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Old 10-09-2020, 01:24 PM   #321
Huinesoron
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Okay, I've put all the videos I can find in, except for a couple of 'faint singing behind barroom chatter' clips, the various 'visuals over the CD' versions, and an adorable but terribly-recorded living-room play with one and a half songs. I've also gone through the couple of 'full' concerts and noted which songs are in them. One runs Renunciation > Quarrel > Heart > Duel > Prison Duet, which was quite a ride.

I've also mucked about with the titles some more. One source called the Bloodzoning "Sons of Feanor", which I know was meant to be "The Sons...", but actually works really well for what's going on in that song. I've also taken the liberty of ignoring the Extended Libretto and turning Sauron's first song back into "Sauron's Creed". It's a better title; if we ever track down the NuCreed, we can rename stuff.

I've also drawn Melian:



I adored blonde Melian and her green-gold dress, but it's canonically indefensible. The Lay gives her black hair and grey clothes, so that's what she gets. (Weirdly, Tolkien Gateway gives her red clothes, with no source; dunno what that's about.)

...and! Not only have I finished the Oath:

Finrod-Zong: The Oath of Feanor

(With a... fourth or fifth attempt to record the brothers; I swear I'll never like them.)

I've also gone ahead and uploaded Captivity as it currently stands:

Finrod-Zong: Captivity

Because I can always replace it later. ^_^

hS
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Old 10-09-2020, 09:43 PM   #322
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What madness have they done! :D

Melian looks very much like her kid just went off to fight Morgoth, and her husband doomed his country. ^.^

The Oath is awesome! I love it! I never thought I would have so much pleasure from making and watching this particular song. I think it turned out very well.

I might be able to hunt down the last of the Faithful this weekend, so we would be able to ditch the fast recording. Beren will need more time, unfortunately.

I really like the way you did the Faithful. And of course Sauron remains his gloriously evil self.


The performances and titles / lyrics will have to wait until after the weekend, when I will be free again to waste time at the computer. But a quick note - I noticed yesterday that you changed "forthcoming" to "promise of death"?
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Old 10-10-2020, 03:34 PM   #323
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The performances and titles / lyrics will have to wait until after the weekend, when I will be free again to waste time at the computer. But a quick note - I noticed yesterday that you changed "forthcoming" to "promise of death"?
Oh, yes, I did. "Forthcoming" always felt a bit off to me, and I figured "promise of" still captures the meaning, while flowing better and adding a little foreshadowing: he does after all bring about her death ((twice!).

hS
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:29 PM   #324
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And here is the cut of the choir in its entirety! Potentially a "rough cut", because Elanor was suggesting I explore some of Audacity's effects for volume and fading to balance the voices better. But I am in love with this piece and was super excited to announce the [possibly] final product.

What would be better for organizational purposes? Do you want me to send you the remaining audio files? Or, since I have them lines up on my end, would it be easier for you to send me Sauron and Finrod? I am good with either option.
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Old 10-13-2020, 03:46 AM   #325
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And here is the cut of the choir in its entirety! Potentially a "rough cut", because Elanor was suggesting I explore some of Audacity's effects for volume and fading to balance the voices better. But I am in love with this piece and was super excited to announce the [possibly] final product.

What would be better for organizational purposes? Do you want me to send you the remaining audio files? Or, since I have them lines up on my end, would it be easier for you to send me Sauron and Finrod? I am good with either option.
Yay! It all sounds very pretty-yet-miserable. ^_^

It's probably best for me to keep the full tracks over here, so I can muck about with them if something comes up... can you mute everything that's not the choir and send an MP3 of just the choir? Then I can use the rough/final cut to put it in the right place.

Meanwhile at this end, I've drawn Thingol (so we have a complete non-chorus cast!), and have gotten partway through animating the Doriath Duet. It would have gone faster had I not had the brilliant idea of making Melian's lights twinkle... anyway, along the way I also prepped some Doriath variants for the Meeting, so I should be able to put that together fairly quickly when the time comes.

I've also kept adding the song-specific video links to the Libretto. So far I've discovered that nobody who isn't doing the full show bothers to sing Camp/Halt or Sauron's Creed... or, weirdly, Galadriel's Lament. That's such a lovely song that I don't know why they wouldn't, but it has the same number of videos as 'Heart' despite being more than twice as old.

EDIT: I've just turned up this odd little video, which I think is a Zong medley?

And then there's this selection of audio recordings, which includes 'Doriath - Live', which I... think is the Doriath Duet? But it's... uh... it's done pretty differently, let's put it that way.

