Welcome to Right on Cue, the podcast where we interview film, TV, and video game composers about the origins and nuances of their latest works and select commentaries from some of the score’s most important tracks.
Much has been said and written about just the sheer size and scale (and cost) of Prime Video’s new flagship series, Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. And for good reason: Amazon’s spent nearly a billion dollars on a series adapting arguably the most acclaimed and well-regarded fantasy series of all time, notably opting to tell a story set hundreds of years before Frodo’s journey to destroy the One Ring. Instead, Rings of Power is content to slowly build a years-long tale in the Second Age, back when Galadriel was a brash young warrior, the Hobbits were called Harfoots, and Sauron was just a shadow.
A story this sprawling and expensive-looking requires a similarly robust score, one that evokes the sweep of the iconic Howard Shore scores for the Peter Jackson films and sets it apart as its own thing. While Shore composed a haunting title theme, the rest of the score goes to the acclaimed composer (and previous guest) Bear McCreary, whose expertise with big-budget television and love of world music sounds adds a welcome variety the show’s sound.
But with the sheer amount of score required for the series, sometimes composers need a little help, and that’s where orchestrators Tutti Music Partners come in. Longtime collaborators with Bear since 2009, Jonathan Beard, Ed Trybek, and Henri Wilkinson are the ones who help put Bear’s music to paper, interpret where possible, and help produce the score itself.
I was lucky enough to sit down with Jonathan, Ed, and Henri to talk about their working relationship with Bear, what an orchestrator does, and how their role was uniquely suited to bringing Rings of Power‘s music to life.
You can find Tutti Music Partners at their official website here.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is currently streaming on Prime Video. You can also listen to the Rings of Power soundtrack on your preferred music streaming service courtesy of Amazon.