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Old 02-22-2022, 07:25 PM   #561
Galadriel55
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So I was going through the thread to pull together the Lost Texts. At first I wanted to just memory dump it, I am confident I would get >50% of the lyrics, and more like >80% if you allow minor discrepancies or the occasional older version. I can even recite Nainie, but it would be missing it's accents.

Then I decided that it's better to be systematic and go through the thread to make sure it's the real thing and not "what G55 totally misremembered".

Then I realized that the thread is 14 pages long , and actually reading all of it would take forever. The original drafts are all front-loaded, but the edits have been ongoing and are probably more back-loaded...

So far I came to the compromise of skimming the thread to copy/paste long sections of text, which I then edit by memory to reflect the latest versions. Which still leaves the very likely possibility of me not remembering it properly... but the alternative is actually 14 pages of, let's be honest here, frequently Wall of Text posts. If it needs to happen, I won't actually mind doing it, it's been great fun to skim through our early comments and drafts. It would just take forever and a day. My compromise to the compromise was to comment-select words I am not sure of, that I think were changed but maybe weren't. And we could just review those.



But speaking of our early drafts, good times! That was the first time in my life I stooped to buying instant noodles, because it was either that or eating nothing, as literally all my awake free time was spent on this project. That's the life! But the early versions sound so odd and unfamiliar. We could do a whole collage of "discarded versions". It's like BOLT or something. It's fascinating.



...Aaaanyway, I made it to post 57 and need to break off, and this is sort of a bookmark.




As for Heart and Dream, I don't have anything to present yet. It's been a little rough lately and inspiration is somewhat drained.
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Old 02-23-2022, 04:27 PM   #562
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By sheer luck, my phone has cached the English Libretto. I've rescued a copy; it's stripped the links out, but the lyrics are all there. I'll put it into your new doc in the next few days.

hS
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Old 02-24-2022, 07:15 PM   #563
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https://docs.google.com/document/d/e...lPVPBaYlsW/pub

^ The new published version of the doc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
By sheer luck, my phone has cached the English Libretto. I've rescued a copy; it's stripped the links out, but the lyrics are all there. I'll put it into your new doc in the next few days.
My first thought was - hurray, this will save us a lot of energy in reconstructing it.

My second thought was - Oh no! You've catalogued 20 years of recorded performances there, but those links are stripped too! Thankfully I think most of them were also linked in the thread at some point or other, so there is a good chance of rebuilding at least the Appendix links. I might get onto that at some point...


Update: I put in the links to the videos, live actions, and instrumentals, since I've been cataloguing those at the start of the thread. I am only missing the video to Minions - which I am not sure if we have a final version of? unfortunately I don't remember the nice way you've formatted and called the links initially, but they are linked. Both to all the individual songs, and on the bottom of the document.


Update #2: in unrelated news, Lora's website is miraculously back up again! The web giveth, and the web taketh away.
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Old 03-17-2022, 09:35 AM   #564
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I noticed a certain pattern. When I am RL busy, I tend to neglect this project, and it tends to stall. But when after a stressful period I suddenly have some free time, I tend to blurt out music scores containing lots of excitement and energy and inside jokes between myself and myself.

All this to say... I had some free time, but still feeling quite tired and not up to tackling Heart again (which I would have to re-study again - and also not sure yet which key works best), I thought I would sketch Luthien's next song. And then I thought I'd play around with some instruments to see what I would want for the score. And, while playing around, I kinda scored the whole thing: The Sons of Feanor.

On the whole? Not bad, but has less pizzazz than it did in my head, so I have a low threshold for redoing all of it or bits of it as needed. I like the ending, I think that was the best part. I struggled with Luthien's melody in the bloodzoning proper ("I respect your proud and ancient blood"), it didn't seem to be able to fit. Eventually I got the first and last lines down with certainty, but the second line seemed to fit three notes into the space of two, and I still don't know how. I just elected to change up her melody for that line. But to get to this stage, I reverted to listening to the recordings at 0.5 speed. Do not recommend. It's horrible. I tried 0.25 first, and you cannot even make out the note at this speed, it's just all the little imperfections magnified to the point where all you hear is imperfections. Fun.

(PS: only 2 and a half minutes long - I think this is the shortest piece we've done in a while!)

(PPS: random observation - I've noticed for a long time that the music sounds very different based on which headphones I'm wearing. And this one sounds absolutely awful in my new earphones. Ugh. I hate that my good comfortable earphones keep breaking down on me, and I need to jump around with the audio devices.)
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Old 03-21-2022, 10:00 AM   #565
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Okay so this is four posts in one.

1/ YAY MUSIC. I need to listen to the original Russian version again, because I do not know this song very well, but the parts I could do off the cuff sounded good. I like the contrast between their instruments! I will try and record it... um... At Some Point, because:

2/ I'm still piecing my motivation to do anything about anything back together since the nasty orcses took my stuff. I have a story which I partially rescued, and I've rewritten like... three lines of the missing part. I've gotten through a couple of projects involving making things on actual paper, I think because my even my subconscious has to admit they're not going to get deleted, but doing anything digital has been a struggle.

(Unrelated but similar, Celebestel's had a rubbish time with the non-plague winter bugs, so she's not had the energy to try and master Heart yet. We haven't forgotten!)

3/ I am not at all sure why the videos are still up, because they're definitely linked to the account that's now gone. Maybe I had a Youtube account which was originally set up separate, and has now separated itself back out again? I don't know. At some point I'll move them across to a safer account, but, well, see point 1. It looks like the last comment on Minions was you saying "when it's finished"... yeah, looks like I was hoping to update the art a little on that one. I'll have a dig and see where I got to.

4/ I was going to post this a couple of weeks ago, but again see #1... my daughter has been watching Sofia the First lately, and spent a few days singing the villain showdown song. You know the style: hero sings about their defiance, villain mocks them for being weak, hero declares that they have Love and therefore win, end of story.

Which got me to thinking... the Zong doesn't do that. Finrod, the hero of the story, after whom the whole musical is named... loses his showdown song to Sauron. And then he just dies. No second confrontation: he dies, and Luthien has to pick up the pieces. That's true in the Silm & Lay, too: Finrod never wins a fight in Tol Sirion, and if Luthien hadn't shown up, Beren would just have been eaten by a different wolf.

Which is a really brave move by Tolkien, taking his most sympathetic character and making him one of the biggest losers in the Silmarillion (even Morgoth gets to stomp Fingolfin!). But it also highlights the message of the Zong for me, which is: duty isn't enough. It's better than vengeance, absolutely - but when you come up against it, duty won't get you through. For that (says the Zong), you need Love - and Finrod realises this, even though he still doesn't quite comprehend it. (In fact, I think Truth is largely him saying that it can't be comprehended.)

I mean, we've known that was their chosen message for a while, but it just struck me how well they worked Finrod's canonical loss into the theme.

(And Luthien's Showdown also breaks with the genre - because she flat-out doesn't let Sauron get a word in. He doesn't get to tell her how weak she is - she's not having any of it. "Light and Dark can both be damned / Love is the only law that counts!")

hS
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Old 03-21-2022, 11:15 PM   #566
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1/ No rush. I know I am behind too on some recordings, which will get done... dunno when, but at least it's warm enough now that I don't have to preheat the car, so potentially soon.

2/ That's very understandable. And while it's exciting to see progress, I also keep reminding myself that this project won't run away. It'll still be there a bit later, when there's a better mood for it. I am a believer in doing it with inspiration - we could force ourselves into scheduled productivity, but it's supposed to be a fun thing and our best effort, and you need the right mood for that. So, as above - there's no rush. Whenever you feel like it again, it'll be there.

As for Heart - I think none of us have really had the energy to quite master it. Whenever we're ready, we'll give it a go.

3/ The Youtube videos are a mystery. I got no clue. But, again, no rush.

4/ So I haven't even heard of this Sophia before, so I looked up the song out of curiosity. I thought the villain was doing a pretty good job, but yeah, the hero just goes "I have Love" and that settles it.