Still no evidence to suggest Edrahil or Daeron have ever been recorded. I suspect a curse.

hS

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Old 10-13-2020, 06:25 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
It's probably best for me to keep the full tracks over here, so I can muck about with them if something comes up... can you mute everything that's not the choir and send an MP3 of just the choir? Then I can use the rough/final cut to put it in the right place.
Will do! (later today, when I get home)

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Originally Posted by Hui
I've also kept adding the song-specific video links to the Libretto. So far I've discovered that nobody who isn't doing the full show bothers to sing Camp/Halt or Sauron's Creed... or, weirdly, Galadriel's Lament. That's such a lovely song that I don't know why they wouldn't, but it has the same number of videos as 'Heart' despite being more than twice as old.
That's odd. I get Camp - that one is kind of a Finrod song but it's a less epitomal song than his Ballad. But Lament?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
EDIT: I've just turned up this odd little video, which I think is a Zong medley?
It says it's the Zong, or "The Ring of Felagund". I skimmed through it - no time for a full watch right now - and I could pick out a hint of Luthien's theme in the middle but that was about the only bit I recognized.

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Originally Posted by Hui
And then there's this selection of audio recordings, which includes 'Doriath - Live', which I... think is the Doriath Duet? But it's... uh... it's done pretty differently, let's put it that way.
...It is very different. But still Doriath.
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Old 10-14-2020, 09:20 AM   #327
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Chorus files received; not sure when I'll have time to add them. The Doriath Duet is neeeeeearly done too.

In the meantime I've been mucking about with the 'History of Middle-earth' idea for the prologue/epilogue. Obviously, since we've already got three art styles in play - hand-drawn, digital cartoon, and stylised (for the heraldry), the logical thing to do is to...

... add a fourth!



Cuivienen, done in no-outlines digital, and with super weird lighting. Unfortunately(?), I think 'super weird lighting' is the theme for the prologue: lots of firelit scenes!

EDIT: And another one. I feel a bit conflicted about this, actually, since it feels vaguely blasphemous to actually show the Trees. But...



... I still rather like how it came out.

hS

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Old 10-15-2020, 01:16 PM   #328
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The Doriath Duet is finally animated! Just the revised Captivity Chorus and the videos will be up to date!

hS
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:38 PM   #329
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Neat stuff!

I got curious about how others have drawn the Trees, because surely someone's done it. I browsed through a bunch of pictures during my break. You know what I realized? All the Silmaril depictions give them a cold light, white or blue. But that's not fair to Laurelin! The beauty of the Tree pictures is that there is some blend of silver and gold, but the Silmarils, which are supposed to contain the light of both Trees, seem to have only silver. I really wanna know if there are any Tolkien illustrations with more warm or neutral/mixed colour Silmarils.


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The Doriath Duet is finally animated! Just the revised Captivity Chorus and the videos will be up to date!
Updated!

The twinkling lights are a nice touch. Though I have to say I'm gonna miss the flowerstar and starlamp and lampflower ambiguity of Doriath decorations from the previous style.


Unfortunately I don't have much to contribute right now. I have been catching up on a lot of neglected assignments, and I have exams coming up again next week, so sadly my progress has and will be slow in the foreseeable future. I am just under halfway through Beren's solo chunk, and I will post a progress recording once I have that part finished.


PS: I am immensely amused and pleased about getting the Sickle in as many pictures as possible. ^.^ And by proxy each time figuring out which way a picture is facing geographically. And then realizing that there is probably some significance in facing North-West, towards Beleriand, from Cuivienen. None whatsoever, really, but definitely some if you want it that way. ^.^
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Old 10-16-2020, 01:54 AM   #330
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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
I got curious about how others have drawn the Trees, because surely someone's done it. I browsed through a bunch of pictures during my break. You know what I realized? All the Silmaril depictions give them a cold light, white or blue. But that's not fair to Laurelin! The beauty of the Tree pictures is that there is some blend of silver and gold, but the Silmarils, which are supposed to contain the light of both Trees, seem to have only silver. I really wanna know if there are any Tolkien illustrations with more warm or neutral/mixed colour Silmarils.
Well, Tolkien's own Silmaril picture (the heraldic device he drew for them) shows them in white, as does his Beren one... and of course the Evening Star is pretty white... but oddly enough, my own picture incorporates some gold:



I kind of like it; it's a bit stained-glass. I think the only place it'll show up is in the Making of the Silmarils shot, and maybe the death of Thingol.

