Monday 26 June 2023

Through the Looking Glass with the LSO, Queen Mary University of London and composer Paul Rissmann

The Alice Sound

The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and Queen Mary University of London have launched The Alice Sound, a set of cross-curricular learning resources for young people, schools and teachers that based on Lewis Carroll's  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, with everything available through a dedicated website, The Alice Sound.

Inspired by Lewis Carroll's books, composer Paul Barnes wrote two musical suites which were premiered at the Barbican by the LSO in 2015 (Alice in Wonderland) and 2022 (Through the Looking Glass) as part of the LSO Family Concert Series. The success of these concerts and enthusiastic response to the material precipitated the extension of the partnership between the LSO and Queen Mary University of London to develop further interactive learning content.

The resources for The Alice Sound are the result of a collaboration between Paul Rissmann, project director Kiera Vaclavik, Professor of Children’s Literature & Childhood Culture at Queen Mary University of London, and the London Symphony Orchestra. 

Most of the downloads can be used by children with little to no adult assistance, however the creative music projects are aimed primarily at teachers. These resources will also support Key Stage 2 curriculum learning on the Victorians. 

Users can:
  • Watch full performances of concert suites by Paul Rissmann, inspired by Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
  • Delve into the books with Professor Kiera Vaclavik
  • Explore the music with composer Paul Rissmann
  • Learn to sing the songs of the suite with soprano Emily Dickens
  • Sing and play along with the world-famous London Symphony Orchestra
  • Download a range of free resources to use in school or at home
  • Create own music, drama, art and writing inspired by Lewis Carroll’s magical worlds
The resources feature performances by the LSO, conducted by Lee Reynolds, with Emily Dickens (soprano), Joanna Harries (alto), Richard Pinkstone (tenor), Neil Balfour (bass)

Paul Rissmann is an award-winning composer who specialises in transforming children’s literature into symphonic scores. His creative projects have received awards from the Royal Philharmonic Society and Royal Television Society. He won a British Composer’s Award in 2012 and was nominated for an Ivor Novello Composer Award in 2020. Kiera Vaclavik is Professor of Children’s Literature & Childhood Culture at Queen Mary University of London. She is the author of Fashioning Alice: The Career of Lewis Carroll’s Icon 1860-1901 (Bloomsbury 2019) and curated The Alice Look at the V&A Museum of Childhood in 2015.

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