The Last Goodbye / Hobbit Trilogy

It seems like a very long time ago that this happened… but here’s a link to the closing song from the Hobbit Trilogy – The Last Goodbye.

It was a wonderful thing to collaborate on this song with Fran Walsh, Billy Boyd & Stephen Gallagher… I found myself doing mad and previously unimaginable things, like chatting with Howard Shore on the phone and recording (remotely) in Abbey Road Studio No.2 with Peter Cobbin and Kirsty Whalley at the helm.

It’s extraordinary how much work went into this four minutes of music. Fran wanted the  song to not only complete the Hobbit trilogy but to be a farewell to everyone who had invested their time, energy and care into the creation and enjoyment of all six LOTR / Hobbit films. A huge amount of dedication went into the production of this track.

I began working on the arrangement and, soon after, Billy came up to Auckland where we spent a day with some wonderful musicians at Roundhead studios (Nigel Gavin / mandolin & percussion, Justine Cormack / violin), laying down ideas and putting together demos. A couple of weeks later – after travel back and forth between Auckland and Wellington – I finally found myself in the midst of the most extraordinary recording session of my life. I was at Park Road Post in Wellington in the company of Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson, Stephen Gallagher, Billy Boyd, Peter Cobbin and Kirsty Whalley, remotely recording the London Symphony Orchestra who were in Abbey Road, while Howard Shore listened in via Skype from New York. And we had a real, actual Dulcimer player. Outrageous!

Eight new bars of music were added during the session, which – in a testament to the technological  world we live in –  involved me frantically ruling manuscript lines onto the back of used bits of A4 paper lying around the studio, scribbling out the additional music, taking a photograph of it on my phone, texting it to the orchestra contractor in London who sent it to the Abbey Rd printer and had it on the stands being recorded by the orchestra 10 minutes after I’d pressed send.

For anyone who’s interested to know more, there’s a making of documentary too…

 

Published by

Victoria Kelly / Music

I am a composer and performer of music. I have three gorgeous children and a sweet (yet manly) husband... I'm a vegan (but my husband and children are passionate carnivores)... I love reading (and I'm not a literary snob, but I just could NOT stomach more than 2 pages of Fifty Shades of Grey)... I try to keep up a regular yoga practice (and regularly fail)... I appreciate honesty, clarity, mischief, intelligence and humour in other people... my many heroes include Oscar Wilde, Christopher Hitchens, Tina Fey, JS Bach, Prince, Kurt Vonnegut, Igor Stravinsky, Bernard Herrmann, Joni Mitchell, Stanley Kubrick and Francis Bacon... because they all tell the truth, individually and uncompromisingly, as they see it. I wish I could still eat cheese, mayonnaise and red meat but I'm better off without them and the world would probably be a better place if the manufacturing of those foods was carried out on a smaller scale, in a more compassionate, environmentally and socially conscious way. It would be great if we were all more directly involved with our food chain. I always vote, and get a bit tearful on election day, because brave women fought for that right on my behalf and there are women in the world who are still fighting for that right today. But I vote, now, with a sense of hopelessness and cynicism, because I don't think politicians have anything except their own, and their benefactors', best interests at heart. At the risk of sounding too serious, it should be said that I do love a good bottle of Pinot Noir. And indeed, Champagne. In fact... maybe even more than one bottle. More than two bottles however and I will either sing Eye of the Tiger or pretend to be a Solid Gold Dancer. Neither of these things are desirable outcomes. If a person can make me laugh until I cry, struggle to breathe and roll around in pain, I will be their friend forever. My guilty musical pleasure is Roger Whittaker. And, while I like to think of myself as fairly educated about music, I must confess that I simply cannot listen to Wagner. I love my work. And I love being a mother to my children. But I do feel as if, when I'm trying to do both, I do neither well. And yet, if I did only one of those things, my longing for the other would be as miserable as feeling that I can do neither thing well. I think this catch 22 is paralysing almost every woman I know. Feminism is not dead and neither should Masculinism be... men and women have been equally displaced by the social changes of the past few decades. But someone or something is profiteering from our compromises and our sacrifices and I would like to see that injustice addressed and some balance restored. I have no idea what that says about me politically - I believe as much in personal responsibility as I do in compassion for others. I cannot abide greed, racism or prejudice - or the proud and willful ignorance & arrogance that tends to go hand in hand with them. I fear for the world when I see those traits overrepresented in the people who lead us. But show me a good thing well made - whether it's a piece of art, a book, a song, a car, a building, a meal, a neighbourly gesture, a garden or a unified field theory - and I regain my hope for humanity instantly. (The painting is Dirty Grapes by Mark Rothko)

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