About The Borrowers
by Mary Norton
The Borrowers—the Clock family: Homily, Pod, and their fourteen-year-old daughter, Arrietty, to be precise—are tiny people who live underneath the kitchen floor of an old English country manor. All their minuscule home furnishings, from postage stamp paintings to champagne cork chairs, are “borrowed” from the “human beans” who tromp around loudly above them. All is well until Pod is spotted upstairs by a human boy! Can the Clocks stay nested safely in their beloved hidden home, or will they be forced to flee? The British author Mary Norton won the Carnegie Medal for The Borrowers in 1952, the year it was first published in England. A charmer!
Notes on Fiction: The Borrowers
Thursday February 11, 2016
Notes on Fiction returned with the duo andPlay performing music inspired by the whimsical children's book The Borrowers by Mary Norton.
About the concert
This concert concept first came to andPlay in 2013 while rehearsing Bezier, a piece written for them by David Bird. A recurring section in the piece with soft, high ricochet sounds reminded them of the neighing of tiny horses—horses they always imagined would be the perfect size for a borrower. A borrower is a tiny person that lives in the walls of houses and “borrows” small items from humans that will go unnoticed. Both members of andPlay grew up reading and loving The Borrowers by Mary Norton. The story is extremely creative and rich in description even though the plot contains little action. They are fascinated by how they can explore the relationship between the borrowers and the humans through delicate and powerful music. The book can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike, and andPlay is interested in the idea of highlighting a children’s book in a new music setting. Just like the book, andPlay presented a concert that broke down generational barriers and introduced new pieces of music to an audience of all ages.
“Bezier” by David Bird
“About” by Franco Donatoni
“Knickknacks” by George Tsontakis
“And Chase” by Chris Goddard
“White Elephant” by Ryan Packard
andPlay is committed to expanding the existing violin/viola duo repertoire through performing rarely heard works and commissioning emerging composers. This New York City based duo of Maya Bennardo, violin, and Hannah Levinson, viola, first played to an eager crowd on Fire Island in the summer of 2012, and has since performed at venues such as The Stone, Firehouse Space and The Tank. andPlay has also appeared on the PLG Arts, East Bank New Music, Composer’s Voice, and the Concerts on the Slope series. The success of their first commissioned piece, “Pulling Anchor” by Matt Frey, led them to pursue similar opportunities with other composers, premiering thirteen new pieces in the three years since their founding, including works by David Bird, Nicholas DeMaison, and Robert Honstein. Continuing with this tradition, andPlay will work with five composers this upcoming season, including Paul Kerekes, Brian Petuch, and Tony Morasco.
Maya and Hannah met while studying at Oberlin Conservatory, and continued their educations at New York University and the Manhattan School of Music. Despite living on opposite sides of the city, the members of andPlay enjoy taking the subway to meet for rehearsals and delicious baked goods.