As for Luthien... I mean, it's a little different in the Sil and the Zong, and the Script - they are all slightly different Luthiens, and different scenarios. Finrod - well, he's the main character of the Zong, but in the Sil he is not the hero, he's the hero's best friend. So if you think of it that way, the hero is Beren, who actually gets chance after chance. But I agree that Finrod's death is somewhat unique in its, hmm, disproportionate lack of scope; an inglorious end, with his final effort spent not striking against his main foe but merely one of the many minions sent to torment him. And it would have been unsung and futile if not for Luthien. In a way it is more realistic than the other epic death scenes of The Sil - less Hector and Achilles, if you know what I mean. And I think this is reflected perfectly in the Zong, first in Prison Duet, and later in Truth ("fulfilled my part at last, not knowing of the price"). It's interesting that fan fics, Zong included, really want to give Finrod a final moment, a final closure, just because his death is so... unsatisfactory, unresolved. It leaves you hanging, thinking - what, this is it? But yes, it is just it. And "he walks with his father in Eldamar" or some such, which suggests that he is healed, but somehow we really want to see the healing, more so with Finrod I think than most other deaths in The Sil.

But Luthien... Well, Sil Luthien has Huan, and Zong only goes to Tol Sirion, but taking the character as a whole rather than in details, there is something in common. She has Love, yes - but I think she is more than the "I have Love and that settles it" variety of hero. Specific to the Zong, it is her absolute certainty and commitment which seem to fuel her power in the face of Sauron's challenge, contrary to Finrod's guilt and doubt. But in both Zong and Silm, the real question is not whether one has love (many do), but what you do with it. Surely Luthien wasn't the only heartbroken person in the history of the world. But she gave everything to it with such devotion, with the conviction that the rules of the world themselves would change before their love fails. I sometimes ask myself if Luthien got special treatment because of her Maia powers and being the fairest maiden in the land and all that, and I conclude that the feats she performs while alive certainly rely on her powers, and the qualities of determination and courage are not limited to her alone. But the real miracle comes after her death. So I ask, would this miracle happen if it were someone else - some indifferent looking tone-deaf person with a nervous stutter and no Maia for a parent? And I think that in Tolkien's world - yes it would. I see no reason that any person, mortal or immortal, could not likewise beg for audience with the Valar and with Eru himself - and I have the sense that a determined call would not be refused. And if Eru was moved to pity and changed the rules of the universe for her, it would be for reasons other than her pretty face or pretty voice, because he is Eru and knows better than that. Love comes in many forms, and dedication to love is less rare than the Lay would have us believe, but I think such blind but utter faith that whatever happens, this love would outlast everything else, that it is more certain than every aspect of existence - that is rare. I am not sure that the same logic could be applied to the real world - but then I am too skeptical and cautious to be Luthien in the first place. I suppose that's where the whole faith thing comes in, that you just don't accept any reality other than the one where you and your love can be together.

...Or I am very wrong, and just trying to rationalize some of the more cliche elements of the story.

Sorry, that was a lot of rambling. I'm not sure I am making any sense anymore.

But on a slightly tangential note, I find it interesting too how we react to the outcome of the miracle - Beren and Luthien returning to life but Luthien giving up her immortality. There it is: "giving up" immortality - when, in reality, within the schemata of the legendarium, she is not giving anything up, she is receiving the Gift. And of course we read it as her sacrifice, and how mortals of ME would interpret it as a sacrifice as well - but it's interesting how that would be perceived by Elves, and by Luthien herself. The Script was leaning heavily toward the "giving up" viewpoint on both counts. I don't recall that The Sil ascribes it any judgement one way or the other that could not be said to come from "mortal retellings" though. Would the Elves of Doriath see it as a loss, or as a gain? How about Elves in Aman, who heard the tale but have not been exposed to as much of Morgoth's influence? Would Luthien see it as giving something up? I suppose that taps more into the question of how Elves perceive death - and if, perhaps, there were ever any Elves who were jealous of the mortals for being able to leave the world.

(One day I will translate Dawn, which is another great fan fic on the topic which offers some interesting perspectives too, and we can compile observations on how fics tend to treat all of these issues )
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Old 04-11-2022, 07:59 PM   #567
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An Aside (with music)

This is a total aside from the Zong, it is only related... well, to be perfectly honest, it isn't. But ever since the Zong I have been spending more time learning about the great Tolkien bards of the last three decades, and some strings are a little dangerous to pull because they aren't just a ball of yarn, they are a whole freaking tapestry, and good luck unwinding that. Needless to say, I have enriched my repertoire with a few choice songs of escalating obscurity, and two of them are very Tolkienesque, so I thought I would share them.

The first one is a rendition of A Elbereth Gilthoniel - one that I heard performed by Aire and Saruman way back but was not impressed, and am still not impressed by their version. But I happened to hear it on this track and it blew me out of my chair (don't click on the main track of the page, go to the one on the bottom left, with the title "A Элберет Гилтониэль"). Why didn't I like Aire's? For one thing, that version misses 3 stanzas, one in Elvish and two in RL language, and it's the last two stanzas which really make the song something. I actually heard a number of people sing the short version, including Lora Bocharova, but only this one had the full length. Second, Aire makes the melody more classic - proper beat and classical cadence, as opposed to the more medieval bard style of Firnwen & co. What do I do when I like a song? Translate it, obviously. Except that I am missing a bunch of Elvish from the second stanza - it is nowhere to be found on the internet! The only offerings were sound-alike gibberish which had even fewer actual Elvish words than my take. So here goes, and, as they say, forgive the Elvish.

A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
Silivren penna miriel
O menel aglar elenath!
Na-chaered palan-diriel
O galadhremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
Ve linde le ca Valimar
Nef aear, si nef aearon!

A Elbereth Gilthoniel
Mimonien an diriel, [mi moni emyn?]
A calad amon in fanyar
Nu coe lome gil estel
Nu remmirath an mortiel
An tunyer aman calion [araman? ancalion?]
??? ve don tariel
Nef aear, si nef aearon!

A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
Who sees all roads on which I tread,
Shine in the dungeons of the night -
A ray of hope amid the dread.
Two western wings, as white as snows,
Have raised the lands of kings to soar
Above the web of twilit roads
On this side, on the Hither Shore.

A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
Whose gaze can pierce through darkest night,
Unlatch a gate among the clouds
Into the sheen of starry light.
Who’d look beneath the ash of years?
My journey numbers many leagues.
And yet the heart stays always here,
On this side of the Sund’ring Seas.

Through fear and pain, through night and war
Lead me, my star, and guide me true.
For those who followed me before
I now hold answer before you.
The cold is fierce, and dark our road,
Our home abandoned, door is sealed,
But let my song become my shield,
Your silver ray - become my sword.

Illuminate our weary roads
Upon this distant earth, Starbright!
Defy the clouds, the dark and cold,
Shine in the sky in their despite.
Our time has come, our doom awaits,
And, ever guided by your light,
I now accept this battle, like
The steel accepts the sheath’s embrace.

(Maybe I've had altogether too much Finrod in my life lately, but I can't help but think that if this was sung by a specific rather than a generic Noldo, it has to be Finrod. ^.^)


The other song I did not translate, because thankfully someone else did! It's a very good translation, though it does deviate a tiny bit. I am sort of glad to see I am not the only crazy Bilbo around, that other people are also digging up incredibly geeky texts and translating them into the Common Speech. Meet The Ballad of Fingolfin, also known by many other names (translation lyrics in the comments). Musically, I rather like Saruman's take here (yes, from Aire and Saruman). More literally, the lyrics are:
Do not ask me to praise him -
Day would not be brightened by a candle.
And what is glory but rust on a name…
Listen, here is what I will say about my king -

How he was generous in friendship,
How he knew how to laugh,
How he loved mirth,
And sang better than any minstrel!

How he knew how to keep his word,
How he paid for another’s sin,
How faithful a brother he was,
And how by a brother he was betrayed.

How we walked in the frigid night
And hewed graves in the ice with our swords,
How the hilts were welded to our hands
And tears froze in our eyes,

How the tattered silk of our proud banners
Framed the calmness of dead faces,
How curses froze like ice upon our lips,
And words of prayer died in our hearts…

From sliced open palms, like from goblets,
We drank our blood on the funerals like wine -
And our liege wept and sang with us,
He was always one with us in everything.

