Scottish Chamber Orchestra: The Chimpanzees of Happytown
- Kelly Apter
- 5 February 2018
Kids' picture book gets the orchestral treatment
If it ain't broke, don't fix it seems to be the mantra at Scottish Chamber Orchestra HQ, where the pairing of composer Paul Rissmann and CBeebies presenter Chris Jarvis is proving a winning combination. Following their successful delivery of Sir Scallywag and the Golden Underpants and Stan and Mabel, the duo have reunited for another Giles Andreae picture book, The Chimpanzees of Happytown.
Rissmann's new composition, complete with songs, will musically illustrate Andreae's tale of Chutney the Chimp who, upon his arrival at the formerly dull town of Drabsville, spreads colour and happiness around. Jarvis' praise for Rissmann's music, and the whole concept of bringing little ones into the orchestral arena through stories, couldn't be more effusive.
'Storytelling in any form is fantastic,' he says, 'but when a young audience goes into a concert hall, potentially for the first time, and experiences the sound of an orchestra coming to life in a way they may have heard but not seen, and realises that's how those sounds are made – and then sees those instruments bring the story to life – well that's truly magical.'
Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, Sat 17 Feb; City Halls, Glasgow, Sun 18 Feb.