Lord of the Waters

Tolkien, as you may have gathered by now is one of my main inspirations and my obsession with his works seems to be growing. In The Silmarillion Tolkien describes the Sea-Elves and their majestic ships, a fleet unmatched in beauty and craftsmanship and drawn by the great swans. I have composed some music to capture the grandeur of these ships and the piece ‘Lord of the Waters’ tells of the sailing to Aqualondë, haven of swans. In addition to the music I have read excerpts from Tolkien, The Illustrated Encyclopedia by David Day (2012, Bounty Books), hopefully this will serve as inspiration to animators, artists and story-tellers and bring life to these rarely told gems in Tolkiens great body of work.

Creating Lord of Waters

On the 1st of July 2014 I went into the Audient studio of SAE-QANTM Brisbane with 4 hours of studio time, a couple of books on Tolkien and the inspiration to tell one of his tales, bringing it to life with music. I composed the music, making a short-score version for piano (instrument plug-in for Pro-Tools) and recorded myself reading passages from David Day’s book Tolkien, The Illustrated Encyclopedia.

Short-score of the music
Short-score of the music

To record the vocal I stayed in the control-room, chose the Heil PR40, set up a pop-filter and made use of a reflective shield.

Creating Lord of Waters
Creating Lord of the Waters

I set myself up with a headphone mix of the short-score so there was no bleed into the vocal mic and recorded the vocal in a couple of takes (if the idea takes off then someone with a good story telling voice can be recorded!). Happy with the outcome and pushed for time I had to pack up so I saved the session and exported the MIDI track, the MIDI was orchestrated later that day outside of the studio using Logic Pro. Once orchestrated I bounced the audio to a stereo track and used Pro-Tools once again to edit the vocal and layer it on the music (the coming together of music and vocal was done on the 2nd of July at home).

If you are interested in projects of this nature please contact me by leaving a comment.


  1. Process is described at a moderate level, but lack reflection beyond “I was happy”. Why were you happy? Can you integrate critical listening and evaluation into your reflection?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s