In Silmaril-related news: the more recent cast photos from... one of the groups performing the Zong show "Sauron" wearing a crown with three big jewels in it. So they've definitely merged the two Dark Lords (or maybe Sauron was just borrowing it?).


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The twinkling lights are a nice touch. Though I have to say I'm gonna miss the flowerstar and starlamp and lampflower ambiguity of Doriath decorations from the previous style.
Um. I get that. I could maybe add at least some of them back in next time I revamp this one.

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Unfortunately I don't have much to contribute right now. I have been catching up on a lot of neglected assignments, and I have exams coming up again next week, so sadly my progress has and will be slow in the foreseeable future. I am just under halfway through Beren's solo chunk, and I will post a progress recording once I have that part finished.
No problem! There's no rush on any of this.

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PS: I am immensely amused and pleased about getting the Sickle in as many pictures as possible. ^.^ And by proxy each time figuring out which way a picture is facing geographically. And then realizing that there is probably some significance in facing North-West, towards Beleriand, from Cuivienen. None whatsoever, really, but definitely some if you want it that way. ^.^
Oh, I wish I could work it into all of them, or at least all of the Prologue. Actually I might juuuuust be able to legitimately put it in the entire Prologue, but the rest... maybe I'll start putting it in as a hidden image where it doesn't fit literally. (Luthien's Doriath has it, when we get to that. ^_~)

Ooh... or I could cheat by using the Pleiades. They're shaped like a pseudo-Sickle (Varda only had a few ideas, I guess, since she stuck Ursa Minor up there too), and they're just off to the right of Orion. So if I tweak Finrod's Land of Mem'ry and Amarie's woods, they'd fit in nicely. (And hey, they're even named - remmirath, the Netted Stars.)

I'll still have to add 'hidden sickles' to the daylight scenes, unless I drop back to 'must appear once per song', but that's not too bad. Thingol's Doriath, Nargothrond interior... oh, there's Galadriel's overview too. Hmm. I shall have to ponder.

hS
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Old 10-16-2020, 06:38 AM   #331
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You know what, they actually look a lot nicer with some gold in there. Huh.

The pattern barely-visible across the sky behind is a gold-silver aurora. I don't think it's remotely plausible as a sky effect under Treeslight, but what the heck.

hS
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Old 10-16-2020, 11:57 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
In Silmaril-related news: the more recent cast photos from... one of the groups performing the Zong show "Sauron" wearing a crown with three big jewels in it. So they've definitely merged the two Dark Lords (or maybe Sauron was just borrowing it?).
No... No, no no no. No, don't do it... (Though I guess they just had the same idea as you did, to simplify the two Enemies into one. But I really don't like that. Especially for the Russian - the knowing audiences will understand what each foe means anyways, and it's ambiguous enough there that the unknowing audience will assume either way. But don't explicitly make them into one!)

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Oh, I wish I could work it into all of them, or at least all of the Prologue. ...
You're having as much fun with this as with my musical instrument selection. I figured each character / style sounds like some instruments more than others, and in my head some instruments are permanently assigned to some characters. For Meeting/Dance, I thought I'd do a purely wind combo with no piano (we'll see how that turns out), mostly woodwinds, but I've included French horn (which is yet to make an appearance though). Because French horn is the most woodwindy-sounding brass I know of, but also because in Russian it's called valtorna, from the German Waldhorn or something to that extent, which means "forest horn", and you don't just pass up that kind of pun.

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You know what, they actually look a lot nicer with some gold in there. Huh.

The pattern barely-visible across the sky behind is a gold-silver aurora. I don't think it's remotely plausible as a sky effect under Treeslight, but what the heck.
Would the Valar really create a world without an aurora? It's happening. ^.^


On a barely even tangential topic, while browsing through more Tolkien art I came across this Russian illustrator who does amazing black and white drawings which I absolutely fell in love with. His Sil and COH collections are worth browsing through. Some stuff is really impressive (like shapeshifting Luthien, and most of the Lay pictures for that matter). His LOTR has some nice ones too, though his hobbits look a bit trollish. The pictures are usually instantly recognizable, so I get a little annoyed when occasionally he has a wrong detail here and there, but only because they were so impressive otherwise. I love the First Age collection.
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Old 10-17-2020, 12:58 PM   #333
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Weekend here = justified procrastination = first progress report. Feedback?

