The London Symphony Orchestra and Queen Mary University of London launch collection of learning resources exploring the sound world of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.
Today, the London Symphony Orchestra and Queen Mary University of London launch The Alice Sound – a collection of cross-curricular learning resources for young people, schools and teachers, opening up and exploring the sound world of the iconic books by Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. The resources are compiled on a dedicated website, thealicesound.com.
The music at the heart of this website is the result of a collaboration between composer Paul Rissmann, researcher Kiera Vaclavik from Queen Mary University of London and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director of the LSO said; ‘In order to deliver our engagement programme to schools and colleges during the pandemic and to satisfy the demand for educational material from some of our overseas partnerships during this time, we stepped up the development and distribution of our digital learning resources. The success and demand for this work post-pandemic is undiminished and so the LSO is now committed to continuing this valuable addition to our offering for the classroom and beyond. I am delighted that this special project has come to fruition giving users unique access to a multidisciplinary creative process brought together by a peerless team of musicians, singers and creative artists, all leaders in their fields of music, literature, composition and animation.’
Inspired by the Lewis Carroll books and by early musical adaptations of them, composer Paul Rissmann wrote two musical suites which were premiered live 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.
Kiera Vaclavik, Professor of Children’s Literature & Childhood Culture at Queen Mary University of London, and Project Director added, ‘This website makes this wonderful music freely available to more audiences, in fact to anyone, anywhere in the world, and deepens engagement with the music and the books thanks to a range of learning resources and other materials. The range of resources and activities inspired by Lewis Carroll’s books and Paul Rissmann’s music are particularly designed for use in schools by pupils and their teachers. There are music and drama projects, art and design activities, and writing worksheets and prompts which help you to explore the books and get creative!’
Notes to Editors
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.
- 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.
Kiera Vaclavik: Project Director
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.
Paul Rissmann composer
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.
Victor Craven Creative Director
Victor Craven is an animator and director with a passion for classical music, theatre and film. He has 20 years of experience producing work for the creative arts. He specialises in working with world-class orchestras and ensembles, stage directing and producing educational animations and films for live concert performances and internet delivery.
Lee Reynolds conductor
Lee Reynolds is an RPS Award-winning, Sky Arts Award-winning and Critics’ Circle Award-winning conductor with a reputation for bringing intensity and exceptional detail to his performances.
Emily Dickens soprano
Joanna Harries alto
Richard Pinkstone tenor
Neil Balfour bass
About the London Symphony Orchestra
The London Symphony Orchestra strives to inspire hearts and minds through world-leading music-making, from performing on stage, in recordings, digitally and on film, to reaching tens of thousands each year through our learning and community programme.
LSO Discovery brings the Orchestra and its music to everybody, through a year-round programme of workshops and events for performers, creators and listeners of all ages and backgrounds, enriching lives through the transformative power of music. LSO Discovery also creates a host of digital learning resources, all of which are free to access, to open up the world of music and the orchestra for young people.
Queen Mary University of London: Research partner
This project was kindly supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council Follow-on Funding for Impact & Engagement grant AH/W003910/1.