Howard Shore: An Introspective

DVD paired with the ROTK LE Soundtrack



The Special Edition of the ROTK Soundtrack came with a DVD. The DVD contained:

  • Lord of the Rings Trilogy Supertrailer

  • Use Well The Days: A Behind the Scenes Portrait

  • Photo Gallery: Howard Shore and Orchestral Sessions

  • Poems, Text and Lyrics from The Return of the King

  • Bonus Track: "Use Well The Days", performed by Annie Lennox




Some Comments from
Use Well The Days: A Behind the Scenes Portrait

When you see this:
HS COMMENT elsewhere on the site,

it means that Howard Shore has made a comment pertinent to something mentioned there.

Click on the link to find out what.



Howard Shore:

Production is like a... it's like you're laying the track and like this train is barreling down the track and you're constantly just laying the track in front of it so it doesn't derail. And if the train has to pause its just like (HS shudders) vibrating and steam is pouring out of it waiting for you, to know, lay a little more track so it can go barreling down it.

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Annie Lennox:

(after listening to last few notes of "Into the West")

It's beautiful. (She lets out a large sigh of someone who's been holding her breath and pauses for a moment.) It's got that largesse and it's got the stillness at the same time. And you haven't got anything pompous. It's just great. You must be pleased with that.


HS: Well I am...

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Howard Shore:

I had the idea to use a pan flute for this charac..., you know, for Faramir. It's sort of a Middle-earth sound because it's so basic. The pan flute is one of the oldest instruments in the world.

(Music playing: pan flute from "The Steward of Gondor" )

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Renée Fleming:

(shot of Renée singing - The End of All Things 1:08)

HS: How does it feel to sing?


RF: Beautiful. It's sits very nicely in the voice. One of your gifts is that you play against expectation. Because in these cataclysmic moments you have something very pure and very quiet which is so beautiful.


HS: We do that, yes. Yes, Peter is so keen in knowing how to do that.


RF: Well that's what the best composers do, I think.

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Howard Shore:

(talking in a teleconference to Renée Fleming)

And you hear Ben Del Maestro singing. He's a boy soprano. You just hear his singing over... armies of a thousand, but you just hear the one voice.

(Music playing: music leading into BDM solo and then BDM: "Minas Tirith" 2:02)

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Howard Shore:

You got about 8 measures of raging choir. (To camera) Here, look. (points to score) "The End of All Things". That's got to be near the end of the movie, right With a title like that, "The End of All Things"? It's got to be close.

(HS sings a few bars and says to the camera...)

See, then you cut to the choir.

(Cut to the choir singing the Fellowship Theme.)

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Use Well The Days

Composer Commentary


After the recording of the extended cut of 'The Two Towers' in March I spent most of April in New Zealand with Peter, Fran, and Philippa looking at and dreaming about 'The Return of the King'. On a beautiful clear day in Wellington, Fran and I thought about artists for the recording in August. Annie Lennox was at the very top of our list. I wrote Annie when I returned to Tuxedo, New York and while awaiting a reply wrote the melody to 'Use Well the Days'. I met with Annie in New York City in June and played her this piece on our very first meeting. A short time later in July Annie did a recording of the song at Abbey Road Studios in London. The song 'Into the West' was written a few months later with Fran and Annie and played beautifully to the end of the film and the personal, intimate feeling of Frodo and The Grey Havens. I always felt that 'Use Well the Days' was part of the journey to 'Into the West', a place that we had to go to finally arrive at the Grey Havens and the end of the film. Annie's reading of the song is particularly beautiful and movie and I also love that it encompasses so many beautiful lines from the book.


Howard Shore

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