Saturday, 24 September 2011
So... I've opened the score of Paul Patterson's Rebecca. And admittedly I'm not a musician (I'll be narrating and illustrating), but even I can see this is no usual score. "Rub balloons with palm of hand"; "Plastic comb drawn across strings"; "Glissando with deflating balloons"; "drop table tennis balls into piano".
The narrator's intructions range from piano to Forte Fortissimo (ie: SHOUT!) and at one point require a megaphone! Other instructions demand the pianist sing a funural chant, others to tap their instruments; blow into piano with trombone; throw tin cans into the air... and slam the piano lid!
And I think it's going to be hilarious.
All of this will be sqeezed into the 8 minute piece, using Hillaire Belloc's immortal poem "Rebecca who slammed doors and persished miserably". This was a student work by British composer Paul Patterson, and it's never been recorded so I have NO IDEA what it will sound like. My first rehearsal is next week. I wonder what the orchestra will make of it?
If you want to find out, come along to Saffron Walden for the festival concert with myself, the Uttlesforde Orchestra and conductor Richard Hull. It's on Sunday, October 16th at 3pm, at the Friends' School Hall in Saffron Walden. See details on the picture or the panel on the right. The concert opens with Peter and the Wolf and also includes music by Bizet and Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake suite.
And now... I not only need to learn all the words for Peter, but also Rebecca....
So, from the top...
"A trick that everyone abhors
In little girls is slamming doors.
A wealthy banker's little daughter
Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater
(By name Rebecca Offendort),
Was given to this furious sport.
She would deliberately go
And slam the door like billy-o!
To make her Uncle Jacob start.
She was not really bad at heart,
But only rather rude and wild;
She was an aggravating child…
It happened that a marble bust
Of Abraham was standing just
Above the door this little lamb
Had carefully prepared to slam,
And down it came! It knocked her flat!
It laid her out! She looked like that.
Her funeral sermon (which was long
And followed by a sacred song)
Mentioned her virtues, it is true,
But dwelt upon her vices too,
And showed the dreadful end of one
Who goes and slams the door for fun.
The children who were brought to hear
The awful tale from far and near
Were much impressed, and inly swore
They never more would slam the door,
— As often they had done before."
Wish me luck!
Saturday, 17 September 2011
I know there should only be one wolf in Prokofiev's tale. But I'm practising so much that there are wolves all over the studio, running through sketchbooks and leaping onto the floor.
The concert is just one month away, and I'm getting very excited about working with a new orchestra, the Uttlesforde Orchestra, and performing in Saffron Walden, a town I love.
I'm getting on top of the narration. It's making the illustrations for (and remembering it all) I need to work on. And on a big scale so everyone can see without the pictures being projected.
The programme also includes music by Bizet, Tchaikovsky (Swan Lake) and a mad piece by Paul Patterson setting Hilaire Belloc's "Rebecca who slammed doors". Which I must post about soon, as it is quite an oddity! If you are interested in coming along, you can BOOK HERE!
Meanwhile the autumn garden is yielding peaches and crabapples. so I may have to leave the wolves to themselves and make some jam!
Friday, 16 September 2011
I don't normally blow my own trumpet and post good reviews, but I'm sorry I can't resist this time. This reviewer from TEACH NURSERY magazine understands exactly what I set out to achieve! Originally the book's fate was destroyed by a stupid review that classified the book as "Non fiction" and criticised me for including a boy and a dinosaur. Now, though, I feel vindicated! Hurrah! (If you click the pic it should be big enough to read!)
Monday, 12 September 2011
It is turning into an agreeably musical autumn. As I move up a gear in my preparation for the two family concerts (see "Events" panel to the right), I am working a lot on Peter and the Wolf this week, but with an eye on Sinbad at the same time.
Meanwhile I have completed two more covers in the new Naxos children's CD range. These will be released in November and will be a great introduction to the classics, with particular themes for each disc. Here you can see the Beethoven and the Piano albums. Dear old Ludwig was the hardest, as he isn't easy to make approachable for children. In the end everyone decided to go with the wild tempestuous image of Romantic legend. I supposse it's not so far removed from a toddler tamtrum!
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