October 17, 2018

The Lord of the Rings Soundtrack Trilogy on Vinyl

April - Sept saw the release of the complete recordings on limited edition numbered vinyl. These sets (one for each film) was the entire soundtrack. That campaign is over.

This release, is the 70-80 minute ‘basic’ versions of all 3 films in one set, and doesn’t look to be limited. It looks like it’ll be 2 LPs per movie (totaling 6 for the entire set). You know - the version that comes out close to when the movies were release din cinemas. The ones most people are familiar with. While not the complete recordings, this is great for those who wish to own this music on vinyl, and have missed the complete recordings; due to them being limited and numbered.

On Nov. 30, in a non-limited set, all three soundtracks (the 'basic' 70-80 minute ones) are getting released in a 6LP boxed set. This should work out to 2 LPs per film.

The set can currently be bought from here : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07J3H7F8B/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=hennethannunr-20&linkId=712f359c49c7ea220ac682c06eb7ca6a&language=en_US .

In one of my posts about The Lord of the Rings vinyl releases, I suggested this as a possible release, and they listened! Or coincidence. I wonder what will be included, by way of booklets, etc inside the package? Will it feature some of the content that appeared in the collector's editions of the original soundtracks? And hey, will they do The Hobbit next....? Either way, it's great that this set will exist - and in a non-limited edition. 

This is the tracklist:


Disc: 1

  1. The Prophecy
  2. Concerning Hobbits
  3. The Shadow Of The Past
  4. The Treason Of Isengard
  5. The Black Rider

Disc: 2

  1. At The Sign Of The Prancing Pony
  2. A Knife In The Dark
  3. Flight To The Ford
  4. Many Meetings
  5. The Council Of Elrond (feat. "Aniron (Theme For Aragorn And Arwen)")

Disc: 3

  1. The Ring Goes South
  2. A Journey In The Dark
  3. The Bridge Of Khazad Dum
  4. Lothlorien (feat. "Lament For Gandalf")
  5. The Great River

Disc: 4

  1. Amon Hen
  2. The Breaking Of The Fellowship (feat. "In Dreams")
  3. May It Be - Enya

Disc: 5

  1. Foundations Of Stone
  2. The Taming Of Smeagol
  3. The Riders Of Rohan
  4. The Passage Of The Marshes
  5. The Uruk-hai

Disc: 6

  1. The King Of The Golden Hall
  2. The Black Gate Is Closed
  3. Evenstar
  4. The White Rider
  5. Treebeard
  6. The Leave Taking

Disc: 7

  1. Helm's Deep
  2. The Forbidden Pool
  3. Breath Of Life
  4. The Hornburg

Disc: 8

  1. Forth Eorlingas
  2. Isengard Unleashed
  3. Samwise The Brave
  4. Gollum's Song - Emiliana Torrini

Disc: 9

  1. A Storm Is Coming
  2. Hope And Memory
  3. Minas Tirith
  4. The White Tree
  5. The Steward Of Gondor
  6. Minas Morgul

Disc: 10

  1. The Ride Of The Rohirrim
  2. Twilight And Shadow
  3. Cirith Ungol
  4. Anduril
  5. Shelob's Lair
  6. Ash And Smoke

Disc: 11

  1. The Fields Of The Pelenor
  2. Hope Fails
  3. The Black Gate Opens
  4. The End Of All Things

Disc: 12

  1. The Return Of The King
  2. The Grey Havens
  3. Into The West - Annie Lennox



































September 21, 2018

The Lord of the Rings Complete Recordings Now Complete


Today is a big day!
Not only is The Return of the King out on vinyl, CD+blu-ray audio and pretty much every streaming and download source, but this also means that the soundtrack for the entire trilogy is now available across all these mediums!

Hopefully, if interested you managed to get all three vinyl releases, as they are limited edition. However, what can happen in the future on vinyl? Will we get non-limited black LPs of the complete recordings? Will they release the standard editions on vinyl as well, and not limit them?

All three are now out on CD+blu-ray audio. Some of them might be sold out....but worry not, they're not discontinued.

