CLASSIC ELASTIC .... by Paul Williams and his Elastic Band
Margaret Dickson Williams Violin
Annabelle Clucas Piano, Clavinova
Paul Williams Recorder flute clarinet bassoon saxophone narration
Adelaide Isla Williams Voice of first child
Dominic Daniel Williams. Voice of second child
ADELAIDE: Why don't you just say "welcome to our concert?"
PAUL: Because we like to say it in music.
ADELAIDE: Are you listening Teddy? They like to say it in Music. Aren't they funny?
PAUL: Now make yourself comfortable for the concert. Get yourself nice and relaxed, and make Teddy comfortable.
PAUL: Not that comfortable…wake up.
ADELAIDE: Do I have to?
PAUL: Yes! We're going to play bright happy march, and I'm going to start on one instrument and then I'm going to change to another one.
ADELAIDE: Oh Teddy. Isn't he a clever man?
WASHINGTON POST MARCH
During performance… ADELAIDE: let's clap Teddy… Oh, you're not a good clapper. Your hands are too furry. Play the flute, Teddy. You'll be good at it with your lovely round fat cheeks. Oh Teddy, what a funny little instrument. It's a baby recorder.
ADELAIDE: No, but Teddy likes it very much. He's a simple little chap.
PAUL: I see. And what did you see? Did you see the instrument I started on? What was that?
ADELAIDE: Well it's long and thin and silver… so I think it's a piece of fruit.
PAUL: A what?
ADELAIDE: A piece of fruit
PAUL: You cheeky little devil… it's a flute.
ADELAIDE: Yes! That's what I said.
PAUL: Now listen here.
ADELAIDE: Teddy, are you listening? He's not listening. Teddy, pay attention or you're in deep trouble.
PAUL: Now you pay attention because we are going to play a piece of music called a rag.
ADELAIDE: Oh goody. Can I borrow it after you to clean my bike?
PAUL: No you may not. It is a piece of music, not a piece of cloth. And it is a happy piece of music.
ADELAIDE: Is it a glad rag?
PAUL: Yes, no. Be quiet. Margaret is going to play the tune on her violin and I am going to help with my flute.
ADELAIDE: And Annabelle's going on holiday is she?
PAUL: What an exasperating child. No! She is playing the Clavinova.
ADELAIDE: I am not aserating. How can I be aserating when I don't know what it means?
PAUL: I am exasperated! It means fed up.
ADELAIDE: Oh! I like to be exasperated. I like to be exasperated with ice cream and lollies and grandmas cakes and soft…
RAGTIME NUMBER 2
ADELAIDE: Come on Teddy, jump. Oh, poor fellow. Come on Teddy, spin around… Oops. Try again… Oh dear!
PAUL: Poor old Teddy. What are you doing? Making him dahnce?
ADELAIDE: No, making him dance.
PAUL: I think you mean dahnce.
ADELAIDE: Do I? Oh yes. Teddy, don't forget to put on your pahnts and if your pahnts get a hole in them you can show them up with a piece of rahgtime… here comes one now…
ADELAIDE: Clap your hands Teddy… it's the Elahstic Band… the music is mahnned, not cahnned…
ADELAIDE: I do like that little recorder.
PAUL: Do you?
ADELAIDE: Yes, I just said so. Why don't you listen when I talk?
PAUL: Well, you talk so much. I'd be listening all the time. Do you know what sort of recorder that was?
ADELAIDE: A plastic one?… a titchy one?… a loud squeaky one?
PAUL: A sopranino recorder.
ADELAIDE: That's what I said.
PAUL: Well, what's this recorder?
ADELAIDE: Everyone knows that…it's the descant recorder, sometimes known as the school recorder.
DOMINIC: Yes, I knowed that.
PAUL: And on the school recorder I am going to join Annabelle.
DOMINIC: Why, has she come apart?
PAUL: I am going to join Annabelle in a performance of the Concertino by John Baston.
DOMINIC: A what?
PAUL: Well, it's a show-off piece of music. It's alright to show off your talents you know.
DOMINIC: Yes,if you have any… if you've got it, flaunt it.
ADELAIDE: Yes, Luceat Lux Vestra.
PAUL: What's that mean?
ADELAIDE: Let your light shine.
PAUL: That's a good idea…
This show-off piece is called a Concertino… it's an Italian word, so I don't suppose you could say it.
A and D: Concertino, concertino, uno, duo etc etc.
A and D: Bravo, bravo, bravo.
DOMINIC: Yes, and stop playing the recorder. It's giving me a headache.
A and D: Yes, and tell us a story. Tell us about the Swan and the chocolate and the bottomless Lake.
PAUL: Ah yes. That one. I remember.
