This past summer the Pacific Chorale (a professional chorus based out of Orange County) sang a concert series where the audience watched Peter Jackson's film "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" to live music. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of my favorite book collections and though I was a bit wary at first of what Jackson would do with such an epic fantasy, I was pleasantly surprised with all of it. As for the soundtrack, I think Howard Shore's score is perfect! In our last class before Thanksgiving break, Dr. Jackson was asking us about music in movies. Does a film's music have the ability to stand on its own two feet? When asked to think of examples of film music we connected with, my first thought was "Liz on top of the world" from Pride and Prejudice. However, when I went to describe the music itself, I found it difficult to do so without including (and explaining) the storyline. I then understood Dr. Jackson's point about film music's connection with the story and imagery of the film it accompanies. Can film music accompany a film's story and images and stand alone as non-film music?
I believe Howard Shore's score for the Lord of the Rings trilogy is able to stand by itself. There have been several instances where I have listened to the soundtrack just to hear the music. I do not necessarily remember exactly what part of the film it coincides with, but that is not why I listen to it. I listen to it because of the emotions that stir when I hear it.
During my time at CSUF, my school choir sang a Final Fantasty concert at Universal Studios. I did not know much about Final Fantasy (other than my dad enjoyed playing it on the weekends), and was shocked at how many people were at the concert. I was not privy to the storyline of the game and had a difficult time connecting to the music. Does this mean the music is not able to stand on its own? Or is this music simply not for me?