My main concern is that the oboe keeps sounding like an organ, and I keep having to rework it to clean up the organiness, which has no business in this piece. I will probably still return to fixing some spots. It would be kinda funny to give Sauron some random organ music though, as he tries on different crowns in front of a mirror.

The other bit I struggles with a little is the rhythmic placing of Beren's 2-syllable lines (e.g. "for what"). Sometimes they seem to fall on the beats 1!2!(3,4), but sometimes it's (1)2!3!(4), and sometimes it could go either way and I just picked one arbitrarily. Let me know if any of them sound off.

Luthien is next, and I'm excited! Though not sure when the next big push forwards will be, as I may have run out of available procrastination time.
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Old 10-17-2020, 03:48 PM   #334
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Oh, brilliant! That's very good. I had a singalong, and the only line I missed was the first in the last stanza (nothing wrong with it, I just wasn't ready for it). It sounds great! I can't wait to hear the rest.

I'll try and put together the opening of the video at some point, unless I get too distracted trying to draw Feanor making his Oath; we shall see.

hS
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:21 PM   #335
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I found bunches more of videos from the Remmirath group that did the fanfic play. Most of them are fanfic-y and don't have much Zong material, but they are usually fun to watch because of the visuals. They really do a great aesthetic, and have some pretty cool tricks to show. They also seem to be lacking in male actors for all the male roles, but they manage to work around around that fairly well.

A few select clips:

The Duel plus their own version of the Wilwarin song

Galadriel's Lament. It's an excellent clip from the visual standpoint, though this one goes more like a trailer. I would watch a movie made by these guys.

Renunciation, on horses.

Finrod kills the Wolf, visuals only.

The Fens of Serech, or How Barahir Got The Ring. Again, visuals only, no song to go with it.

This silly dialogue between Beren and Finrod, which has Beren saying "Can't we?-", and Finrod responding "No, we can't, because it won't work, and because Sauron is a Maia, and because etc" to all his suggestions of what to do about Tol-in-Gaurhoth. It culminates with Beren asking why are They always stronger, to which Finrod responds that it's because someone was too hasty in promising a Silmaril to his future father-in-law.

And this absolute lovable nonsense titled "Wake The Elf", submitted for a competition of videos on the theme of "Wake a friend". The music is taken from well-known Russian films, but I think it's hilarious even without knowing the music. The signs on the arrows say "Elves" and "Also Elves".


And now to watch some stuff you've found, because I still didn't get through most of it...

ETA: Ha! Roman Susalyov put on a golden wig in the 2017 concert!... That's a first.
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Old 10-24-2020, 03:57 PM   #336
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An obligatory post-exam party: Progress 2

I am particularly happy with Luthien's "When she came her breath made the leaves turn brown". Though the start of that stanza is a bit weird, almost bag-pipey.

Speaking of that line, how strongly do you feel about "when she came"? I feel like it's more the mention of death rather than its coming, which technically doesn't happen until later - unless it's the coming of mortality in the form of Beren. What is your take on it? Do you think something like "The breath of her name made the leaves turn brown"? Or just "From her breath the [insert something here] leaves turned brown"?

Also, how strongly do you feel about sticking to the original for "what is loyalty"? When I sing that part in Russian, I keep subconsciously changing vernost (loyalty) to nezhnost (tenderness). "Loyalty" just doesn't sit right. Not only is it a really odd question for Beren, who knows more about loyalty than Luthien does, but the answer of a nightingale's song is not even a good illustration or metaphor for it. The one thing going for loyalty is that is sort of echoes "tell the truth, O Loyalty, tell" - except that in this context the parallel isn't that strong, Meeting is more about internal concept building within the song. What do you say to picking out a better question?


ETA: as I'm copying the second half of the lyrics onto my music sheet, one more minor suggestion. "Then you weren't waiting for me" --> "were not"?
(Also, noticed while singing: "You lay in a grassy pool" - did it used to be "You fell into grassy pools" at one point, or did I make that up?)

ETA#2: Couldn't resist a one-man-sing-all version, after today's progress. Lesson learned: if you want to sing both Beren and Luthien simultaneously, first you need to grow a set of auxiliary lungs. ^.^
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Old 10-26-2020, 01:30 PM   #337
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An obligatory post-exam party: Progress 2
It all sounds great! (I completely missed this until today, when I thought 'huh, I wonder if I missed anything'... )

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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
Speaking of that line, how strongly do you feel about "when she came"? I feel like it's more the mention of death rather than its coming, which technically doesn't happen until later - unless it's the coming of mortality in the form of Beren. What is your take on it? Do you think something like "The breath of her name made the leaves turn brown"? Or just "From her breath the [insert something here] leaves turned brown"?
Not strongly at all. I parsed it as relating back to "I banished her", but given that Luthien doesn't actually have a showdown with Death in her past... I like 'the breath of her name', actually, which ties into Amarie - "When I speak your name the whole wood sings".

