Occasionally I browse the search queries that bring people to this site, and the question in the title was one of them. It made me think a little bit more serious about this: can music really change the way we think and act? Obviously, I believe it can, because otherwise I wouldn't have written the post on Howard Shore's music. And I'm not the only one who thinks so: "Of all the fine arts, music is that which most influences the passions, and that, therefore, which a legislator should do most to encourage. A few bars of moral music, composed by a master hand cannot fail to affect the feelings, and have much more influence than a well-written book about morality, which convinces our reason without altering our habits." (Napoleon Bonaparte). So, obviously, there is some effect, but how does it work?
I think it was 1982 when I saw "Evita" in London, my first 'big' musical and I remember being totally overwhelmed. Especially those by Andrew Lloyd-Webber. "Cats" is my favourite musical to this very day. I don't know how many times I've seen it, studied the score or listened to the cd. I wasn't as impressed with "Song and dance" and "Starlight Express" (even though both contain some good songs), but I still remember the excitement when "The phantom of the Opera" was announced... Along with "Evita", "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Cats", this musical has had a profound impact on my writing style. But after "Sunset Boulevard", I kind of lost touch with his work. So now I came across this announcement on BroadwayWorld.com:
Did Howard Shore do more than write brilliant filmmusic? According to an article by Michael Beek in Music from the Movies, Shore's "Lord of the Rings Symphony" is "fast becoming something of a musical and cultural phenomenon". And I think he has a point: the music from Lord of the Rings has reached many, many more people than orchestral music usually does. People from all walks of life; young and old. How is it possible that this work (the Symphony is in it's fourth year 'on the road') still attracts packed houses all over the world? It's even more remarkable since "Lord of the Rings" is no simple music! So what is it that creates this effect?
I've been getting my hands dirty on some xhtml code again, and I'm quite pleased that the catalog of some of my compositions is almost ready to be rolled out. Maybe as soon as tomorrow! Most of my compositions thus far have been exclusive to specific bands or certain occasions, so I'm rather excited with this opportunity to present some of my work to a broader audience. The first composition will be for big band, but other ensembles are sure to follow. Be sure to stop by often over the coming time as new compositions might be added rather quick. And please offer feedback on them!