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The Radish and the Shoe

for narrator and orchestra

Year:  2010   ·  Duration:  16m
Instrumentation:  Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, Cor Anglais, Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Contra-bassoon, 4 Horns in F, 3 Trumpets, two Trombones, Bass Trombone, Tuba, Timpani, Vibraphone, Congas, Snare Drum, Harp, Narrator, Strings.

Year:  2010
Duration:  16m
Instrumentation  Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, Cor A...

Composer:   Andrew Perkins

Films, Audio & Samples

Andrew Perkins: The Radish ...

Embedded audio
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Andrew Perkins: The Radish ...

Embedded audio
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Sample Score

Sample: pages 1 - 8

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Sample Score

Sample: book cover

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Sample Audio

Sample: The recording is a computer-generated sound file overlaid with the voice of Andrew Perkins narrating the story.

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The story of "The Radish and the Shoe" was created by French Canadian artist Louise Jalbert and set to music by Andrew Perkins. Jalbert's book won the Parents’ Choice Award when it was first published in California in 1984 and has since been republished. The characters, a Radish, a Shoe and a group of Letters, all reside inside a book which they call their home. One day a pair of scissors attacks the book, destroying the characters’ home, leaving them completely despondent. However, they pick themselves up and repair their book, and in the process inadvertently transform their ‘home’ into something more beautiful than before. The story is cleverly analogous with survival in the real world and one that has always rung resonances with the philosophical approach to life Andrew Perkins has always attempted to instill in his students.

Difficulty note

This work is suitable for professional orchestras

Contents note

The Characters are Introduced
Radish music
Shoe music
Radish and Shoe at home
Letters’ music
Radish and Shoe at play with Letters making ‘words’

The Attack of the Scissors
Morning music and arrival of scissors
Beginning of scissor attack
Attack and counter-attack

Destruction of the Book
Devastation and silence, sorrow

The Repair of the Book
The Letters
the Radish
and the Shoe

Crescendo of ‘repair’ music
‘Repair’ dance
‘Transformation’ music
Coda - Thanksgiving music

Text note

Louise Jalbert is the author of the story and artist who created the picture plate that accompany the story

Performance history