During May 2023, Little People Big Noise in partnership with the English Chamber Orchestra will premier a brand new work by Sophia Thakur and Sally Herbert.
Oswald Ourania and the Gazillium Music Machine
Oswald Ourania and the Gazillium Music Machine is a narrative and musical event designed to encourage engagement with instrumental music.
Set in a fictional world, Oswald is the puppet master of the City Theatre – a place where amazing stories are brought to life by puppets. Oswald is a musician who breathes life into the theatre’s puppet animals by conjuring up musical songs and tunes on his Gazillium Music Machine. The theatre’s shows are one of the biggest attractions in the city and audiences come from far and wide.
When Oswald gets sick, the city rules dictate that his nephew Erik take on the role of the puppet master. There’s only one problem, Erik cares little about Oswald’s craft and even less about the puppet animals.
Audiences at the theatre dwindle and life becomes difficult for many of the theatre’s staff. Isabelle, a young girl who loves everything that Oswald does, is distraught when her mum loses her job at the theatre’s ice cream stall as she can no longer get to watch the shows for free. Meanwhile, Erik gets even lazier and lazier.
When Erik becomes so lazy that he tries to get Isabelle to deputise for him for free, she leaps at the opportunity. However, continuing her education and looking after the puppet animals is not easy and one night Isabelle falls asleep – the puppet animals escape the theatre and disappear beyond the city’s boundaries into the wilds beyond.
Isabelle must then go on a quest to find the missing animals, and in the process, she learns about the power of music to charm the community of puppet animals she is trying to track down.
A specially composed music score (Sally Herbert) will not only bring the adventure to life but will show how musical instruments and how musical textures (contemporary and traditional) can bring vitality to storytelling.
The music delivers us to a space where film score meets concert stage. At its heart, ‘Oswald and the Gazillium Music Machine’ will feed into the needs of instrumental music educators wherever they practise their skills.