Tuning the Concert

Gold Arts Award Portfolio

A musical retelling of ‘On the way Home’ August 26, 2010

Filed under: 1A: extending my arts practice — concerttuning @ 5:33 pm
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On the way home.MP3 by Alice Hyland.

This recording was taken while performing the story, ‘On the way home’ to my parents. While it is no means perfect, it is a starting point from which to expand.

It quotes a number of famous tunes:

  • Claire’s ‘sad music’ = Early French Song by Tchaikovsky
  • female friends = The Trout by Schubert
  • male friends = Kontretanz by Beethoven
  • wolf = wolf theme from Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev
  • crocodile = ‘never smile at a crocodile’ theme tune from Disney’s Peter Pan
  • Dragon = ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ from Opera by Wagner
  • Happy music = The Trout by Schubert

(more…)

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Experimenting with story books and music August 25, 2010

I visited my parents house for a week and took the opportunity to go through all my old cello music. I found a great book with lots of well know tunes arranged for cello.

Having the idea that I wanted to involved the audience, I enlisted my Dad’s help to see if we could make up a story together. I chose a piece by random and playing through each phrase asking him questions such as who do you think the story is about and what did he then do? However, this did not produce the results I wanted, as as Dad pointed out he did not have a child’s imagination and there wasn’t enough contrast in the piece. Though we made up a piece about Pinocho not going to school, I knew I had to rethink my strategy.

The original plan was to add words to a classical piece, but after hearing an account of how an animateur combined stories and music, I scrapped my original idea and decided to start with the story and work the music around this. Consequently, I delved into our old children’s books to find some good stories for inspiration.

I selected some books that had lots of repetition and a clear structure, so that there were plenty of opportunities to repeat tunes. Some particular favourites were ‘On the way home’ and ‘Peace at Last’ by Jill Murphy, as well as a recent book, ‘Room in a Broom’ by Julia Donaldson. Another story to look at would be the ‘Gruffalo’. These books all have several contrasting characters, as well as a repetitious structure.

I then experimented added tunes to characters as well as creating sound effects with my cello until I had something resembling a story interrupted with short musical interludes.