It was an extremely busy weekend, although it was chock full of (mostly) good stuff.
- The Fellowship of the Ring at Radio City Music Hall was quite amazing. I wish I had been able to go the second night. When I go see The Two Towers next year, I'm going to spring for the more expensive seats. The sound was THUNDEROUS and there were a couple of places where you could hear ins and outs that aren't as apparent on the albums or films. Also, because the CDs have that cavernous sound, the brass isn't as well defined, which was jarring, but not unwelcome. There were a few cues that didn't appear in the theatrical version as well as some that were completely exclusive to the live performances, and, this being the theatrical version of the film, that beautiful chorus heard when Galadriel waves to Frodo as part of "The Great River" was intact, and spine-tingling. And the more epic passages, such as the reveal of Dwarrodelf took on an awe-inspiring quality that is impossible even with the best sound system.
Only disappointments: the Watcher in the Water sequence didn't have the full battery Taiko drums and the audience kept applauding, sometimes after difficult choral parts and solos, but other times because Legolas showed up or something. They applauded at each name in the credits, which I felt was very disrespectful to vocalist Kaitlyn Lusk (who handled all of the female solos in the score such as "Aníron" and "Lament for Gandalf"), who was singing "May It Be." I was also kind of annoyed when they applauded at the Ford of Bruinen sequence as I was eager to hear the aleatory string passage that is played by horns on both the original album and Complete Recordings edition. These are, however, extremely minor issues, and were nothing compared to the thrill of hearing this music being emphasized so.
The film itself was (obviously) without its music track, but the sound effects track was also dialed down. While the dialogue track was preserved, but the orchestra and choir would often drown it out during louder passages (which was intentional), so the film was projected with subtitles so one could still follow the story. It was an odd experience; it wasn't quite like watching a movie, but it wasn't a concert either, but rather somewhere in between. I honestly think that it was a better way of presenting film music in a concert hall than having defanged concert arrangements and narrators (one of the main reasons I am ho-hum about Star Wars In Concert).
I will also say that it was a testament to the power of these films that Radio City Music Hall could be filled with people who want to see an eight year old film that they all already own on DVD… twice!
Of all of the grand sights associated with the epic Lord of the Rings film series… Dwarrodelf, the Pillars of Argonauth, the Black Gate, Minas Tirith and all… the single most impressive image that I will forever associate with Lord of the Rings is what I saw when I entered the auditorium on Friday night….THREE HUNDRED MUSICIANS sitting there ready to perform, in full, one of my favorite pieces of music yet created. Simply overwhelming.
- It was also rather nice to have the opportunity to meet up with glenniebun for the first time in person. Do to a slight error, he had forgotten his ticket and I was able to show him the glamorous world of telephone company special services technicians in order to retrieve his mail and get a ticket printed, We also had a nice Italian dinner during which we had one of those discussions about Star Trek only true geeks can have. You can read his own account of his adventures in New York!
- If anybody else has been having trouble with Facebook Scrabble, try this link instead.
- The primary shoot for the project I was helping out with was on Saturday. It ended up being a pretty marathon session, and while I was ostensibly there primarily for sound, I ended up doing quite a bit all over the place. I had apologized to the filmmakers because I felt like I might have been stepping on their toes, but by all accounts they were quite happy to have my input. I was also drafted to play a small role involving a mesh shirt and a bathroom, but we're not going to be discussing that.
- It has come to pass. Once again, iTunes has crashed while my iPod was plugged into it, and it would not recognize any of the music that was on it. This is similar to what happened last April, but this time all of the raw files are irretrievable. However, since this had already happened to me once before, I was wily enough to keep a good infrastructure, and so while replacing all of the music will not be instantaneous, it also isn't the wholly daunting concept that it was the last time.
I am now currently building a database on another hard drive that will mirror all of the music on the iPod. Should this occur again, I will be able to easily sync everything up in one swell foop.
- I worked on Monday. I had thought that it would be a very quiet day, but it really wasn't. There was a lot of work out there; I had one trouble which turned out to be a cable failure and another that was due to a malfunctioning 37th Street DCS. I am responsible for neither of these issues, but nobody could know that until I went out there. I earned my double time and a half yesterday!
- They had better not be writing Sal off of Mad Men, he's one of my favorite characters!