Let another sing of victories -
I will sing to you of woes.
He saw his people dying
And cursed his bitter oath.

We have lost everything - only honour remains,
And the glory of futile battles,
And the tinsel flattery of lavish tales,
And the empty lies of songs of praise…

We lost everything to the glory of the gods -
And their curse has become our reward.
Our reward was loss and pain,
Oblivion of the dead, exile of the living.

And when he left for his final battle,
I knew that he would not return.
He said that he will avenge everything - alone.
I could not look him in the eye.

I only saw how his steed bore him northward,
How his sky-blue cloak flew behind him,
How beat the flame of the golden locks
And his battle horn sang farewell…

Let another lie about the number of wounds,
Let another lie about every blow,
Let him lie that the Foe was mighty as a mountain,
And that my king was weak before him -

I will say only this - I was not there.
I will say - I cannot forgive myself now.
I will say… Well, what can I say…
Do not ask me to praise him…

I love this song because it is so perfect... Of that duel Orcs do not boast and Elves do not sing - so how do you write a song about Fingolfin that says everything, without saying any of this? Well, this is how. I love it. Now, Fingolfin didn't have blond hair, and I'm not sure what the "glory of the gods" means, but details aside I thought it's brilliant.

(This is also probably the reason I haven't posted any new Zongian music lately... So now you know.)
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Old 04-22-2022, 10:23 AM   #568
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Some long overdue recordings

I finally recorded Dream... after like a million takes of still not being happy, here's what made me least dissatisfied: Luthien's part. Then I sang Beren too, because I like the song - and that made me remember a couple things I have blissfully forgotten. Firstly, singing from memory, I totally forgot Beren's new Purpose line, and screwed up his words in the end a little. Goot thing we didn't have to reconstruct the Zong from memory. Secondly, I am rubbish at being consistent with the start of the phrases. I don't even match to myself. I wanted to sing along to your recording so that we would match beats and it wouldn't sound horribly off-synch, but now it's gone into the Google Void. Also, I was gonna play around with the harmonies and make sure that it sounds clean, because the worst thing you can do in a song is attempted but failed harmony. Do you still happen to have your recording saved somewhere?


Next up: Sons of Feanor. All the parts, and Luthien alone. As always, I am not really happy with it, but I suspect I'll never be - so here is what is, until one day I might redo the lot of it. (And I think I also don't remember the Feanorians' words that well either, now that I've looked at our Libretto again... I should stop doing this "sing by memory cause of course I know it!" thing)
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Old 05-04-2022, 07:08 AM   #569
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[Crawls out of the depths of the Great Barrow] I... liiiive...

Ahem. ^_^ It's slightly past the end of my lunchbreak, so this is going to be little except a bare link:

10 - Dream - Complete video

No subtitles as yet, and I'm happy to adjust things if they need it; I just wanted to return with something worth posting.

The final shot of Beren under the arches leads directly into Camp, which in turn will lead directly into Heart.

"Sons of Feanor" doesn't use any new art (it's the Red Nargothrond set from the second half of Quarrel), so should be relatively quick to put together once I actually figure out the recording.

hS
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Old 05-04-2022, 01:27 PM   #570
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
[Crawls out of the depths of the Great Barrow] I... liiiive...
All hail!

You can't believe how exciting it is to see a new post on this thread, regardless of the post content.

...actually, who am I kidding, you probably totally can.

That is to say: SQUEEEEEEEE!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
That is... (somewhat unexpectedly) impressively good. I am off tune in one place but it will have to keep for now. I love Beren's part. And - did you re-record the duo section? Because this matches surprisingly well given that I didn't have your recording to match to when I sang my part. It sounds awesome! And it integrates well with all the musical bits. I actually did not expect it to come together this well.
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Old 05-04-2022, 01:53 PM   #571
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post

That is to say: SQUEEEEEEEE!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
That is... (somewhat unexpectedly) impressively good. I am off tune in one place but it will have to keep for now. I love Beren's part. And - did you re-record the duo section? Because this matches surprisingly well given that I didn't have your recording to match to when I sang my part. It sounds awesome! And it integrates well with all the musical bits. I actually did not expect it to come together this well.
I didn't have to rerecord anything! The only thing I did was shift half of my final line forward by a fraction of a second; everything else was perfectly synced. I was totally expecting masses of issues, but it just... worked.

I think that means you did a really good job on the instrumental.

(I've also added a couple more of the photos to the Libretto, because... I was bored. Still lots to go!)

hS

Edit: Aaaaand I've just sneakily managed to get the collection of links back into the end of the Libretto too. ^_~
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Old 05-04-2022, 02:58 PM   #572
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I didn't have to rerecord anything! The only thing I did was shift half of my final line forward by a fraction of a second; everything else was perfectly synced. I was totally expecting masses of issues, but it just... worked.
That is just baffling, but you know what - I'll take it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
(I've also added a couple more of the photos to the Libretto, because... I was bored. Still lots to go!)
Oooo, the Nargothrond songs! Very pretty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
Edit: Aaaaand I've just sneakily managed to get the collection of links back into the end of the Libretto too. ^_~
*gasps* What -- How -- Never mind how, but thank you!

I was trying to find a link to Prison Duet the other day - I remember saying something about a good quality recording which I thought would be easier to work with for the sketch. But while browsing the thread for it, I instead came across the Script comments, and started a reread, and got distracted. I kept putting off trying to scavenge all the links again, this is an enormous task!
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Old 05-11-2022, 06:25 AM   #573
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*gasps* What -- How -- Never mind how, but thank you!
A little bit of more careful copy-and-pasting, including pasting it into two places in succession to retain the formatting (ie, the links). It's a weird thing.

Anyway, just dropping in very quickly to say: full recording of Sons of Feanor y/n? I was going to post it 20 minutes ago with a longer post, but I got sidetracked fixing a few miscues on my part...

hS
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Old 05-11-2022, 09:57 AM   #574
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Anyway, just dropping in very quickly to say: full recording of Sons of Feanor y/n? I was going to post it 20 minutes ago with a longer post, but I got sidetracked fixing a few miscues on my part...
Of all listening devices I only have my phone, which is really not meant to play music with any quality, but I can vouch at least for the cues that everything is on time! Yay!!!


EDIT: Listened to it from a computer now. This speaker tends to squeal all the higher frequencies, so Luthien sounds too loud - I'll leave the balancing of the volumes up to you, I don't have a reliable device to judge it by for the next few days. But it is excellent. The sigh of exasperation is brilliant. ^.^
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Old 05-11-2022, 03:03 PM   #575
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Another flyby link drop... I was gonna work on animating Sons tonight, but then remembered that we were still missing a link for Minions. A dig through the last conversation we had about it, several mishaps with missized animation sequences, and I think this is what we wanted it to look like:

13 - Sauron's Minions, current version.

Oh, I also got the subtitles onto Dream (and indeed this Minions), so yeah, a good evening.

hS
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Old 05-11-2022, 06:21 PM   #576
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Another flyby link drop... I was gonna work on animating Sons tonight, but then remembered that we were still missing a link for Minions. A dig through the last conversation we had about it, several mishaps with missized animation sequences, and I think this is what we wanted it to look like:

13 - Sauron's Minions, current version.

Oh, I also got the subtitles onto Dream (and indeed this Minions), so yeah, a good evening.

hS

Oh, that is awesome! Aaaaahhh, the cute gollums! And I dunno if it's my bad earphones actually coming in handy at last, or we did a good job with the scripted dissonance, but it sounds properly musically improper. Your Sauron is fabulous as usual. Dude is creepy. Not one you want to be displeased - or bored - when you're around.