The Fellowship of the Ring: . https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079PTDW74/?coliid=I2P63DUPFOP6IV&colid=1VVT2K024WG3H&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
The Two Towers: .https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D515631/?coliid=I3DZ5T70FPHRR9&colid=1VVT2K024WG3H&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
The Return of the King: .
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FW4CN99/?coliid=I1TENROHG8LYXX&colid=1VVT2K024WG3H&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Finally, search for them on any digital medium that you happen to use: Spotify (I've made a massive playlist of all three back-to-back, linked below), iTunes/Apple Music, Google Play and Amazon streaming/download.

Here is my Lord of the Rings Complete Recordings Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/2m9hbatw6n5kp0h2kp4o8k789/playlist/5b9DdxGlbaHaBovSNAgVbu?si=fsg47KagQuCHadmVTsRk9w

No matter you listen to this music, I truly hope that you enjoy it, in the definitive release - much like how I (and an entire fanbase) consider the extended editions of the films to be the definitive versions.

September 7, 2018

So, What's Next??

The image I've selected above is Didier Graffet's artwork used on a few editions of The Children of Hurin. It also happens to be one of my favourite pieces of Tolkien-related artwork.

Last week, The Fall of Gondolin was published in hardback, ebook, large print and deluxe formats (for those that prefer paperbacks (or collect them, as well) expect it to come out July - September of 2019.) and that title essentially marks the end of new Middle-earth books, as well as possibly new Tolkien books.

Whenever a new Tolkien book (especially if it's Middle-earth related) I usually think: "What will be next? Is this it?" Sure, there will be anniversary editions of existing titles (The Lord of the Rings 70th anniversary edition will likely happen) as well as editions illustrated by artists, but what about the content itself? have we reached the end?

Whether or not there will be new stuff coming on the horizon, my Tolkien book-buying seems to be coming to a close. Here are the remaining titles that I am interested in getting:

- Tolkien Calendar 2019. It's actually on its way now! I usually get the Tolkien calendar - depending on who the artist is. Depending on the artists in the years to come, this could be an annual thing!

- A Secret Vice in paperback. I held off getting this one in hardback for a few reasons:
a) I have On Fairy Stories in paperback, and this would 'match' that one (both are essay / lecture books) b) the book is quite thin, to the point where having a hardback, with a dustjacket, the dustjacket would be larger than the book itself!

- The Lay f Aotrou and Itroun in paperback. Pretty much the same reason as b) above. This book is quite small - about 50 pages shorter than The Story of Kullervo- The Annotated Hobbit (Third Edition / 30th Anniversary Edition) I've already got the previous edition a few years back as a gift. HOWEVER, so it won't be 'money spent' I'm going to save up enough Indigo Plum Points to cover the cost of the book so I essentially get it for free without paying any actual money to get it. That's not me saying "I don't want to pay for this" but rather "I just got this a few years back." Great example of 'you never know what may come...' when it comes to Tolkien. Also, this is the last time that I will 'replace' another one of my own books / copy of a book that I own.

- The History of Middle-earth (3 volume omnibus boxed set). On and off throughout the years, I've always wanted these as hardbacks. The print on demand is an option....but at 13 books (book 13 is the index) and costing 40 pound each, it's quite expensive. This set is more cost effective, as well as space-saving. Once I get this set, I will have all the Middle-earth content in hardback format. This would end my Tolkien Middle-earth Hardback Collection. I will be asking for this as a gift. 

That's it for the printed, physical books. Now for the ones for my ereader:

- The Return of the Ring (Vol. 1 and 2). It'd be great if Tolkien 2005 also existed as an ebook

- Aragorn by Andrea P. Nicholas. What with reports of the Amazon focusing on Aragorn's younger days, this seems like an essential read - both on its own merit, and based on that fact.

- On Eagles's Wings by Ann Thayer

- The Inklings and King Arthur by Sorina Higgins

- The Inklings by Humphrey Carpenter

- There and Back Again by Mark Atherton

- Perilous Realms by Marjorie J. Burns

- The Keys of Middle-earth
There's still some titles left overall (ebook and printed) though my Tolkien buying is coming to its end. Though who knows what could come out in the future?

August 14, 2018

Scoring Middle-earth: Composer Spotlight - Trevor Morris

Lastly, for the time being, I shall somewhat-wrap up talking about Middle-earth music.

