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“When Aragorn was abroad, from afar Arwen watched over him in thought” –Lord of the Rings
After signing with Sony we were putting together our first official release. Just before the deadline, we looked at the song list and all agreed the album needed to include a new original piece. But we had 48 hours…
As we prayed for help Jon recalled a tune he had almost included in a solo album, but for reasons he couldn’t remember he had not finished it. It was just the compositional catalyst we needed. Al, Steve, and Jon had the track written, recorded, mixed, mastered and handed off to press with minutes to spare. It needed a name. We felt like the tune was the personification of a storybook character – someone that was in need or in distress, but who harbored an inextinguishable hope. We went through several drafts and notions, finally arriving upon Arwen, daughter of Elrond in The Lord of the Rings. The Gaelic, Celtic feel that had naturally eventuated in the music sounded as an “elven” edge that seemed to fit this beautiful story – of Arwen’s timeless devotion to Aragorn as she waited for him to return for a mission that seemed doomed from its beginning. Convinced by her father to abandon her vigil for her own sake she turned back to wait once more as she saw in vision her future child, her son with Aragorn.
We filmed this in the Italian Gardens at Thanksgiving Point in Utah. As we write and as we film we try to find the “flow” – letting composition and cinematography lead out as much as possible. The autumn weather proved extremely volatile. One minute we had the sun, then the next rain, then snow, then sun again. We used this as best we could, letting the constant battle between clouds and sun match the conflict between despair and hope in the story and in the music. We furthered this dichotomy with day and night scenes – representing intense longing keeping faith in the future alive.
We want to thank Lights for All Occasions for donating the lanterns used in the night vigil scenes: http://www.lightsforalloccasions.com/default.aspx
We are also very grateful for Thanksgiving Point – they were so kind and accommodating in letting have access to their beautiful center. If you haven’t been there, the Italian Gardens are only the beginning of what they offer there. http://www.thanksgivingpoint.org/
“Arwen’s Vigil” written by Jon Schmidt, Al van der Beek & Steven Sharp Nelson
Jon Schmidt: Piano
Steven Sharp Nelson: cello; cello-percussion
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Al van der Beek at TPG Studios in Utah, U.S.A.
Produced & Filmed by Paul Anderson & Shaye Scott
Edited by Shaye Scott & Paul Anderson