I've been sorta slacking, I've been distracted by an exciting part in Dawn which I binge-translated over the last few weeks, at the cost of no new Zong music. I have sketches for a couple of the remaining pieces but no music. Here's the Hate sketch. I think the male parts are in their usual register, but worth a check. Melian might be a tad high for me, but I'm willing to give it a try, if the other parts work well - yea or nay? Might have to drop it down a smidge after it's done if I just can't hit the high part. Also, I noticed that V1 does a whole bunch more shenanigans with the end of Hate, mainly Melian repeating "what madness" an extra round of times, but also she sings the melody slightly differently - another trick I might resort to if I can't get the high note. Do you have any thoughts about how we'd want to make the ending for this piece?
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Old 05-12-2022, 06:21 AM   #577
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I've been sorta slacking, I've been distracted by an exciting part in Dawn which I binge-translated over the last few weeks, at the cost of no new Zong music. I have sketches for a couple of the remaining pieces but no music. Here's the Hate sketch. I think the male parts are in their usual register, but worth a check. Melian might be a tad high for me, but I'm willing to give it a try, if the other parts work well - yea or nay? Might have to drop it down a smidge after it's done if I just can't hit the high part. Also, I noticed that V1 does a whole bunch more shenanigans with the end of Hate, mainly Melian repeating "what madness" an extra round of times, but also she sings the melody slightly differently - another trick I might resort to if I can't get the high note. Do you have any thoughts about how we'd want to make the ending for this piece?
Seems good to me, but you know how I am with songs. I could follow the tune and sing along in my head, at any rate.

For the ending... I think I remember that, is that the version where everyone just sort of sings randomly over each other?

One thing I wonder... we held off on letting Thingol join in a "what madness" on the Aria, but would it work here? His lines are "wow, something bad happened to Finrod and it's entirely his own fault," to which Melian responds, "and will happen to you too, and btw it's totally your fault too". So having Thingol actually recognise and acknowledge that, once again, she's right, might work well. This is the last time we see them, so it'd be nice to let him at least slightly repent of his idiocy.

hS
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:22 AM   #578
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For the ending... I think I remember that, is that the version where everyone just sort of sings randomly over each other?
I guess it comes out that way, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
One thing I wonder... we held off on letting Thingol join in a "what madness" on the Aria, but would it work here? His lines are "wow, something bad happened to Finrod and it's entirely his own fault," to which Melian responds, "and will happen to you too, and btw it's totally your fault too".
Wa-wa-wait, you think Thingol is talking about Nargothrond here? OMG, he totally could be talking about Finrod here. Maybe he was always supposed to talk about Finrod here. I thought he was talking about himself, the king who brought misfortune onto his own land - but I never realized he could also be talking about Finrod!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
So having Thingol actually recognise and acknowledge that, once again, she's right, might work well. This is the last time we see them, so it'd be nice to let him at least slightly repent of his idiocy.
So let's parse the singing all over each other to see what's actually happening in that version, and what we might actually use for ours.
Thingol stanza: Thingol sings main lines, C&C sing "echo" lovely wishes

Melian's stanza: Melian sings main line, Thingol joins in with her on "fell doom...kinsfolk", C&C echo

Madness #1 and #2: Melian sings alone, C&C echo. Both Madnesses are the same, musically and lyrics-wise.
The lyrics as they appear on Lora's site:
Thingol stanza: Daeron echoes (not that we would be using this)

Melian stanza: C&C echo

Madness: Melian sings alone, Thingol echoes "what madness have I done".
Looking back at V1 Aria, Thingol echoes "what madness have I done" only once in that 3-line passage, after the first line.



Conclusion: there's lots of flexibility and lots of combinations to choose from. So, question one - would it be a good thing for Melian to repeat Madness twice? If yes, then we can have C&C do the echo the first time, and Thingol do the echo the second time. If we only do it once, probably better to stick with C&C. However, Thingol could also sing the line together with Melian if we wanted to include all the characters without doubling that refrain.
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Old 05-12-2022, 02:01 PM   #579
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Wa-wa-wait, you think Thingol is talking about Nargothrond here? OMG, he totally could be talking about Finrod here. Maybe he was always supposed to talk about Finrod here. I thought he was talking about himself, the king who brought misfortune onto his own land - but I never realized he could also be talking about Finrod!
I think he thinks he is. The relevant section:

Quote:
FEANORIONS:
Finrod, we curse you, ever to be our foe
Damn you for riding forth to the Gates of Woe
Damn you fulfilling your oath while ours forever waits
Our hearts are growing colder with undying hate!

THINGOL:
I feel the earth begin to ring

FEANORIONS:
You are our enemy fore'er

THINGOL:
And on the wind a whispered treason

FEANORIONS:
You'll die in darkness and despair

THINGOL:
Fell doom has fallen on the King
Fell doom has fallen on the King
The artist of his own destruction
The lads curse Finrod, and Thingol has A Feeling that Doom has fallen on a king. He's interspersed with the lads literally cursing Finrod some more, so like... I feel like he's responding to that?

But then Melian comes in, and she talks to her husband: "Your throne will crumble into ash". Because, of course, the Quest of the Silmaril is ultimately the cause of the fall of Doriath. Sure, the immediate curse is on Finrod - but it won't end there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
So let's parse the singing all over each other to see what's actually happening in that version, and what we might actually use for ours.
Thingol stanza: Thingol sings main lines, C&C sing "echo" lovely wishes

Melian's stanza: Melian sings main line, Thingol joins in with her on "fell doom...kinsfolk", C&C echo

Madness #1 and #2: Melian sings alone, C&C echo. Both Madnesses are the same, musically and lyrics-wise.
The lyrics as they appear on Lora's site:
Thingol stanza: Daeron echoes (not that we would be using this)

Melian stanza: C&C echo

Madness: Melian sings alone, Thingol echoes "what madness have I done".
Looking back at V1 Aria, Thingol echoes "what madness have I done" only once in that 3-line passage, after the first line.

Conclusion: there's lots of flexibility and lots of combinations to choose from. So, question one - would it be a good thing for Melian to repeat Madness twice? If yes, then we can have C&C do the echo the first time, and Thingol do the echo the second time. If we only do it once, probably better to stick with C&C. However, Thingol could also sing the line together with Melian if we wanted to include all the characters without doubling that refrain.
Wait, C'n'C echo the madness line? Who are they calling mad? That's really thrown me. Ummm. I think unless you have a good idea for it, repeating the madness chorus just for the sake of it is probably... just... doing it for the sake of it, I don't know, it's late. Would it work if Thingol sang "I" along with Melian's "you", rather than as an echo?

(Putting together 'Sons' animation now; the boys are looming terribly around poor Luthien.)

hS
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Old 05-12-2022, 04:05 PM   #580
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I think he thinks he is. The relevant section:
That makes sense. He might think he is talking abiut Finrod, but doesn't realize it's actually about himself. Okay, I can take that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
Wait, C'n'C echo the madness line? Who are they calling mad? That's really thrown me. Ummm. I think unless you have a good idea for it, repeating the madness chorus just for the sake of it is probably... just... doing it for the sake of it, I don't know, it's late. Would it work if Thingol sang "I" along with Melian's "you", rather than as an echo?
Sorry, poor phrasing on my part. They sing the background "echo" lines, but they don't say "madness", they throw some general insults like "you are my enemy forever" and the like. Basically what we have.

Let's see what happens when we get there witb the music. It might be cool to include both musocal variations, but I agree that for lyrics one would suffice. Umm... Can we table that thought for now as to be revisited when we get there?
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Old 05-13-2022, 07:12 AM   #581
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Let's see what happens when we get there witb the music. It might be cool to include both musocal variations, but I agree that for lyrics one would suffice. Umm... Can we table that thought for now as to be revisited when we get there?
Agreed. I shall be guided by you in this matter.

Also!

Daughter of Thingol, listen: we've nothing left to lose...!

"Sons of Feanor" animation

I did consider having Luthien's symbol swirl into her "daylight" version in her last lines here (and stay that way for the Showdown), but decided it would get too confusing. I'd be interested in your view, though: the theory is that the second device (this one) might be her post-resurrection emblem. Given that the Zong doesn't go that far, this song is probably our best transition moment if we want to use it at all.

hS
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Old 05-13-2022, 09:43 AM   #582
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Agreed. I shall be guided by you in this matter.
Perhaps more pressing question for how I score the first verse is if/which of the Feanorings' lines did you imagine as an echo (or not). It probably won't matter once I get to it, I am just overcomplicating things. It's the job that never gets started that takes longest to finish. I should just get on with it, and then it suddenly won't matter which version we follow where.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
Also!

Daughter of Thingol, listen: we've nothing left to lose...!

"Sons of Feanor" animation
YESSS!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
I did consider having Luthien's symbol swirl into her "daylight" version in her last lines here (and stay that way for the Showdown), but decided it would get too confusing. I'd be interested in your view, though: the theory is that the second device (this one) might be her post-resurrection emblem. Given that the Zong doesn't go that far, this song is probably our best transition moment if we want to use it at all.
Tough one. I think my instinct is to agree that changing the devices would be confusing. But if we really want to, there's nothing to stop us - and I agree again, that if we were to do it, the place for it would either be here or at the end of Dream.
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Old 05-19-2022, 03:18 AM   #583
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Tough one. I think my instinct is to agree that changing the devices would be confusing. But if we really want to, there's nothing to stop us - and I agree again, that if we were to do it, the place for it would either be here or at the end of Dream.
I think we keep it as-is for now. I've maintained her "starry night" background scheme in my ideas for the Showdown, so having a bright sunny emblem would detract from that.

I can confirm that the Russian Zong remains perfect for mucking about with languages I don't speak: now I've got it running while I cut-and-paste Korean and Vietnamese into the right places.

hS
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Old 06-30-2022, 09:44 AM   #584
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Was feeling a little artsy, so yesterday I finished off the headers in the Libretto: all songs should now have associated photos of Dolgoch ravine with lyrics over them.

I've also put together the background image for the Showdown, seen here in its Sauron-ascendant form:



Looking over the six remaining songs:
  • Heart is a mix of Amarie's forest, the Brethil set from Camp, and the arches also from Camp.
  • Hate is the Dark Nargothrond set again, probably with Doriath showing up behind the arches.
  • Prison Duet is Sauron's throne room (with ice in place).
  • Truth... well. I'm hoping to do some really special stuff here, involving Finrod's emblem emerging from white, and a fly-through of the Lament set, off into the West. Theoretically, I have all the art for this - the ability is still unclear.
  • Showdown is this image.
  • Ballad will need a full set of 'where are they now' pictures (eg B&L in Ossiriand, Thingol facing down a bunch of dwarves, and absolutely definitely the wedding of Finrod and Amarie), and then I'm picturing a ship slowly sailing away into the West. All of that is still to do.

So basically, anything other than the very last song, I should be able to put together!

My preference would be to get Heart done, because that would complete Act One; but as we want to finish both acts, I'm fine with whatever you can compose.

hS
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Old 07-04-2022, 08:37 PM   #585
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Last weekend I was at a really cool convention of a sorts where I met a lot of really cool people, who, among other things, are very into Tolkien. I put a plug in for our Zong - and actually got a video link in return with another version of a translated Duel! We had a blast exchanging Tolkienisms and Zongs. I will PM you some of that stuff at some point when I have a computer again.

But for now - I think Heart might be a good place to restart as well. I might be wrong, but I don't think we figured out how high/low to pitch it - or I just forgot after all this time. I have it recorded as written (forget which key) and transposed to C, and I can do anything we want with it - a bit higher, a bit lower, you tell me what works for you guys and I'll work in that key.

Regular: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1akX...w?usp=drivesdk

C:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HUz...w?usp=drivesdk


I am also really looking forward to all the pictures you put up. Will look through them tonight!

Showdown backdrop is very thematic! I think it will work great!
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Old 07-05-2022, 02:13 PM   #586
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Ooh, someone else in the translation business? I reckon Alternate English(?) Zong would fit in this thread, particularly since I could theoretically record a cover of their version. Looking forward to the PM either way.

So I managed to sit down with Celebestel and look at Heart. We think the "Regular" version works best - it drops me easily into my Finrod pitch, and she found herself having to pitch up an octave and thus too high on the C version. I asked if she wanted it tweaked either way, but she thinks it's good as-is.

Since the Heart images are all ready, I might see if I can make a start on the Ballad images. I feel like I made a list once of what they should be, I'll have a search.

hS
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Old 07-12-2022, 02:26 PM   #587
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I looked through all the pictures, and they are all really pretty. I especially like Captivity, and Prison Duet too is very symbolic.

Meanwhile, I am taking a break from Dawn and working on Heart instead. ^.^ Seems like I can only do one of the projects at a given time lately. Here's the first stanza. I try to write it as a duet, but I think it mostly comes out Amarie-style; best I've accomplished was not over-saxing Finrod's part. It's not like Renunciation where you can tell whose line it is just from listening to the music. I think it would still work as a duet though, and story-wise Finrod's "slip" from his usual style can be excused by him getting lost in a daydream about Amarie.
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Old 08-02-2022, 09:32 PM   #588
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I was gonna wait to write Heart till the halfway point before posting, but the newsfeed cat dragged in some videos again which I don't want to lose, and since I'm posting them, decided to post an update on Heart as well. Please ignore the trailing off music at the end. I am getting to the phase where I get it and like it, but it still stubbornly refuses to be a duet with contrasting parts like Renunciation. The pro is that this way the same score can be used to sing either solo or in duet, and I will maintain that Finrod's use of Amarie's instruments is part of his daydreaming. I am also noticing with this piece that it sounds drastically different in different headsets... I am using what is supposed to be the best quality one to balance the volume etc, but this whole headphones thing makes me question the quality of whatever comes out and how it sounds on other people's devices. If there is anything on the progress takes that stands out to you as needs adjusting though, let me know - easier to adjust sooner rather than later.

As a side note, even though this song will technically be the end of Act 1, I will need to seriously revisit Doriath Duet before we finalize the musical - either now, or at the end. It needs to be re-scored and Melian re-sung; at the moment it sticks out like a kindergarten paint job in an advanced art class. At minimum, I will use the same tempo and bars etc and just change the score. But at maximum, ideally I would like to redo it completely at a faster tempo - but that would also mean re-singing Thingol and remaking all the animations, and is not something I would be heartbroken over. So maybe we can start collecting things that need redoing in that piece, and at some point decide the extent to which it needs touching up? As for touching up, I also want to touch up Duel. This one really is a touch up. I think after a long time I came to agree with your take that the vocals should be louder and the music quieter - but to get there and still have pretty music I would need to tweak the score; at minimum rebalance the volume, and ideally also rework the instruments to make it "fuller" to match the latter pieces, but either way it keeps the timing so doesn't affect the singing or animations.

Aaaaanyways. Getting ahead of myself here.

Youtube studios near you present: Duel and Showdown, performed by the Zombieland-in-Gaurhoth group which we've seen in 2021 already but at a different venue. Somewhat amusingly, the guy who plays Beren is named Birin. Luthien sings very well. I am still not a fan of this high-pitched Sauron, or the Silmaril crown. I still find the zombie-control concept interesting but still ultimately disagree with it; Sauron capturing the Elves' souls or minds or wills doesn't sit right with the idea of their continuous resistance and defiance onto their deaths.



