‘The Rohan Fiddle’ from Lord of The Rings
We are delighted to have received instructions from the renowned violinist Dermot Crehan to sell this beautiful instrument played by him extensively on the soundtrack of The Lord of The Rings trilogy.
Dermot Crehan used this Hardanger fiddle ‘The Rohan Fiddle’, thought to be made by Halland, for a solo instrumental piece, for the main theme tune of The Lord Of The Rings, the epic film trilogy that needs no introduction. The instrument was particularly chosen by Dermot for the film soundtrack after Howard Shore (composer of the soundtrack) made a special request that Dermot should acquire a Hardanger Fiddle. Howard was particularly impressed by the haunting sound that the Hardanger produces and felt that this sound would very much be in empathy with the spirit of the film.
Dermot knew a specialist Hardanger player in London through his recording session connections. He managed to borrow an instrument from this colleague for the first film of the Trilogy where a considerable amount of Hobbit music was required. Unfortunately this was not possible for the second film. In the nick of time, Dermot received a mysterious email – ‘Check out ebay – Hardanger Fiddle for sale’. He successfully won the bidding and collected the instrument from a railway station carpark, just 24hrs before the sessions started. This beautiful instrument was used for the second and third films. Howard Shore was so impressed with the Hardanger’s sound, that he wrote the ‘Rohan’ theme for the Hardanger fiddle. This theme was the most predominant theme in the ‘Two Towers’, used to represent the triumph of good over evil. From then on this Hardanger fiddle was christened ‘The Rohan’. Dermot’s fondest recollection of performing on this Hardanger was when Howard asked him to join an eight strong trumpet session to play the ‘Rohan’ theme. This fiddle was easily audible amongst the magnificent sound of the trumpet section of the London Philharmonic orchestra.
Dermot Crehan was born in Dublin into a family steeped in the traditional Irish music of Ireland. His formative years were spent making the hay, cutting the turf and generally getting in the way on his Uncle Junior’s farm near Milltown Malbay in County Clare. Dermot, under the wing of this famous Clare fiddler and his father Vincie, went on to become ‘All Ireland Champion fiddle player’ holding this coveted award for 3 years.
Dermot studied classical violin under Jaroslav Vanecek at the Royal College of Music and has worked at the top of the London music profession for 25 years. Having formerly worked as a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, he now enjoys a very successful freelance career. His extensive experience in the fields of orchestral and operatic music, combined with his experience of commercial and Irish folk music as well as music from other diverse ethnic cultures, places him in a unique position amongst London’s elite professional musicians.
Dermot is renowned for his work as a folk fiddler, appearing on numerous film sound tracks and television scores. His solo work can be heard on films including The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (on which he also plays Hardanger Fiddle, Sarangi, Dilruba & Kemara) Patriot Games, Harry Potter, Legends of the Fall, Mrs. Brown, Charlotte Gray. His unique sound can also be heard on recordings with Miriam Stockley, Carl Jenkins, Elton John, Bliss, Sting, Westlife, Il Divo and Ronan Keating.
Dermot’s Full Credits include:
Badger, Ballykissangel, Cold Feet, A Christmas Carol, Lorna Doone, Talking Heads, Colour Blind, Co. Kilburne, Dr. Findley’s Case Book, Sharp, The Generation Game, Downton Abbey.
Michael Crawford, Elton John, Carl Jenkins’ ‘Adiemus’, Incantations, ‘The Las Vegas Show’, ‘Made in England’, ‘Bell Fire’, Sade, River Dance, Sarah Brightman, Sting.
Tours and Shows
Shirley Bassey, Johnny Mathis, Don Maclean, Paul Anka, Luther Vandross, Eric Clapton, Jesus Christ Super Star, Miss Saigon, Sunset Boulevard, Whistle Down the Wind, Beautiful Game.
Lord of the Rings, Patriot Games, Harry Potter, Legends of the Fall, Mrs. Brown, Charlotte Gray, Henry IV.
The Hardanger is a Norwegian fiddle (hardingfele) which is often sited as the national instrument of Norway. It is similar to the violin in that it has four main strings. It’s body however is larger and lying under the fingerboard are four or five sympathetic strings that resonate beneath the tones of the main strings. In this way Hardanger music is heavily polyphonic with Asian inflections created by its’ drone voice.
By the mid-1700s the Hardanger had become the dominant folk instrument in much of the south-central inland and western coastal areas of Norway. Researchers have notated over 1,000 distinct tunes, or slattar, for the instrument. While the Hardanger is used in Norwegian folk and dance music it is most commonly associated with Norwegian bygdedans or regional dances such as springar and gangar. The Hardanger personifies one of the few European folk music traditions that have been able to survive the challenges of cultural change and foreign musical influences to continue nearly unchanged up to the present day.
A typical Hardanger Fiddle is beautifully ornate, decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay and rosing. At its crown is a carved head of an animal – usually a lion – or occasionally a maiden.