I am following the development of the Amazon Middle-earth series with great interest. It's far too early to tell if it will be any good,, as everything at this stage is in the 'pre' phases: pre-production etc. We don't even have a premiere date, cast, trailer etc.

But this leaves time and room for thinking and speculation.

First and foremost, I must say that I greatly adore Howard Shore's Middle-earth music (most notably, the Complete Recordings releases of The Lord of the Rings soundtracks). This post is being written under the assumption that Howard will be not a part of the project, however much I wish him to be. He's poured so much into Middle-earth at this point, I'm unsure what else has to offer, even if he wanted to! One never knows...

So, due to my love of film and TV soundtracks, fantasy, and music and all that, I've been listening to a few composers over the years. I think I've found the perfect composer for this project. One that I've been following for a few years, and listening to his music when possible - Trevor Morris.

I greatly enjoyed his work on The Tudors, as well as some projects since, such as The Immortals, Emerald City, Dragon Age: Inquisition (and it's related content), and, currently, Vikings. It's because of the titles given that I believe he would be a great fit for working with Amazon on Middle-earth. He's on Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/artist/5ikWl4mjoiFlLPvkFRZETq?si=r0QQXF-mQ0SAeYuf9O8IUg) and listening to those albums, one can somewhat see which directions he may take with the Amazon Middle-earth project.

It seems unlikely (though not impossible) that Howard Shore would want to pour more time and energy into Middle-earth; though I have my fingers crossed that Trevor Morris may be the composer in his stead.

Recommended titles to listen to:

The Tudors: Season 3 - https://open.spotify.com/album/3q7V3lMHaDEBRnmyJIHni8?si=sBsIah9lS167KI4MvSu-3w

Vikings
 (I-III), found on his Spotify page above)

Emerald City
 - https://open.spotify.com/album/21luJOpXJ59XZdpopL62ZR?si=F5JEXrrNRKSV4LhDVOZjmg

The Immortals - 
https://open.spotify.com/album/4NVt8lfSG3Bs4G67Mbhqjx?si=ej2Yxa4KRfu5hB-MqV7k_Q

Dragon Age: Inquisition
 - https://open.spotify.com/album/7KwqcypmfvpVejdUyZTWMX?si=oyE4G5YjT_OGczBsEb43iA

D A: I
DLC content - https://open.spotify.com/album/68Pko84mgHPW4cp8vhNdHw?si=Onof5rh_RxumOOpVmFNm4g

August 9, 2018

Brainstorm: Possible Ideas for Upcoming Middle-earth Vinyl Releases

Quite recently, The Two Towers Complete Recordings got released for the first time on vinyl, and (re)released on CD, as well as various download/streaming services. The Return of the King is now up for pre-order in the complete recordings format (vinyl and CD), which will complete The Lord of the Rings Complete Recordings campaign.

But what about after that?

Back when The Fellowship of the Ring was announced for vinyl release, I did a similar post to this one. Perhaps there could be more Howard Shore Middle-earth music and soundtracks appearing on vinyl; announced closer to the release date for The Return of the King. Whatever they may (not) have planned, I'm going to have a look at what else could come out on vinyl.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS

- A trilogy box.
It may seem like a silly idea, but it would be neat if for the CD+blu-ray audio and vinyl lp releases of the Complete Recordings if there was an offer or something to get an empty box or slipcase to put all three Lord of the Rings soundtracks, so you basically 'build' your own, or build up to your own boxed set. The Complete recordings look very sharp on the shelves as it is (whether on CD or vinyl), but it would be cool if you could a box/slipcase to put them all in. This 'empty box' would not cost all that much.

- The Original Soundtracks
Sure, I (and many fans) consider The Complete Recordings to be the 'definitive' editions of the soundtracks, much like how the extended editions are seen as "definitive." However, I would not object to more Howard Shore Middle-earth music being released.

The Original Soundtracks could also arrive on vinyl. Not limited, 180g black vinyl, and 2 lp's each.