P.S:

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Since the Heart images are all ready, I might see if I can make a start on the Ballad images. I feel like I made a list once of what they should be, I'll have a search.
Think I found that discussion in 309 and the next few posts. I am amused at how 2 years ago I used to think that we'd be done "a year from now" and that would be a long time. And also amused that I still occasionally plan the credits music while in the shower, and am still no closer to starting that part or even starting to seriously think about that part - too much real content to go through still.
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Old 08-03-2022, 05:08 AM   #589
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I was gonna wait to write Heart till the halfway point before posting, but the newsfeed cat dragged in some videos again which I don't want to lose, and since I'm posting them, decided to post an update on Heart as well.
Sounds good! Ironically the one line I can't seem to find is the very first one - I either latch onto a too-early or too-late musical cue - but I'm sure I'll figure it out. My only musical note is that there was some point where the piano came in very loud, but on re-listening I can't even find it, so. ^_^

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As a side note, even though this song will technically be the end of Act 1, I will need to seriously revisit Doriath Duet before we finalize the musical... I also want to touch up Duel.
I'm completely happy for a full re-do of the Duet; the animation isn't too tricky on that one, and I still have all the files and everything. For the Duel, touching-up is fine, but like you say it would be good not to impact the animation. That fade in and out of the Valinor scene was a lot of work that I can't actually remember how I pulled off any more. ^_^

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Youtube studios near you present: Duel and Showdown, performed by the Zombieland-in-Gaurhoth group which we've seen in 2021 already but at a different venue. Somewhat amusingly, the guy who plays Beren is named Birin. Luthien sings very well. I am still not a fan of this high-pitched Sauron, or the Silmaril crown. I still find the zombie-control concept interesting but still ultimately disagree with it; Sauron capturing the Elves' souls or minds or wills doesn't sit right with the idea of their continuous resistance and defiance onto their deaths.
Oh fun! Yeah, not keen on the Silmaril crown. The zombies... yeah. I mean, it's certainly what Sauron would like to do with his prisoners, but the whole point of that part of the Lay is that he failed.

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Think I found that discussion in 309 and the next few posts.
Perfect! I think that list still holds up, though no doubt there will be changes (perhaps Thingol and Melian can be merged into a 'Melian finds Thingol's body' scene). I know basically how I want to do the final sail-away, and hope to use some of the same techniques when we reach "Truth".

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I am amused at how 2 years ago I used to think that we'd be done "a year from now" and that would be a long time. And also amused that I still occasionally plan the credits music while in the shower, and am still no closer to starting that part or even starting to seriously think about that part - too much real content to go through still.
We'll get there! How long did it take Tolkien to get past Balin's Tomb?

hS
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Old 09-11-2022, 10:53 AM   #590
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It's been a while since this thread was so far down the page! I swear this is the longest song ever. And it's not just me procrastinating, I've actually been working on it, but it's crawling along at a snail's pace! This is the most slowly progressing piece by far.

I had a Zong dream the other day. I dreamed that a bunch of people were performing it on stage in the Russian version, including Elanor and some people I met in Boston. I was playing Galadriel. The show was starting, and I go onto the stage to sing Lament, which is a piece I enjoy very much, as you know - and I suddenly forget the lyrics. All I can think of is Ballad to Amarie. I have to sing something, or it will sound weird, so I am singing Ballad to the tune of Lament - dunno how, it would only work for 3 lines and then the text structure wouldn't allow it, but I managed to get through a good couple stanzas that way. Maybe I was singing Epilogue instead? Dunno, it's a dream. But that whole time I am just feeling very stupid, I know that what I'm singing makes zero sense, and I am just scrambling to remember any of the Lament lyrics in any language at this point. I took this as a sign to get going already and get on with the music. So here is how I have got on so far:

Heart, half-way through. And the same thing sung, to demo the starting point. I am hoarse again from yet another bug, so good thing I'm not due to do any real recordings for a while.

The last stanza here ("rung like a scream through the night") was what took the longest. It seems to go on forever. And so much of it is "empty space" without lyrics. I went to check back to V2 to see if I'm inserting too many bars there, but no - the original just has a much faster tempo, and we've slowed it down a fair bit, so the pauses just seem to stretch that much longer. We've done that for most songs to be honest, I think it's a feature of singing in English - it needs to go a little slower. And while listening to the original I also realized just how much better it is, and how plain this sounds in comparison, and it's been a bit of a damper. But I'm looking forward to the second half of the piece. "Bitterest fruit" is by far the most random bit of the song, but then it gets to Amarie acknowledging her ongoing affection and wishing Finrod well, which are my favourite bits, and I have a general idea of what I want to do for those.

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I'm completely happy for a full re-do of the Duet; the animation isn't too tricky on that one, and I still have all the files and everything. For the Duel, touching-up is fine, but like you say it would be good not to impact the animation. That fade in and out of the Valinor scene was a lot of work that I can't actually remember how I pulled off any more. ^_^
Nope! Duel would just be a touch-up of the music. Duet - I have to redo all my contributions regardless, but if you don't mind re-singing and re-animating that one we could do a full makeover or just a partial one. It's off in the future somewhere on the to-do-later list.

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Perfect! I think that list still holds up, though no doubt there will be changes (perhaps Thingol and Melian can be merged into a 'Melian finds Thingol's body' scene). I know basically how I want to do the final sail-away, and hope to use some of the same techniques when we reach "Truth".
The idea behind it to give all the characters a sort of resolution to their story, right? That gives Finrod, Beren/Luthien, Thingol/Melian, Cel/Cur, Amarie, Galadriel, Sauron in some order. Am I missing any?

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We'll get there! How long did it take Tolkien to get past Balin's Tomb?
The real answer is: no idea!, but I suppose I'll pretend this is Balin's Tomb and we have awesomeness coming ahead.
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Old 09-12-2022, 06:03 AM   #591
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I had a Zong dream the other day.
Yessss, it is a sign, Irmo Lorien wants us to continue. You don't want to argue with Irmo, do you?

Heart, half-way through. And the same thing sung, to demo the starting point.

Sung version didn't come through, but the instrumental sounds really good! I've just hummed it through at work, and I think it fits very well. The vast empty spaces between lines do stand out, but... that's how they wrote it!

The kids have been getting really into the "Matilda" musical this summer, and in the epilogue there's a moment where the cast pause mid-line so Miss Trunchbull can yell "Maggots!". I kind of feel like it would work here too, maybe if Ungoliant shows up or something. "Dawn in - maggots! - her splendour - maggots! - is rising over chasms - maggots! - of ice." Actually that's way too many gaps, it would be more maggot than lyric.

All of the new songs are kind of weird, musically. They seem to have no repeating structure at all, whereas a lot of the older ones are basically verse/chorus. I'm not surprised they keep giving you so much trouble!

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Nope! Duel would just be a touch-up of the music. Duet - I have to redo all my contributions regardless, but if you don't mind re-singing and re-animating that one we could do a full makeover or just a partial one. It's off in the future somewhere on the to-do-later list.
Perfectly happy; I have all the files still (but should really back them up... :-/).

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The idea behind it to give all the characters a sort of resolution to their story, right? That gives Finrod, Beren/Luthien, Thingol/Melian, Cel/Cur, Amarie, Galadriel, Sauron in some order. Am I missing any?
That's the thought, and in roughly chronological order. I haven't drawn anything yet, but breaking it down:
  • "In the hour" - The empty throne of Nargothrond, fading to Finrod's cairn amid the ruins of Tol-in-Gaurhoth, with grass growing green upon it.
  • "Tell the truth" - Melian beside the body of Thingol. I think this would probably be a formal lying-in-state, a lot like the scene in Rings of Power where Galadriel nicks Finrod's dagger.
  • "Did he reach" - Beren and Luthien upon a green isle in the woods. Luthien wearing the Nauglamir-with-Silmaril, Huan at their heels. Maybe a young Dior? I'm not sure, he might clutter things up.
  • "An ancient Oath" - Cel'n'Cur at the Second Kinslaying. Either both of them lying dead, or if I'm up for an action scene, Celegorm dead and Curufin duelling Dior. If Dior is in this, he should also be in the previous shot, and recognisably the same character.
  • "But stronger is time" - Sauron, Ring-Lord, in Orodruin at the height of his power. Still in his bat outfit, with no spiky armour in sight.
  • "Ours - the havens grey" - Finrod and Amarie in Amarie's glade in Aman (her tree backdrop). Could also feature Finarfin, but again he would be clutter, and it's not like he's appeared before.
  • "Ours - the salt of sea-spray" - the Sea, looking into the sunset. A swan-ship glides past, with Galadriel visible on the deck (not having her armour removed by Nienna cosplayers, thanks very much). Over the rest of the song the ship sails off into the distance, and the clouds part to reveal the merest glimpse of the Undying Lands. Fade to white.

That brings the total characters shown in images but not singing up to 9: two unidentified Firstborn elf-maids, Feanor, Beor, Barahir, Morgoth, Huan, probably Dior, and maybe Finarfin.