PAUL: There was a pond not far from my house. We all knew it was very deep. we knew that it was so deep, no one had ever touched the bottom, and that monsters lived in the cold dark waters. And on top of the lake swam the beautiful, graceful swan. I wasn't afraid and I sailed out on the lake in my little boat. Can you hear the little waves lapping the sides of the boat?
A AND D: No, we can only hear the piano.
PAUL: Can you hear the swan, gliding across the water?
A and D: No, we can only hear the violin.
PAUL: Well, there was, lying in my boat.
A and D: You shouldn't lie. You should tell the truth.
PAUL: I mean I was lying down.
A and D: Why didn't you say so?
PAUL: Well, I was lying down and then something started to climb on the boat.
A and D: A monster!!!
PAUL: No, it was that horrible swan. I was feeding it bits of my sandwich which it didn't like. It wanted my chocolate bar. He jumped right up on top of me. I got such a fright and jumped up and the boat tipped over and out I went, into the water. Into the pond.
DOMINIC: Into the bottomless lake with all the other liars.
PAUL: How dare you. Actually, when I tried to swim, my feet touched the bottom and I discovered it was only fifty centimetres deep after all.
DOMINIC: See, I told you he was a liar.
PAUL: No I'm not, and if you're out that way, and you see a peaceful Lake and a little boat and a greedy swan, it's probably the very Lake.
ADELAIDE: I hope that Lake never dries up.
ADELAIDE: Then it would have a bare bottom.
PAUL: I think you should dry up.
ADELAIDE: Why? We haven't even done the dishes. What's that music?
PAUL: You'll never guess… (THE SWAN).
ADELAIDE: I thought so. Can't you play something we know? Like Twinkle.
PAUL: Of course. Margaret, Annabelle ... play Twinkle. They don't look very happy do they?
PAUL: That was nice wasn't it? But it wasn't Twinkle.
DOMINIC: I think you've forgotten something.
PAUL: No I haven't. I will just fix this up. Annabelle, Margaret. I said play Twinkle.
TWINKLE VARIATION 2
PAUL: I don't know what's wrong with them. I said play Twinkle.
ADELAIDE: We still think you've forgotten something.
ADELAIDE: The magic word.
PAUL: Oh, oh. Margaret and Annabelle, please play Twinkle.
PAUL: Isn't it amazing what happens when you say please?
A and D: Yes. Please would you play the Bassoon?
PAUL: Oh you don't really want me to play the Bassoon do you?
A and D: No, but you're going to anyway. Where is it?
A and D: It looks like a bunch of sticks.
PAUL: A bunch of sticks with silver keys and a white ring around the top. An expensive bunch of sticks I can tell you.
ADELAIDE: It must make a beautiful sound.
ADELAIDE: Oh, the poor thing has a tummy ache.
PAUL: You rude child. It's supposed to sound like that. I wouldn't be cheeky to this bassoon I can tell you.
PAUL: You see, when I was a boy, and we all did our homework, and the weather was always sunny, and we were never rude to our parents; well, back then I used to practice the bassoon. But it wasn't easy and sometimes I preferred to read a book. One day, I plopped the Bassoon down on the bed and said, “stupid bassoon”, and to my surprise the bassoon spoke back. It said, “who's stupid? I don't like being called stupid and I don't like being played badly either. So I have a plan. I am a magic Bassoon and quite capable of playing myself thank you. So you read your book aloud to me, and I'll play music to suit the story, and everyone will think you are practising."
So I read the story and this is what it said...
"One day, the woodsman said to his son, Paul… “All the trees in the forest are dying, because there is a spell on the king of the trees, the giant oak. Without trees, we will die too. We need the trees for wood, for fuel, for air and for shade. You must find the giant oak, and lift the spell cast upon it. To help you is Alfred. He is a magician and knows lots of tricks. Alfred didn’t look very helpful. He was a roly-poly little man with big baggy clothes with lots and lots of pockets (FUNERAL MARCH OF A MARIONETTE).
They set off through the forest, and before long noticed that all the trees look sick and wasted. No animals played under the trees, and no birds sang. They realised they were in an enchanted forest (THE RITE OF SPRING).
On they went until they came to a big space where the trees were all dead. In the middle of a great plain they saw an enormous tree and around it danced hundreds of strange looking people. It was the king of trees, the giant oak, and around it danced the sorcerers and evil magicians of many lands (IN THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING).
They crept up close where they could watch without being seen. When night fell, many of them went to sleep, but others kept guard while a group of Scottish wizards in tartan rooms performed their dance (SCOTTISH DANCE...fast).