I could see them being sold individually, and in a boxed set. The boxed set could also feature all the 'character cards'. The individual releases could feature all the 'character cards'. per film, as well. The cards could come as separate pieces in their own sleeve, or as an (additional?) booklet.
The cover art would be the main movie poster for each film. In some regions, The Fellowship of the Ring featured a cover that wasn't the poster, however I'd like to see the poster used for continuity. Here is the existing cover art in CD format that could be replicated for the vinyl releases"
The Fellowship of the Ring: https://img.discogs.com/k11risW-5BvtBIRwiQll9XEp2l8=/fit-in/600x600/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-8280311-1481891216-3933.jpeg.jpg

The Two Towers:
 https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81tPNugbTSL._SL1448_.jpg


The Return of the King:
 https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91%2Bni21hctL._SL1448_.jpg


Trilogy boxed set: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Agjd4kIBL.jpg  

THE HOBBIT

It would also be great to see The Hobbit trilogy get its soundtracks on vinyl, as well.

Each soundtrack was released as a 2-CD edition. There most likely won't be "The Hobbit Complete Recordings", because there wasn't enough material to justify a re-release of the soundtrack. Because of that, the 2-CD editions served as a 'middle ground' between what would be the 'original  soundtracks' and a 'complete recordings.'

For the vinyl release, I can see it being the 'special editions', and each soundtrack being a 4LP set, as on CD, there were 2 discs. The packaging would be 'replicated' from the 2 CD special editions.

So that's a look at how I can see more of Howard Shore's Middle-earth music appearing on vinyl. I hope I'm great, as it would be great, and I would definitely pre-order any of the releases I talked about. 


July 27, 2018

iOS 12 Preview

With September coming up shortly, that means there will be new iDevices coming out, as well as another version of iOS.

Here\s what to expect in iOS 12:

Performance

Faster and more responsive
The things you do every day are faster than ever — across more devices. iOS has been overhauled for improved performance on devices as far back as iPhone 5s and iPad Air.
Smoother animations
Animations are smoother across the system. So when you do things like bring up Control Center, swipe while multitasking or scroll in apps, it’s more fluid and responsive.
Up to 40% faster app launch*
Apps launch faster in day-to-day use. And when you're pushing your iOS device to the limit, multitasking between lots of apps, they launch up to 2x faster.*
Up to 50% faster keyboard display*
The keyboard appears faster and typing is more responsive.
Up to 70% faster swipe to Camera*
Swiping to Camera from the Lock screen happens faster so you never miss a moment.
Up to 2x faster Share sheet display under load*
The Share sheet appears faster than ever, especially if you have a lot of sharing extensions installed.

FaceTime

Group FaceTime
Make FaceTime calls with up to 32 participants simultaneously.
FaceTime audio and video
Answer incoming Group FaceTime calls with video or audio on iPhone, iPad and Mac, or join with audio on Apple Watch and HomePod.
Join anytime
Join or add people to Group FaceTime at any time.
Focus View in Group FaceTime
During Group FaceTime, the speaker will automatically be front and centre. Or with Focus View, you can double-tap the person you’d like to see.
Ringless notification
Group FaceTime uses a silent notification that participants can tap to join.
Messages integration
Start Group FaceTime right from a group Messages conversation. See and join active calls from the conversation list or in the conversation itself.
Animoji
Use FaceTime with your friends and family as your favourite Animoji or Memoji.
Filters
Transform your look using built-in filters, like classic black and white, comic book and watercolour.
Text effects
Add text effects like speech bubbles and emoji to your photos or videos.
Shapes
Jazz up your photos and videos with shapes like stars, hearts and arrows.
iMessage sticker packs
Download sticker packs from the App Store for iMessage to enhance your photos and videos. Stickers track the movement of your face and move with you.
Private end-to-end encryption
FaceTime is encrypted end to end for both one-to-one and group calls, so your conversations remain private and viewable only by the participants.