"Truth", since I can't remember if I've ever written it down, I imagine as starting out completely white, with a slow reveal of Finrod-in-white with his emblem. Then bring in the scene from Galadriel's prologue, with the mountains and the sea, and actually fly through it and off into the sunset. Theoretically I can do that with the files I already have, though I haven't dared try it yet.

hS
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Old 10-08-2022, 06:25 PM   #592
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I am nearly finished Heart - I keep delaying posting because I think - a few more days and I'll have it up, I will post then - but then RL gets in the way and things get postponed again.

But! I am on the last stanza, and anticipating a finish this week. I have really enjoyed doing the second half of this song. Really, if you take out the RL-necessitated delays, this is one of the pieces where 80% of the stalling was caused by 20% of the song (namely, the "rung like a scream through the night" stanza). I am looking forward to getting it finalized. It might not be on par with V2, but I think the music sounds pretty nice for most of it and has some interesting elements in the second half that I am pretty smug about. But a quick question before I bring it to the finish: how do you feel about a slower fade out - yea or nay? After "or take your final beat", I imagine it would fade out over a line or two... or three or four. It is, after all, the final piece of Act 1. Do you have any plans for visuals at that point that would be ruined by too short or too long a "musical tail"?

In unrelated news, I am almost done the rough draft of Dawn. I have the Epilogue and some appendices to translate, and then a once-over-at-least read through. I expect that this project has a realistic probability of getting to a presentable shape before the New Year. It's weird that both of Amarie's songs are in their own way fueled by that book - Wind by the initial emotional impression, and Heart now by the impressions left at the tail end of the translation. I am so excited to be able to share Dawn, you cannot imagine. Well no, you most definitely can. But you get the point. Just like the Zong, this seemed massive and impossibly long when it started, and now the finish line is in sight. And it's sort of coming into sight for Zong as well - after this piece, we will have just two more, and then the Final Trio, and then fixing the early ones, and then the "bow" (a potpourri of snippets from each character's theme music?), and then a "bloopers reel" featuring the best of Much Ado About Nargothrond, and then anything else that comes to mind after that. No biggie.

I like your breakdown of the scenes for Epilogue. I agree that the fewer unnamed characters the better, unless it's dictated by fitting together better with other scenes. And you mentioned your vision for Truth before, which I think would look totally epic and very Truthy.

I did not know Matilda had a musical. I should look it up for the fun of it (Maggots!). Somehow I always heard the principal's name as "Trenchpole" back when I watched the movie, so I've learned something.



EDIT: I actually almost finished Heart this very weekend. Needs a little volume balancing, so that the last line is not super loud out of the blue, but it's nearly there. Just lacking the fade-out, which I imagine to be similar to the intro in style but getting quieter rather than louder. The bit at the end is an alternative take for "Give me the words / or take your final beat" - I can't decide which one sounds more natural, the first (extra beat) or the second (normal beat, slowdown). Of note, the slowdown can be applied to either or removed from either, but the extra beat I can't decide on, and for now have both versions to ponder. If you have a preference I'll go with that, otherwise I will just keep meditating on it until I get pulled one way or the other.
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Old 10-11-2022, 08:53 AM   #593
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almost finished Heart this very weekend.
Woo!

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I think the music sounds pretty nice for most of it and has some interesting elements in the second half that I am pretty smug about.
I agree! It's a really complicated song; I don't think I'll be able to do a straight run, but will have to record it in bits (I keep losing my place!). It's very pretty though, and the big-name lines are appropriately... powerful? I dunno, I don't speak music.

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But a quick question before I bring it to the finish: how do you feel about a slower fade out - yea or nay? After "or take your final beat", I imagine it would fade out over a line or two... or three or four. It is, after all, the final piece of Act 1. Do you have any plans for visuals at that point that would be ruined by too short or too long a "musical tail"?
No concrete plans for the visuals; a fade-out is fine, it lets me fade back to just Finrod (it's his Dreme, after all) before going to black for the interval. Speaking of the ending:

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If you have a preference I'll go with that, otherwise I will just keep meditating on it until I get pulled one way or the other.
I can tell there is a difference but can't keep track of what well enough to have a preference, so go with whatever you feel. ^_^

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In unrelated news, I am almost done the rough draft of Dawn. I have the Epilogue and some appendices to translate, and then a once-over-at-least read through. I expect that this project has a realistic probability of getting to a presentable shape before the New Year. It's weird that both of Amarie's songs are in their own way fueled by that book - Wind by the initial emotional impression, and Heart now by the impressions left at the tail end of the translation. I am so excited to be able to share Dawn, you cannot imagine. Well no, you most definitely can.
As if Dawn has ever been unrelated to this project. Excited to hear it! I don't remember if you've talked about hosting plans, but AO3 is fairly easy to use and nicely readable.

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And it's sort of coming into sight for Zong as well - after this piece, we will have just two more, and then the Final Trio, and then fixing the early ones, and then the "bow" (a potpourri of snippets from each character's theme music?), and then a "bloopers reel" featuring the best of Much Ado About Nargothrond, and then anything else that comes to mind after that. No biggie.
You're right and all. And Heart was probably one of the hardest songs, so maybe it'll be less of a struggle from here? Up until one of us decides to do something ludicrously complicated, of course. ^_~

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I did not know Matilda had a musical. I should look it up for the fun of it (Maggots!). Somehow I always heard the principal's name as "Trenchpole" back when I watched the movie, so I've learned something.
Oddly enough! There is a movie adaptation of the musical coming this Christmas. We saw the trailer when it hit the cinemas and I have two very excited children.

hS
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Old 10-14-2022, 10:29 PM   #594
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Ok! It's done! Or at least I think I'm done tinkering with it.

Heart - music

Demo singing with a horrible recording which thank goodness isn't going anywhere and even got interrupted rather rudely at the end by a reminder that yet another meeting is about to start and therefore I have no time for a second take. The point of the demo is mostly for pointing out start times, because as you said the song is complicated and bizarre and towards the end I also added some extra beats between stanzas. Please do not use it for the melody, it is horribly off tune.

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I dunno, I don't speak music. :-D
But you know what? You don't need to. Often enough when I'm stuck or uncertain about the music, just regular description words you throw at me are enough to get it unstuck. And of course the point is not to achieve some musical etude, but to create the atmosphere, which you describe with perfect eloquence and efficiency. ^.^

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No concrete plans for the visuals; a fade-out is fine, it lets me fade back to just Finrod (it's his Dreme, after all) before going to black for the interval.
I've tried to pay attention to who is saying which line in the duet version of the song, trying - and kinda failing - to keep the instruments at least a little bit separate. And I came to realization that certain lines acquire slightly different shades depending on who is singing them. And then I went on to think about the geography of the song. "Dawn in her splendour is rising over chasms of ice" is really more evocative as an Amarie line than a Finrod line - I picture Amarie both metaphorically and literally looking eastwards in Finrod's wake via Helcaraxe. The mental image doesn't work in reverse, because Finrod would never have seen the dawn over the Helcaraxe, only generic metaphorical chasms of ice. "Crimson the night has passed over mountains undying" almost has the opposite effect - it would make more geographical sense from Finrod's perspective. Undying Mountains have to be Pelori. In Russian they are just mountains, no descriptors, but still - what other mountains could Amarie be singing about? They are still Pelori. It's an awkward description for Amarie in Valmar, since she is also "over mountains undying" in the same direction as the night is going... But I suppose if Amarie is standing on the seashore she might well still be east of the mountains, and the line could still make sense. Speaking of the sea, the other geographical-ish element is "sea-scattered mists". Now, it's really pretty... but I'm not sure what it means. Sea, as in the Sea? That would make it another Amarie-facing-east line in the ideal line distribution.

BUT, when it comes to it - unless the song is sung as a duet, it does not work as Finrod's Dream. It can still be Amarie's Heart, with Amarie doing a solo of conflicted feelings - but it can't be Finrod's Dream; that requires more of Finrod's presence.

It works both ways, really. Finrod's Dream as a duet, and Amarie's (lonely) Heart as solo. The geography is not perfect either way, and most of it is not our fault, and who even cares when you consider the amount of pretty but rather meaningless phrases in Amarie's songs (except me when the song gets stuck in my head).

