrack. The entire text is on my website: The Grey Havens

From Music From the Movies magazine, issue 42, page 78
Peter said that you took a completely different approach when you scored 'The Grey Havens'. Tell me about this composition?
Frodo couldn't stay in the Shire, he had to leave, so the cart takes Bilbo and Frodo, while the rest of the Hobbits are riding their own ponies, towards The Grey Havens, but first they go to the harbour where they meet Elrond, Gandalf, and Galadriel. Now we start the last chapter, the final moments of the film. Wove all through these moments are Shire pieces, Gandalf piece, there's Elvish pieces playing to Elrond and Galadriel, and then as Frodo leaves Sam you start to hear little bits of 'The Grey Havens'. James Galway also plays at the harbour when Frodo leaves Sam and actually gets on the ship. 'The Grey Havens' is about the great parting of Frodo from The Shire. The melody here is played by ten cellos. The theme for 'The Grey Havens' was specifically created for the ships sailing away from Middle-earth. I wrote this theme while we working on 'Into the West' and then the decision was made to use that melody as part of the song. That's why 'The Grey Havens' and 'Into the West' are related.
During 'The Grey Havens' it took the choir great restraint and patience to perform this piece. The technique is very quiet and low-key, it's a very soft performance and beautifully melodic.
They are singing in Sindarin. When I first recorded this I didn't use any of Tolkien's languages, I had the choir singing with regular vowels, but I came back and redid it using Elvish text. I also had the choir do some humming, that came from our love of Puccini and the humming chorus from 'Madame Butterfly'. This is a very quiet choral moment.

Single quotes seem to be used in throughout this issue to refer to themes, compositions, songs, etc. I might have thought "you start to hear little bits of 'The Grey Havens'" referred to the song, The Grey Havens. But it could have just referred to the composition or the theme of the same name.

Howard does go on to specifically say "They are singing in Sindarin."

This piece of sheet music is provided on page 77 with the source text.
(try right clicking or control clicking on that link and opening it in a new tab or window)
notice it says, "Frodo boards the ship with Bilbo, Galadriel, and Gandalf at the Grey Havens".

There's nothing in the ROTK Audio Commentary. And I don't remember, off hand, the singing getting discussed at moviemusic. So the magazine must have been my sole resource. I think I read it carefully, perhaps assuming the song The Grey Havens started when Frodo leaves Sam to get on the ship.

But why pick that particular line out of the source text? Something tells me I would not have done that had I not some hint that was the line used but what that hint might have been, I cannot recall.

I notice now that here, in the magazine, the source text is called "Frodo's Song". (Remember on the DVD from the SE Soundtrack, it was called "The Grey Havens")
The AS-ROTK says this:
An alternate full chorus composition, Frodos Song was written for Frodos departure from the Grey Havens, but was never used.

So, perhaps Howard's comment that he used Sindarin lyrics predated the decision to switch (back?) to the humming choir. This does make sense to me. It's clear that some of the information provided via the sheet music in the MftM magazine is not correct in regards to the movie/soundtrack releases. So perhaps the articles were just researched and written too early in the editing phase to be used as 100% accurate resources.

I think this is what I'll ultimately go with in regards to my website but I am interested in what people think. I have soundclips for this portion of the CR, OST, and EE movie. If anyone wants them, they can reply here, PM me, or email me and I'll provide them. It does seem to me that the quality of the choir's voices changes at this spot. Instead of a distinctive 'hmmm' it's more 'ahhh' sounding. That, along with the action on screen, helped me believe this was the spot where the singing started. But perhaps they're just 'ahh-ing'.

magpie - May 13, 2010 11:02 PM (GMT)


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