Messages

Memoji
Create an all-new kind of Animoji that fits your personality and mood.
Memoji Maker
A new tool for you to select and adjust nearly endless customization options to make your Memoji.
New Animoji
Try four new Animoji: T. rex, ghost, koala and tiger.
Tongue and wink detection
Improved face tracking now recognizes when you stick out your tongue or wink.
Longer Animoji
Now you can record clips of up to 30 seconds.
Camera effects
Use the camera in Messages to capture photos and enhance them in new ways using built-in effects and third-party sticker packs.
Filters
Transform your look using built-in filters, like classic black and white, comic book and watercolour.
Text effects
Add text effects like speech bubbles and emoji to your photos or videos.
Shapes
Jazz up your photos and videos with shapes like stars, hearts and arrows.
iMessage sticker packs
Download sticker packs from the App Store for iMessage to enhance your photos and videos inside Messages. Stickers track the movement of your face and move with you.
Photos iMessage app
Get photo suggestions based on who you’re messaging with, what you’re talking about and where you’ve taken photos together.
Redesigned App Strip
The redesigned App Strip has a new look that takes up less space when you type. So you can see more of your content and always get to your favourite iMessage apps.

Screen Time

Screen Time
New tools empower you to understand and make choices about how much time you spend using apps and websites.
Activity reports
Get reports weekly or check Today View anytime to see app usage, notifications and device pickups.
For kids
Use your family’s Apple IDs to set up Screen Time for your kids to keep an eye on how much time they spend on apps and websites. They can request more time for you to approve.
App limits
Set the amount of time you and your kids can spend each day on specific apps and websites.
Downtime
Set a specific time, like bedtime, when apps and notifications are blocked. You can choose which apps are on and off limits.
Always allowed
Create exceptions for apps you’d like your kids to have access to even during Downtime, such as Messages or education apps.

Notifications

Grouped notifications
Message threads and notification topics are grouped together, so it’s easier to see what’s important with just a glance at your iPhone or iPad.
Instant Tuning
Control your notification settings the moment you receive an alert, without having to leave what you’re doing.
Deliver quietly
Within Instant Tuning, you can choose to have notifications delivered silently to Notification Center by default so you’re not interrupted by alerts.
Siri notification suggestions
Get suggestions based on how you interact with your notifications, such as which app notifications to deliver prominently and which ones to send to Notification Center.
Critical alerts
A new type of opt-in alert for important information, like reports from a healthcare provider, which you’ll receive even during Do Not Disturb.

Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb During Bedtime
Dim your display and silence overnight notifications until you unlock your iPhone in the morning.
New Do Not Disturb options
Set Do Not Disturb to end automatically in an hour, at the end of the day, when you leave a certain location or at the end of a meeting on your calendar.

Augmented Reality

Persistent and multi-user experiences
AR experiences can now be shared across time and fixed to real-world locations, so you can create a piece of AR art that can be viewed later in the same place by someone else.
3D object recognition
ARKit 2 recognizes objects and how your device is oriented to them, and can use that information to trigger AR experiences.
Face tracking
Face tracking now sees where you’re looking and can detect whether you’re sticking out your tongue or winking.
Scene reflection
AR is even more lifelike, enabling virtual objects to reflect the real-world scene in your camera.
USDZ file format
A new format that helps 3D creators to create rich content and animations optimized for mobile devices.
AR Quick Look
View AR experiences in the apps you use every day, including Files, Mail, Messages and Safari.
Measure app
Use your iPhone or iPad camera to measure objects and surfaces both vertically and horizontally as well as automatically detect dimensions of rectangular objects.

Photos

For You tab
A single destination for your Memories, Shared Album activity and the best moments in your library. New Featured Photos and Effect Suggestions intelligently show you your best photos and propose effects to make them even better.
Sharing suggestions
Photos understands when you’ve done something meaningful, like taking a trip or attending an event, and will suggest sharing the photos with the people who are in them. And if you receive photos from someone else, your device will look for photos in your library from the same event and suggest sharing photos back.
Intelligent search suggestions
Smart suggestions help you find photos even before you finish typing by suggesting events, people, places and relative dates.
Places search
Search for photos based on the places or businesses where you were when you took them, whether it’s a general category, like “Japanese restaurant,” or a specific place, like “Jacques Torres Chocolate.”
Event search
Search for photos from events you’ve attended, like the Aspen Ideas Festival.
Multiple keyword search
Now you can combine keywords in searches, like “surfing” and “vacation,” for even better results.
Improved import
It’s easier than ever to import photos and videos from your professional camera on the go.
RAW editing support
You can now edit your RAW images in Photos on iPhone and iPad models with an A9 chip or later.
Redesigned Albums tab
Find existing and shared albums more quickly and efficiently.