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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
Also, how strongly do you feel about sticking to the original for "what is loyalty"? When I sing that part in Russian, I keep subconsciously changing vernost (loyalty) to nezhnost (tenderness). "Loyalty" just doesn't sit right. Not only is it a really odd question for Beren, who knows more about loyalty than Luthien does, but the answer of a nightingale's song is not even a good illustration or metaphor for it. The one thing going for loyalty is that is sort of echoes "tell the truth, O Loyalty, tell" - except that in this context the parallel isn't that strong, Meeting is more about internal concept building within the song. What do you say to picking out a better question?
I mean... you're not wrong. I'm not positive how it scans, but how about "What are 'peace' and 'rest'?" That's what Beren has never had, and what the nightingale evokes; and also a direct counter to 'battle and war' out of Luthien.

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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
ETA: as I'm copying the second half of the lyrics onto my music sheet, one more minor suggestion. "Then you weren't waiting for me" --> "were not"?
Sure; I think that's going to come down to the singer's pronunciation anyway.

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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
(Also, noticed while singing: "You lay in a grassy pool" - did it used to be "You fell into grassy pools" at one point, or did I make that up?)
I don't think it did... I actually want 'in a pool of grass' - ie, she found him lying in a field of green, and because of how pale his face was thought for a moment he was snow on the ground. But it looks like I was rhyming 'pool' and 'woods'... is that in the original?

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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
ETA#2: Couldn't resist a one-man-sing-all version, after today's progress. Lesson learned: if you want to sing both Beren and Luthien simultaneously, first you need to grow a set of auxiliary lungs. ^.^
Aha! This lets me hack it apart and piece together an actual duet down to "What is agony", and then put the animation to it. Behold!:

Meeting in Neldoreth (part 1)

I think the clouds will slowly gather over the course of Luthien's questioning, then clear for good during Beren's. We'll see.

I also have a half-finished image from the prologue, which has come out looking quite interestingly stylised: the Oath of Feanor (including an actual glimpse of Feanor):



Details and shading to be added, and background elements blurred slightly, but the 'cardboard cutout' version intrigued me.

hS
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Old 10-26-2020, 04:58 PM   #338
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Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
I mean... you're not wrong. I'm not positive how it scans, but how about "What are 'peace' and 'rest'?" That's what Beren has never had, and what the nightingale evokes; and also a direct counter to 'battle and war' out of Luthien.
Yes! Something peaceful, gentle.
- What are peace and rest?
- What's serenity?

Going strictly by the Russian, the line would have one more syllable (e.g. what are peace and respite), but then it doesn't match with "What's eternity", so "peace and rest" scansion is better.

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Originally Posted by Hui
I don't think it did... I actually want 'in a pool of grass' - ie, she found him lying in a field of green, and because of how pale his face was thought for a moment he was snow on the ground. But it looks like I was rhyming 'pool' and 'woods'... is that in the original?
That stanza doesn't really have rhymes. Actually, maybe it does a little bit, but not pool/wood. It rhymes ABCDABCD on paper. But the rhyme was lost on me in the singing, probably because of the melody break at the "cold of winter" line that makes it sound like each sentence is a stand-alone.

Luthien's 2nd and 3rd stanzas rhyme, but we didn't end up sticking tightly to it.

In other words, the rhyming scheme here is whatever you want it to be. "Pool of grass" is only out of place if you want the wood/pool lines to rhyme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
Meeting in Neldoreth (part 1)

I think the clouds will slowly gather over the course of Luthien's questioning, then clear for good during Beren's. We'll see.
I have to say our artistic/musical portrayal of Beren and Luthien are much better than our vocal performance. But we knew that already.

I really like the forest darkening and the water changing. And the Valacirca. ^.^

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
I also have a half-finished image from the prologue, which has come out looking quite interestingly stylised: the Oath of Feanor (including an actual glimpse of Feanor):

Details and shading to be added, and background elements blurred slightly, but the 'cardboard cutout' version intrigued me.
Oooh! Are the heraldic devices going to become actual shields?

All the Zong characters are instantly recognizable even in "cardboard cutout" form. It's pretty neat.
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