I was attracted to working with Michael Morpugo on this retelling of the Pied Piper of Hamelin for many reasons, but particularly his wonderful reinterpretation of the story in a way that makes it relevant to today. This is something new for me, which I’ve greatly enjoyed being part of. Although the language had to be one that is appropriate for a large-scale work for children, I hope my own voice is audible alongside.
Debussy’s Music plays an important role in the piece. Michael’s words – ‘Music was never sweeter . . . everyone simply listened, entranced’. What if any melody that I could find didn’t live up to that description? Debussy’s Syrinx is a beautiful piece for solo flute – it seemed the perfect music to use instead of writing my own tune, but since it’s unaccompanied I had to invent the right harmony to make it work for full orchestra.
The Pied Piper was first performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in February 2015.
Illustration © 2011 Emma Chichester-Clark. From The Pied Piper Of Hamelin by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Emma Chichester-Clark. Reproduced by permission of Walker Books Ltd, London SE11 5HJ.
View the score (published by Faber Music)