Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Dublin Days

And here we are in Dublin. Ireland has been exciting but exhausting. We had a huge turnout last night for the signing at Eason's, with a queue that seemed to go on forever, but I finally scrawled everyone into submission, and afterwards I signed all the stock as well. If you missed the signing, or happen to live a thousand leagues away, you can still get an autographed copy of the SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH hardcover or any of the Ice & Fire paperbacks by phoning, emailing, or dropping by Eason's on O'Connell Street. They even have a few trade paperbacks of DREAMSONGS.

Afterwards we adjourned to a nearby pub for a lively evening of Guinness and conversation with the local fans. I met the good folk who will be running next year's Octocon, where I'll be GOH, and hoisted a few with the hardy survivors of the Eason's event. Didn't stagger back to the our hotel till after midnight, by which time Temple Bar was roaring. Ah, if only I were twenty years younger...

The Belfast event on Tuesday was also a hoot and a half. The crowd was much bigger at Dublin, but in Belfast some of the cast of the HBO pilot dropped by to sign books and meet the fans as well. My thanks to Ron Donachie, Richard Madden (Best Dressed Man in Scotland), Alfie Allen, Kit Harington, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner (and their moms) for joining the festivities. And to the lovely Ros, Esme Bianco, who dropped by McHughes afterwards for the moot. Matthew Hughes, one of the authors who contributed to our Vance tribute anthology, also turned up at Eason's to help me sign SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH.

In between signing and mooting, I've been hanging round the shoot, trying not to get underfoot. "How is it going?" everyone wants to know. I think it's going great. Wednesday's location was amazing, so real I could hardly tell where the real castle ended and our fake castle began. I saw Bran and Tommen swatting at each other in the yard, Joffrey taunting Robb, the Hound growling at Ser Rodrik, while Arya displayed her wretched needlework to Jon above, and it all looked wonderful. Saw some of the footage from the crypts too, and that looked amazing as well. Yes, some things are not exactly as they were in the books, that's inevitable with any adaptation... but these are my characters and this is my story, and it's thrilling to see 'em come to life.

Last night in Belfast I got to meet two more of the cast, quite unexpectedly. Some of the Moroccan players were in Ireland for costume fittings. I ran into Ian McNeice for a brief moment outside the hotel, as we were waiting for our rides, and the night before we bumped into Dany -- the amazing Tamzin Merchant, who is even more beautiful in person than she is on screen -- into the dining room. What a terrific cast Nina Gold has assembled.

Also toured the Paint Hall, though we didn't do any shooting there while I was in Belfast. Some of our sets are going up, and look great. And in another part of the building the huge castle sets from the big budget (compared to us, anyway) feature YOUR HIGHNESS are still standing. Their great hall is pretty eye-popping and they built an impressive castle yard as well.

Tomorrow I'm off to London . Signing at Forbidden Planet on the 11th, Then it's off to Marrakech.

Life is magical and full of joy (but no, I have not been seeking out football scores, so don't tell me. TIVO is getting all my games).


Nov. 6th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
This seems like a good way to reach you...
Dear George,

I think "A Song of Ice and Fire" is a masterpiece of story telling, and I'm thrilled to see the television adaptation. With the incredible cast you have, the ideal locations, the talented writers and directors and a superb network like HBO, it seems like the show may very well end up being a masterpiece as well.
I'm writing you because I really want the show to be as good as the books and I believe strongly that the one thing that could, in the end, make the difference between a good show and a work of art often fails to receive the kind of inspired attention it deserves. THE MUSIC!! All too often the people making shows or movies of various genres hire a dull composer to write dull and predictable music that scores the action the same way a million other productions in the same genre have. Fantasy can be the worst. The music is usually something with the modal, English flavor of Vaughn Williams with a certain saccharine harmony that sounds like the worst kind of James Horner (you know, one of the standard and widely imitated blockbuster film composers,) and all the war scenes have trumpets and tympani and when bad people are on the screen they play bad people music and when something funny and lighthearted is happening they play funny lighthearted jolly music with flute and a hopping bass line and a little triangle sprinkled in, and after bittersweet victory they play, well, bittersweet victory music and so on and so forth and PLEASE DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN!! I imagine you guys are more high brow than that shit, but I've seen some pretty marvelous film makers choose the most awful music.

I know, I know, you're the writer and you don't even get to choose the music, but I'm sure you must have some influence...

My thoughts for the show...

First of all, allow the dialogue and characters to speak for themselves. Don't let let the show fall into the trap of milking emotional content with emotional music. It makes for BAD TV.

I say, use music sparingly, but when we do hear music, let our ears be filled with the raw organic sounds of REAL medieval and renaissance instrumental music. Have you heard groups like ensemble unicorn play music from 13th century Jerusalem? This music is so fierce and so riveting, and it's all on these very course-sounding ancient instruments, with throaty drones and raw drumming and haunting melodies. It could be perfect for the music of the Free Cities. Or if you don't use the real thing, find a composer who knows the stuff, and could write interesting music for unusual instruments. In the Dothraki camps, people should be pounding strange rythms on horse-skin drums, and this could be the soundtrack to Dany's relationship with Khal Drogo. In the Seven Kingdoms, there could be music on shawms and hurdy-gurdies and rebecs and horns playing at all the parties...
The songs of love and chivalry which Sansa loves so much, they could be real lute songs from the 1500's! None of that stuff is copyrighted, and so much of it is anonymous anyway.

I could write a long list of specific suggestions but i just want you to hear the heart of what I'm saying:
Think what an unusual flavor artful scoring choices would lend the show. It wouldn't matter so much to your fans, but this key difference could bring in a whole new kind of audience. I really really think so. Have you hired a music coordinator?

Thanks for reading


Leo Tolkin
Nov. 7th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
Re: This seems like a good way to reach you...
You may be interested to know that Corvus Corax, a German medieval-inspired band, performed over two days of filming for the Winterfell feast scene. According to Norri, a member of the band, they performed "Ballade de Mercy" (less the Old French lyrics) and "Skudrinka". Although they have a very percussion-heavy approach, and are rather colorful in how they portray themselves on stage, apparently they draw their inspiration and tunes from genuine medieval music.

I have no idea if bands like Corvus Corax will be used for the general scoring, but I agree that seeing music more typically medieval would be great. There's a lot of things like saltarellos (Ensemble Unicron's Saltarello No. 1 is a good example) which could really be shaped to fit modern scoring conventions.
Nov. 14th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
Re: This seems like a good way to reach you...
But who my friends, who are going to perform 'The Bear and the Maiden Fair' ;) I would love to see a bunch of bands performing acoustic versions of the songs in the novel. Rogue from the Cruxshadows would make for some great imagery and I'm sure put on one hell of a rendition of the Rains of Castamere.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

Latest Month

April 2018


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner