Wednesday 19 May 2021

A Suite of My Own, by Joan Haig

Music was important to me in writing my novel, Tiger Skin Rug. Or, more specifically, the idea of bells was important. It's a motif that runs through the book (perhaps a little too subtly - I'd love to know if anyone noticed). Bells appear when the magic of the tiger can be felt in a place - they range from a shop-door chime to the a silver anklet of a forest goddess. They represent the spirit of the tiger - the bells can still be heard even after the tiger has gone.

Earlier this year, Gareth P. Jones (children's author and general entertainer) put together a series of short musical compositions inspired by book titles. For Tiger Skin Rug, he conjured up a short, suitably creepy sounding piece that included Indian and Scottish instruments - symbolic of the attachments to place explored in the story. You can find his music here.

It also got me thinking about what the rest of the story might sound like if interpreted in another musical form. I plucked up the courage to ask my friend - harpist and composer Hannah Haynes - if she might consider working on something connecting to the novel, and which children would enjoy.

We settled on four scenes from the book for Hannah to set to music, and the result is absolutely breathtaking. It is a clarinet and harp arrangement, where the clarinet takes on the part of the tiger and the harp pieces are designed for children to be able to play. There is prowling and magic and drama and chase - and there are children's voices, and a hint of bells.

We are hoping for a performance and recording when Hannah's harp pupils and a brave clarinetist are ready - and in the meantime, the sheet music is now available to purchase here.

Illustration: ©Marian Brown

Novel published by Cranachan Publishing

Music published by Creighton's Collection


Anne Booth said...

This is amazing! I will share over on twitter, as this is such an imaginative use of story and music. What a wonderful idea!

Joan Haig said...

Thank you, Anne! Can’t wait for the sound of it to be shareable.

Joan Haig said...

Thank you, Anne! Can’t wait for the sound of it to be shareable.

Joan Lennon said...

Wow! That is fabulous!

Sue Purkiss said...