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As if Dawn has ever been unrelated to this project. Excited to hear it! I don't remember if you've talked about hosting plans, but AO3 is fairly easy to use and nicely readable.
Umm, to be honest I haven't given it thought beyond Google Docs - either the comments enabled version for anyone who wants to do comments (they were fun!) or beta read (zero pressure, but it won't hurt, and I may have wheedled out a promise out of a person or two), or a published version for people who just want the text in easily readable format. I looked up AO3, and the one downside is any published text is automatically completely public, you can't restrict to only people with link... I'm just not sure how I feel about publishing something that isn't actually mine, or in its perfected state (cause, like I said, beta reading will not go amiss). But I will do whatever format works best for people who would wanna read it, cause that's the whole point of the endeavour, really.

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You're right and all. And Heart was probably one of the hardest songs, so maybe it'll be less of a struggle from here? Up until one of us decides to do something ludicrously complicated, of course. ^_~
Ludicrously complicated? Naturally. ^.^ And I am honestly not sure how much of what I said there was genuine optimism and how much was sarcastic pessimism, it was totally both simultaneously.

For next song, do you have any preference? Elanor asked about Prison Duet some time ago, and I figured there's no huge pressure to go in order between that and Hate. Epilogue is last, that's my only order request for the remainder of Act 2.
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Old 10-18-2022, 05:04 AM   #595
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Ok! It's done! Or at least I think I'm done tinkering with it.
Huzzah! I will try to get to this. Next week is school holidays, so if nobody's ill we may be able to get it sung.

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For next song, do you have any preference? Elanor asked about Prison Duet some time ago, and I figured there's no huge pressure to go in order between that and Hate. Epilogue is last, that's my only order request for the remainder of Act 2.
No requests! Hate and Prison both use pre-made art, so I can animate either. I'd say go with whichever is least stressy for you.

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I've tried to pay attention to who is saying which line in the duet version of the song...
Hmm...

First off, as an Amarie solo it is still Finrod's Dreme - he's dreaming/having a vision about his wife in her loneliness. The canon has "still Beren dreams that thou dost sing"; the Zong turned that into a semi-duet, but it could easily be played straight.

But I do want to do it as a duet, so the question is: can we make the lines line up better?

Speak, oh my heart; now I am turning to thee
What should I sing, to forget what has left me
And to preserve you in peace?


Works for Finrod as an intro to the song, but frankly might be better for Amarie. He left her, after all.

Crimson the night has passed over mountains undying
Speak, oh my heart, are you a friend or betraying
Why won't you speak unto me?


Suggests a sunset over the Pelori, so should be Finrod.

Listen, my heart, I can almost ignore how you ache
Strange how that which once broke, no more can be breaking
New dawn is rising from out of the sea-scattered mists


Clearly Amarie - he broke her heart, and now she's gazing east over the Sea at the dawn.

Listen, my heart, has the world fallen silent today?
Do you believe he who's gone can no more be returning?
Listen, my heart - keep your silence on this!


Has to be Amarie, because 'he'. Unless Finrod is speaking in third-person?

Look thou, my heart, that has rung like a scream through the Night
Dawn in her splendour is rising over chasms of ice


I actually like this for Finrod. Remember that the Sun first rose in the West! This is a flashback to the whole Exile - his trek through the Night, and ultimately the first Sunrise, which may well have been visible from the Noldorin position at the time. I can picture Finrod looking back and watching the Helcaraxe light up gold.

Look thou, my heart: forget his fair face and eyes bright
You've skipped a beat once again, skipped a beat one last time


Definitely Amarie.

From that point I think the current assignments work without comment. The thematic split is between Amarie's wounded heart, and Finrod's yearning one. So the only change we could make would be to swap the two "speak" parts, and consolidate "listen" into one big Amarie. That would make her very definitely the focus of the song, with Finrod only chiming in a couple of times.

hS

EDIT: A whole bunch of 2022 recordings. We already have one (Renunciation) from the same person, but it looks like there's at least 3 or 4 showings covered here. They're mixed in a bit with the Lay of Leithian musical, and I don't see any of the Daeron material, but we should get them on the list at some point. (The Epilogue shows up at least once! I think that's pretty rare.)
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Last edited by Huinesoron; 10-18-2022 at 05:14 AM. Reason: New Russian recordings
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Old 10-18-2022, 04:01 PM   #596
Galadriel55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
First off, as an Amarie solo it is still Finrod's Dreme - he's dreaming/having a vision about his wife in her loneliness. The canon has "still Beren dreams that thou dost sing"; the Zong turned that into a semi-duet, but it could easily be played straight.
Hmm. I just feel like it's thematically out of place for Finrod to see Amarie's forgiveness before he actually dies and returns to Valinor/Mandos. On the other hand, in the Zongverse this song follows Camp, where Finrod is somehow heartened by Beren's absurd love, so perhaps dreaming that things will be alright in his own love affair is not out of place.

As a side note, was Amarie actually his wife in the text? In the Sil she is just "the one he loved", no word of "wife". I think I like her more that way, it adds flavour to Finrod's uncertainty and self-doubt and questioning about the meaning of life and his life in particular.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
But I do want to do it as a duet, so the question is: can we make the lines line up better?
Well, that's gonna screw with any pretense at making Finrod and Amarie musically different - so good thing that I gave up on that as a failed and futile task long before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
The thematic split is between Amarie's wounded heart, and Finrod's yearning one.
That is a very good description, and I agree with your revised split. You have convinced me about a Finrod-gazing-back-on-Helcaraxe perspective. ^.^

The Listen stanza then becomes entirely Amarian, which, as you say, really cuts down Finrod's lines. If we really wanted, parts of that stanza could be sung as alternating lines, or sung together (like the bitter bread whatnot), to give Finrod more screentime. But from a semantic standpoint, I think the whole thing is probably Amarian.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
A whole bunch of 2022 recordings. We already have one (Renunciation) from the same person, but it looks like there's at least 3 or 4 showings covered here. They're mixed in a bit with the Lay of Leithian musical, and I don't see any of the Daeron material, but we should get them on the list at some point. (The Epilogue shows up at least once! I think that's pretty rare.)
Oh my goodness me! That is a LOT of recordings! It will take a good while to look through all of these!

So far I only watched one of the Truths (it uses the music similar if not the same as my favourite of the variations, but the actual singing/acting is good but no cigar), and the multi-person duet that is the Duel (which descends into hilarity as the two Finrods and three Saurons shamelessly start singing "we" instead of "I", and then the Finrods decide they are turning evil too so it finishes of as 5 Saurons). This seems to be the new cast that is running with the Zong and is keeping it alive.

I made a sketch of Prison Duet a while ago. This one is surprisingly difficult to sketch, I feel like I still don't have the melody down properly. Repeating with the solo and the duet version, cause they have different cords. As usual, a check for tempo and pitch before launching into anything. Though with my current level of busyness I doubt I will be launching into anything anytime in the next couple weeks. I had a sketch of Hate too, but I recall I couldn't decide if I can sing Melian as written or if I would have to shift everything down a little... And if I would tolerate shifting everything down a tone after it's scored...


EDIT: now also watched a Dream, which was VERY interesting. I really like Luthien's singing, her voice is just so songbird and flowy, perfect Luthien. I barely started frowning at Beren's ferocity, thinking that they were again going for the uncouth outlaw "ruffian" version of Beren, when I noticed he has shackles on! I suppose in this version they placed Beren's Dream in TIG where he actually does dream (which is a nice nod to canon but I don't think it works in the Zong, and I can't tell how they've re-ordered the songs here to accommodate this change). So his fierceness is actually very fitting in this context, and not at all jarring. I love how they finish the song as well - the harmony is so beautiful, and I wish I heard this before we made our Dream so I could attempt to copy (but maybe we steal it for Showdown?). And acting-wise, how Beren seems to be soothed to rest by the memory/dream of Luthien - it's so good! ^.^
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Last edited by Galadriel55; 10-18-2022 at 04:24 PM.
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