Issue 1 - Spring 2009
Priscilla Hernandez originally comes from the Canary Islands (which also have the name of “The islands of eternal spring”, which sounds like something lifted straight from the pages of a fantasy novel) and now lives in Barcelona. She is a gothic / New Age singer songwriter and fantasy artist with an ever expanding fan base. Priscilla ﬁrst came to public attention when she uploaded one of the songs to mp3.com in 2002 and this was very well received. Priscilla’s tracks have received over 2 million plays since then and she has been steadily building a loyal fan base, choosing to found the Yidneth record label to release her music rather than signing for an established record company as she wanted to retain her independence and freedom to pursue her own unique visions and artistic expression.
Ancient Shadows is her full length debut album and was awarded Best New Age album in the IMA awards in 2008. This album is a rare ﬁnd in these days of paying little attention to detail and the desire to make a fast buck. This is a concept album par excellence featuring 19 tracks and stunningly illustrated throughout. It is worth buying the CD version even if you are someone who normally only downloads music, to see the gorgeous touches in the packaging. There are two illustrated booklets, one each for the ghost and the fairy of the title, the two sides of the tale.
The 19 tracks on this album follow an exquisite narrative, sweeping the listener into a land beyond fairytale, myth and legend. More than just great storytelling, the songs on Ancient Shadows are utterly enchanting, sung in soft, silken tones and wrapped in soothing melodies that will haunt your dreams and hover at the edge of hearing during waking hours. Each song on this album is an individual piece of inspiration and beauty, carefully crafted and arranged with harmonies winding in and out of each other, interspersed with the ethereal singing voice of Priscilla Hernandez which charms and enthralls in equal measure. This album is best listened to as a whole, sitting in a comfortable chair with closed eyes and letting the music carry you to another place, another time. The songs on Ancient Shadows evoke other times and places, memories of childhood long past ﬂow by in the lyrics like half remembered dreams, all but forgotten with the passage of time. “I Steal the Leaves” is one of Priscilla’s best loved songs and is a personal favorite which explores the concepts of death and renewal, the darkness and the light and the realization that one cannot exist without the other being present in some form. “I steal the leaves but I’ll bring them back in Spring” perfectly sums up the mysteries of the circle of life and the ever turning seasons which drive everything we know and shape all the world we see. No matter how long the winter may seem, the leaves will always return in the Spring. This is truly a masterful and mesmerizing piece of work and we cannot recommend it highly enough. Ancient Shadows is available now through Priscilla’s own record label www.yidneth.com
Born of Hope is a Lord of the Rings fanmade ﬁlm which is currently under production. It is essentially a precursor to the story told in the Lord of the Rings and centres on a people variously called the Men of the West, the Rangers of the North, Men of Westernesse and the Dúnedain. They are a race of great nobility descended from the survivors of Númenor, a land now drowned and lost beneath the waves.
of foresight. They are friends and allies of the elves of Middle Earth.
In Born of Hope, we ﬁnd the Dúnedain as a scattered people living in the wilderness and small settlements. Arthedain, the last Kingdom of the North has long since been overrun by the Witch King of Angmar, principal among the feared ringwraiths. They are now the protectors of the North, patrolling amongst the forests and killing orcs and The Dúnedain crossed the great other evil doers where they ﬁnd them, expanses of sea and settled in Middle whilst battling for their own survival. Earth, bringing civilisation to much of the land and building citadels like Minas One of the principal reasons for the Tirith, the seat of the Kings of Gondor, downfall of the Dúnedain is thought to where they ruled both wisely and justly. be that they have very few offspring. One child per family is common for The Dúnedain have lives which are them and every time one of their three times the length of those granted number died childless in battle it to other men and can choose not to age lessened the pool of possible fathers until the very end of their days. For all of children to continue their race and the advantages this brings them, they are ancient bloodline. The Dúnedain of still mortal men and must also face death Gondor had intermarried with lesser in the end. They are very knowledgeable races of men, seeing their lifetimes and wise and some even have the gift lessen with each passing generation
until they were no different to other men but the Dúnedain who remained in the North could trace their lineage back to their ancient homeland of Númenor. Born of Hope tells the story of Arathorn and Gilraen the Fair, the parents of Aragorn, and follows the struggles of their people. This is a bleak time for even those of an ancient line of kings of men but there is still hope. A child will be born into the royal bloodline who will one day reclaim the crown of Gondor and vanquish the evil forces of Sauron. There is not much written by Tolkein about this period of life for the Dúnedain but the Born of Hope team have tried to stay as close as possible to the spirit of the world portrayed with such depth and intensity in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The world premiere of Born of Hope is scheduled to take place at Ring*Con in Bonn, Germany between 2-4 October 2009 and the ﬁlm will thereafter be available to download for free from the internet.
