First conceived in 1992, In Elven Lands applies the techniques of forensic musicology to discover what the music of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Middle-earth" may have sounded like. After years of research, The Fellowship began recording at Christmas of 1998, a journey that would take them more than seven years.

Silmesse is the best example of Quenya, the ceremonial language of the Eldar, to be found in the Tir Im Psalter. It appears just below a verse to Elbereth Gilthóniel which was written in a Sindarin dialect. Both text and the Tengwar spelling for Silmesse are very close to earlier versions found in much older manuscripts and was probably carefully copied by the first of the Tir Im scribes.

The poem its-self is is an affirmation of identity that poetically connects the singer with those first Elves who awoke to see the stars.

"When Dûrin Woke" is an instrumental setting inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Song of Dûrin," which the Dwarf Gimli sings in Moria in "The Fellowship of the Ring" at Balin's Tomb. Tolkien's lyrics speak of the awakening of the first Dwarves, the glory days of the Dwarf kingdom of Khazad-dûm and their sadness over the fall of the great mountain kingdom.

"When Dûrin Woke" makes use of a mediaeval harmony system called organum, based on the music theory of Pythagoras of Samos. The Fellowship performs on corneto, krumhorn, oboe, harp, cello, bass clarinet, slide trumpet, sackbutt, bass drum and a variety of bells.

As recorded in the Akallabêth, one of the many names for ancient Númenor is "Atalantë," meaning "the downfallen." The parallels between Plato's lost island civilization and Numenor continue beyond just the name. Númenor was a land of advanced technology and great wealth. In honor of this lost kingdom, we present a piece with influences from throughout the ancient world. The metre of The Blood of Kings is seven beats per measure, recalling the Seven Stars in the royal arms of the Númenorian kings.

This Sindarin-language song is based on the metre and style of the various verses to Elbereth Gilthóniel found throughout J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings." This arrangement recalls a procession of Elves through the forest, using a mediaeval Condutus form, to suggest Gildor's processions in "The Fellowship of the Ring," and "The Return of the King."

Elo Elleth was not included on the first release of In Elven Lands. It was composed in Sindarin, to suggest The Song of Beren and Luthien from The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 1, Chapter XI, A Knife in the Dark. The song was one of many on the subject, and the recording was left unfinished for many years. When Countertenor Stephen Diaz joined The Fellowship for the Second Edition release, the band thought the song would be perfect for his voice and recorded him in Auckland, New Zealand.

Tîr Im is a prayer for light in the darkness. This theme recurs throughout Eldarin poetry. The Vala Värda is also known as the Starkindler, a goddess-like figure who first set the stars into the heavens. She is better known by her Sindarin name, Elbereth Gilthóniel.

Professor Tolkien's languages seem best-suited for sacred texts. Tîr Im makes much use of early Quenya vocabulary, the language which he described as "Elf Latin," to frame a prayer for light in the darkness. Throughout his tales, the lifting of light against the darkness is a recurring theme. Tîr Im was composed in 2002, using the style and structures of the music of the mediaeval composer Hildegard von Bingen.

This song began as a setting of Arwen Evenstar's Hymn to Elbereth Gilthóniel in The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2, Chapter I, Many Meetings, but in order to avoid violating the Tolkien Estate's copyright, we have written new lyrics. This particular verse to Elbereth is written in the style and metre of those several verses in Sindarin that appear throughout The Lord of the Rings.

In the same chapter as Arwen's Hymn to Elbereth Gilthóniel, Frodo describes the Elves' harmonies as an "interweaving of voices." This description is unmistakable as what we would call counterpoint. Singing in a round, or canon as it is technically known, is a simple form of counterpoint that goes back to ancient times. One of the earliest English songs to survive to this day is the round "Sumer is Icumen In" (12th or 13th century) which is still sung on Mayday at sunrise throughout England. In the repetition of our Verse to Elbereth Gilthóniel, the canon is taken up by a girls' choir (really it's just Caítlin Elisabeth recorded eight separate times).