Camera

Improved Portrait Lighting
Portrait mode photos are better than ever. Camera now generates a mask when it detects a person and intelligently and elegantly separates the person from the scene.
Portrait Segmentation API
A new API for third-party developers allows for the separation of layers in a photo, such as separating the background from the foreground.
Improved QR code reader
Camera now highlights QR codes in the frame, making them easier to scan.

Siri

Siri suggestions
A quicker way to do the things you do most often. As Siri learns your routines, you’ll get suggested shortcuts for just what you need, at just the right time, on the Lock screen or in search.
Add to Siri
Add shortcuts to Siri to run them with your voice on your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or HomePod.
New Shortcuts app
Create or customize your own shortcuts to run multiple steps at once. Get started with examples from the gallery and personalize with steps from across your apps.
Shortcuts API
App developers can work with Siri to run shortcuts via a new SiriKit API.
Motorsports
Get live standings, schedules, rosters and stats for NASCAR and other racing series.
Translation
Translate phrases into many more languages, with support for over 40 language pairs.
Celebrity facts
Check facts about celebrities, such as “Where was Amy Adams born?”
Food knowledge
Ask Siri questions about food and get answers from the USDA database, including calories, vitamins and how healthy a food is overall. For example, ask “How much caffeine in coffee?” or “How healthy is fish?”
Photos Memories search
Use Siri to quickly pull up photos and memories based on people, places, events, time and keywords of objects and scenes in the photos.
Passwords
Siri can help you search for any password.

Privacy and Security

Enhanced tracking prevention
Improvements prevent Share buttons and comment widgets on web pages from tracking you without your permission in Safari. Safari also prevents advertisers from collecting your device’s unique settings, so they can’t retarget ads to you across the web.
Automatic strong passwords
Automatically create, autofill and store strong passwords in Safari and iOS apps. Passwords are stored in iCloud Keychain and are available on all your Apple devices. And if you ever need to access your passwords, just ask Siri.
Password reuse auditing
Passwords that have been reused will be flagged in the passwords list, so you can quickly navigate to the app or website and replace it with an automatically generated strong password.
Security code AutoFill
SMS one-time passcodes will appear automatically as AutoFill suggestions, so you never have to worry about quickly memorizing them or typing them again.
Password sharing
Easily share and receive passwords from nearby iOS devices, from an iOS device to a Mac, and from an iOS device to Apple TV.
Password Manager API
Access passwords stored in third-party password managers directly from the QuickType bar in apps and in Safari (requires third-party adoption).

App Updates

Apple Books
The Apple Books app has been completely redesigned to make it easier for you to discover, read and listen to your favourite books. Access your current book or start a new one in the Reading Now tab, visit the new bookstore to browse and buy, and organize your library with more flexible collections.
Stocks
The redesigned Stocks app keeps you more informed about the market. View prices at a glance in the customizable watch list. Tap any ticker to see key details and an interactive chart. And for the first time ever, Stocks is available on iPad as well as iPhone.
Voice Memos
Voice Memos has been redesigned and is available on iPad. It’s even easier to capture your personal reminders, edit class lectures or share family moments. And with iCloud, you can record on your iPhone or iPad and harness the power of your Mac to do even more.

Even More

CarPlay navigation
CarPlay now supports third-party navigation apps, giving drivers even more choices for a familiar experience on the dash while they drive.
More battery information
The battery usage chart in Settings now shows your usage for the last 24 hours or 10 days. Tap a bar to see your app use for that period of time.
iPad gestures
iOS 12 for iPad includes updated gestures that make it easier to navigate. You can now go to the Home screen by quickly swiping up from the bottom of the screen. Get to Control Center more conveniently with a swipe from the top-right corner.
New dictionaries
Enjoy three new language dictionaries: an Arabic and English bilingual dictionary, a Hindi and English bilingual dictionary, and a Hebrew dictionary.
English Thesaurus
Get synonyms and related concepts for words with English Thesaurus.