Alice comes upon a mushroom and sitting on it is a blue Caterpillar smoking a hookah. The Caterpillar questions Alice and she admits to her current identity crisis, compounded by her inability to remember a poem. Before crawling away, the caterpillar tells Alice that one side of the mushroom will make her taller and the other side will make her shorter. She breaks off two pieces from the mushroom. One side makes her shrink smaller than ever, while another causes her neck to grow high into the trees, where a pigeon mistakes her for a serpent. With some effort, Alice brings herself back to her normal height. She stumbles upon a small estate and uses the mushroom to reach a more appropriate height.
Howard Blake is an English composer, pianist and conductor whose career has spanned over 50 years and produced more than 650 works.
Blake's most famous work is his Oscar-nominated soundtrack to Channel 4's animated film, The Snowman. The feature song 'Walking in the Air' was a global hit and the stage version has recently celebrated 17 consecutive years of Christmas success in London's West End.
He has written extensively for film and television, has received commissions from the likes of the Philharmonia Orchestra (a piano concerto for the 30th birthday of Princess Diana) and has been awarded an OBE for his services to music.
"It was so long since she had been anything near the right size, that it felt quite strange at first; but she got used to it in a few minutes, and began talking to herself, as usual. `Come, there's half my plan done now! How puzzling all these changes are! I'm never sure what I'm going to be, from one minute to another!"
"He knows exactly what he is doing and - best of all so far as he is concerned - he knows that he can communicate with an audience in a language which speaks directly to the emotions and packs a big punch."
Seen and Heard International
Lewis Carroll, Advice from a Caterpillar