Paul didn’t know what to do. But Alfred had an idea. With all that dancing, he said, they must be thirsty. If I could put something in their water barrel to upset them, that might help. From his back pocket, he took a flask, a little brown bottle. “It’s my medicine" he said. He covered it with a bright silk handkerchief, said some magic words, and uncovered… two bottles. He did it again, and there were four bottles. Meanwhile, Paul was emptying the contents into the water barrel from which the wizards were drinking (THE SORCEROR'S APPRENTICE).
Soon, the sprightly Scottish tune they were dancing to sounded like this (SCOTTISH DANCE...slow).
Soon they all were so tired, they fell asleep. Paul and Alfred ran out to see how the spell worked. They found that another tree was growing up all over the giant oak. It was a giant strangler fig tree, and it was slowly strangling and choking the king of the trees. Paul broke a bottle and with the sharp pieces, he slashed at the roots of the strangler fig. But it held on tighter than ever. Alfred, who was older and wiser, tipped the contents of the water barrel all over the ground. The strangler fig thought it was water to drink and true to its horrible, selfish nature , slurped it all up, not leaving any for the giant oak. Just like the sorcerers, the strangler fig begin to lose its grip and bit by bit its long, thin, twining branches relaxed and it slid to the ground, dead from alcohol poisoning. Paul and Alfred ran forward and climbed to the very top of the tree to wait for sunrise. When the sun rose, they saw a wonderful sight. The mist was lifting, green buds were sprouting on trees that had seemed as dead as furniture and little birds were singing.
(LULLABY FROM FIREBIRD BALLET).
How those wizards were angry. But Paul and Alfred just laughed… until one of the wizards turned himself into an eagle and flew up onto their branch. He glared at them with evil eyes and hopped closer. They moved along the branch. The eagle hopped closer. They moved further out and then, without warning, the branch broke. Down they plummeted, shrieking at the top of their voice and clutching the branch.
But this was no ordinary branch. It belonged to the giant oak, the king of the trees. It started swishing and flapping its branches, then began to fly. It crashed right into that horrible old eagle, turning him back into a wizard who then fell on top of his horrible friends. Paul and Alfred were so happy that they sang Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. (WHO'S AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD WOLF).
They flew home to tell everyone what they had done and all their friends were very proud of them.
The branch from the tree was reamed and carved and polished by Paul’s father, and was made into a beautiful, magic bassoon.
Yes, the bassoon from that story was really my very own bassoon.
ADELAIDE: And is that the end of the story?
PAUL: I don’t know. Let’s ask the bassoon. (BASSOON TAG).
Can the Bassoon play with all the other instruments?
PAUL: Of course, the Bassoon is very important… just listen to this (RAGTIME DANCE).
PAUL: Did you know there’s a story called “Peter and the wolf“? There’s a cat and a bird and a duck and grandfather and Peter and hunters and of course, a wolf. What sort of instrument sounds like a bird?
A and D: A tweeting instrument, like a flute?
PAUL: And what would sound like a duck?
A quacking instrument, like an oboe?
PAUL: Well, what about the Bassoon?
Yes. What about you?
Is it the wolf?
PAUL: No, but I’ll give you a clue. The wolves, not, the only growly character grandfather can be a nasty piece of work.
I think the Bassoon plays grandfather .
PAUL: You clever fellow, Teddy…here is the tune.(GRANDFATHER)
PAUL: Do you think that Bassoon would make a good cat? Trying to catch the bird.
No, it would be too loud.
PAUL: what should the Music sound like?
Soft and creepy… Like a cat creeping around.
PAUL: And I played the cat on the CLARINET… The clarinet is black, but it has a big cousin that is golden.
PAUL: And the cat has a big cousin of a different colour.
The green lion – no – the purple tiger? No – a blue Jaguar?
My friend has a blue Jaguar.
My friend has a rusty Holden.
PAUL: No it’s not a green lion, a purple tiger, or a blue Jaguar.
The pink Panther
PAUL: Of course, when the saxophone was invented, it was meant to sound nice, like this.
PAUL: But before long, it fell into the wrong hands and was played like this.
We like the saxophone in the wrong hands.
PAUL: You would. But now it’s time to go to bed.
No, it’s not. We are not tired.
PAUL: So I see. Well, if you’re not tired, just concentrate on this music, and imagine you’re floating on a cloud over the mountains and rivers.
PAUL: Hello, are you asleep? Like a lolly? Hurray, they’re asleep. Margaret, bring the fruit juice, annabelle, bring the cakes. I’ll set the table… We will have a little party.
PAUL: Oh, this is nice. Past the cake , are they still asleep? We’ll save them some cake. Is it this relaxing? Oh I do like a party. It’s actually much better for them to be asleep. They look quite nice when they’re asleep, don’t they? Hope they stay that way for awhile… Good night, good night… Sleep tight …
Mr Segal and fade.