Fantasy Ezine caught up with Kate Madison, the Director of Born of Hope. She has kindly given us an interview and insight into the work which has gone into bringing the world of Middle Earth to life once more. What inspired you to start work on Born of Hope? Peter Jackson’s New Line Trilogy introduced me to Tolkien’s Middle Earth and when I watched the ﬁlms and all the behind the scenes footage I just wished I could have been a part of it. I had wanted to get involved in ﬁlmmaking and had discovered fan ﬁlms on the internet so when I found out about a Tolkien fan ﬁlm competition in 2003, just after the release of The Return of the King, it sparked an idea to make a Lord of the Rings fan ﬁlm like no other. With no experience or help the idea soon faltered but in 2005 I started making ﬁlms with a group in Cambridge UK and after directing my ﬁrst short ﬁlm the only other ﬁlm idea I had was Born of Hope so I decided to do a test shoot to see if the idea was at all possible. I cast some actors, made some costumes and took the script (a very different one to now) and we ﬁlmed a collection of scenes. The teaser trailer we created brought more people to the production and despite some lulls the project continued to snowball. The script went through many major rewrites, grow and shrunk and grow again in length, new characters were developed and introduced, we started ﬁlming again and there was no turning back. Can you give our readers a quick rundown of the main characters? I liked the idea of not seeing any characters that had already been created on ﬁlm. Whether you like the New Line ﬁlms or not, actors like Viggo Mortenson and Ian McKellen are now ﬁxed in our heads as Aragorn and Gandalf and I did not want to try to compete with that. I also liked the idea that Born of Hope could be watched alongside the Trilogy and even if our quality couldn’t match, our actors could at least take these new characters and make them their own. Essentially the ﬁlm is about Aragorn’s parents. Tolkien wrote very little about this particular time period of the Northern Dúnedain so we had to create a lot of the characters ourselves. We took our main character of Arathorn and started to place people around him, building the characters and story as we did so. There are almost twenty named characters in Born of Hope so I cannot talk about them all but you can ﬁnd information on the website about them. We created the character of Halbaron who is Arathorn’s second in command. Halbaron is the father of Halbarad who in the trilogy leads the Grey Company to Aragorn’s aid during the war of the ring. The character was cut from the New Line ﬁlms and we wanted to show people where he might have come from. Another member of Arathorn’s team is Dirhaborn, a young man whose best friend is an unusual addition to the rangers. Elgarain is a young women who after losing her family made a choice that took her on a very different path to Gilraen but who’s longings are the same. One thing that fans may ﬁnd odd about our ﬁlm is that there are no hobbits or dwarves or wizards in it. We decided that we wanted to tell the story of the Dúnedain and unless we really increased the length of the ﬁlm it was easier to just stick with rangers and orcs. In a way Born of Hope is a very human story and it didn’t need hobbits to make it Middle Earth. Having said that we do have two elves in the ﬁlm, Elrond’s twin sons Elladan and Elrohir and it was fantastic to get real twins to play the roles.
Kate Madison Interview Continued... How have copyright holders like Tolkein Estates and New Line Cinema reacted to your production? We have been contacted by The Saul Zaentz Company (Tolkien Enterprises) who hold the rights to the ﬁlm, stage, and merchandising rights in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and we have reached an understanding regarding this unlicensed non proﬁt ﬁlm. How many years has this ﬁlm been in the making? Well if you count from when the idea ﬁrst came up in 2003 then I guess that’s over 5 years and many of the main actors have been a part of the project for about 3 years. It has been a long journey and it’s not over yet. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself once this is over; it’s been a part of my life for so long. What has the reception been like from LoTR fans? Brilliant! Obviously it’s hard to please everyone as ideas differ plus our meager budget limits us in what we can actually achieve but in general people are extremely enthusiastic and supportive of the project and they are all keen to see the ﬁnished ﬁlm. We couldn’t actually be where we are without the fans. Many of them are involved and at this point sponsorship is helping to keep us in production. Without their help there would be no ﬁlm. Do you believe that this production will redeﬁne the perception of fan ﬁlms? Fan ﬁlms have always been a mixed bag. Most are just a bunch of friends who get together one weekend and make a home movie about a ﬁlm they like. These are often full of love and dedication but the quality is extremely low because it’s just being done for a laugh to show their friends or they don’t have the equipment or skill to do anything more. However there are some amazing fan ﬁlms out there and we hope to ride high with the best of them. With technology getting more affordable and the internet putting people from around the world in touch with each other it is easier to achieve high quality even without a huge budget. It is just necessary to ﬁnd a wealth of passionate and committed people who want to show the world what they can do. I hope that our ﬁlm will help to make more people aware of fan ﬁlms and will set a new level for people to aspire to, as previous ﬁlms have done for me. When do you anticipate the release of Born of Hope? This question has been asked many times over the years and it makes me reluctant to set a date. However, we are very keen to ﬁnish the ﬁlm this year and are currently aiming to premiere it at the Ring*Con convention in October 2009 in Germany. It would then be released for free streaming on the internet. We have a lot of work to do before then including some more ﬁlming dates but post production work is about to start and we are currently looking to build a talented team to work on this. We will therefore be requiring people to help with editing, grading, visual effects, sound and music etc. Next Page: Exclusive ﬁrst look at Shaknar the Orc!