Sunday, September 14, 2014

LORD OF THE RINGS - Performance and Study of the Score

Johan De Meij
In the 1980s I met Johan De Meij (, then an up and coming symphonic band composer and conductor, on one of my visits to WASBE (World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles). He was riding high because of an exceptional music work for band: LORD of the RINGS! It won the top award in 1989 for the Sudler International Prize for Wind Bands and was published by Amstel.
The Amstel Publication of the Score

The First Movement "Gandalf" opening page of the score
I was then encouraging the NUS (National University of Singapore) Symphonic Band to play these types of works in the band literature in their Intempo concert series. They did  that in 1992 and the performance was audio recorded by the EML (Electronic Music Lab). This work was a challenge for the NUS Band because they never performed such a long work that covered the entire first half of the concert.
EML Recording Jacket

Programme Notes
NUS Symphonic Band conducted by Joe Peters

Johan is today a role model for band conductors, entrepreneurs and developers all rolled into one. If you follow his Facebook page, he is still active and central to the high quality in the performances and score publication of European band music. As a tribute to him, I like to present that performance of the work LORD of the RINGs according to the score that was published by Amstel (see above).

Go to this site to listen to the performance of Lord of the Rings By Johan De Meij by the NUS Symphonic Band:

Lord of the Rings and Timeline Music Commentary at SMU (Singapore Management University)

Between 2000 - 2007 I taught a music elective at the newly established SMU - Music East and West. I had a chance to test some of my music pedagogy ideas within a music laboratory that focused on students deconstructing music works like the Lord of the Rings and doing objective lay-persons commentary directly to the music timeline. Back then much technology had to be configured to enable this. A team of students took up the challenge to do their analysis and timeline music commentary on Johan Di Meij's Lord of the Rings.

Timeline Music Commentary is part of a pedagogy I pursued since the early 1980s because I thought that text, graphics and audio commentary had a role to play in conveying information (by experts or ordinary people) directly at the timeline of the sound. Much of this consolidated during the period I taught at SMU because I was able to build a laboratory to enable this. Today there is TMAL which is software based - refer to my blog article "Timeline Music Annotation Library: 

The SMU students who did this timeline music commentary put in tremendous effort in learning the concepts and techniques of data gathering using the study tracks technology, the sonic orders listening technique and understanding audio editing and studio operations. This is their work which served as their term paper:

Go to this site to listen to the SMU Student's Timeline Music Commentary on LORD of the RINGS: