Raoul’s walk of shame

So to pick up the piece where I am now…  (I didn’t start this blog when I started to compose the music, we’re already 10 minutes in).

Hero mouse Raoul left his parent’s house, crossed the dangerous Sandy Road with the help of ComeOn, a large black crow, and is now walking towards the next obstacle (which will be the large river) on the way to TomCat’s house (called The Old Barn).

This is not going to be a relaxed walk or even a comfortable one for the little mouse, because the Crow keeps on insisting to hear the story of the cat who broke into the mouse hole, kidnapped the little baby mouse and Raoul who fought the cat… only… Raoul didn’t fight the cat,  instead he was hiding under his bed. Not something he’s very proud of though and therefor isn’t mentioning it in his story.

Now, how do I put this walk of shame on music? My thoughts are going something like this:

What’s the action? It’s a walk, so there must be some kind of walking music (4/4 meter, kind of march like mood). What kind of walk is it? It’s a walk of shame for Raoul, so it is not going to be happy music for sure, and also not too fast, it should be heavy (brass steps?  Tuba/bass drum on the beat?) like walking with lead in his shoes.

That’s for the context of the scene, now the musical material itself. The rule I have set for myself in this composition is that I would take EVERYTHING somehow from the intro music, so all the music after that is related to that 1st part, creating this way a feeling of unity in the full composition. Every character in the story has gotten his own theme (melody), unique to them but at the same time still connected to each other, because it all comes from the same musical source (the intro music).

So how do I get my musical material for this specific scene? By asking myself these questions:
– Who’s in the scene? Raoul and ComeOne (so I will use their theme material, but adjusted to the current scene situation)
– Any kind of interesting surrounding actions going on that should be mirrored in the music?  No, it’s just a walk over the grass from the Road to the River.
– What should the music reflect again? Raoul’s walk of shame.

Enough talk! Time to write this scene. In the next post you will hear how I did it. Till then!




Writing a piece for narrator and orchestra

So I decided to create a musical piece based on my 1st children book “Raoul’s Rescue Mission.” It’s going to be for narrator (speaker) and orchestra, and with orchestra I mean the smallest amount of players I can come up with to keep the performance possibility high, but at the same time enough players that will give me enough sounds and colors to keep the exciting story interesting to listen to.

Anyone who knows “Peter and the Wolf” by Prokofiev knows immediately what I’m going for with this new music project. The length will be around 30 minutes, and it must be suitable to be played by advanced amateurs and higher. And of course, it should be fun and entertaining to listen to :=) Hé, maybe there could even be some kind of stage performance at some point (just yesterday a friend in Holland suggested I should make a musical out of it as well), but for now, let’s get this piece written first…

My good friend Richard Schletty who lives in Saint Paul MN in the USA is doing the narration and I love the way he does it. For more information about Richard, please visit: Indwellings website (Schletty’s poetry)
Schletty Sound website (voice talent)

So what’s the story all about?

It’s about a little mouse named Raoul who is scared of everything that happens outside the little mouse hole he lives in, but is forced to get out into the large scary world when a wild neighborhood cat named TomCat breaks into his house and kidnaps his baby sister. Now, being the oldest son (of his 25 siblings…), it’s his task to get her back alive before it’s too late. According to his uncle Marcus who knows the cat out of 1st hand experience, Raoul will have about 4 hours to rescue his little sister. So during these 4 hours, Raoul has to figure out how to get to TomCat’s place without being killed by other animals on the way and conquer his own fear to even get out of his save protecting bedroom. Aaah… life was so simple for this little mouse up till now…

On this blog page I will mention my progress and how I approach writing this piece from novel to music composition. Right now, the piece is about 10 minutes long (music and narration together), have a listen below:

A composition would not be much without being performed for an audience, so if anyone knows about possibilities to get this piece performed after it’s completed, or maybe already would like to discus this now, please let me know! Raoul would love to tell his heroic story to listeners in a concert hall, of course, but also in a small chamber music room or in a music school or in a comfy room where people gather to be creative together while having a cup of coffee. You can leave your comments in the comment box below.