A Carnival for the Ear and Eye

Carnival of the AnimalsWe’ve been waiting in anticipation for Fiddlesticks all week, with Carnival of the Animals becoming the soundtrack of our household life.  Fiddlesticks concerts promise an overwhelming variety of action vying for kids attention.  And my son enjoyed the Flight of the Bumblebee, Carnival of the Animals and the Fiddlesticks song. But one added detail that was engaging was having Joe Wos from Toonseum drawing live onstage.

Fiddlesticks has never been about exposing our son to music. Both of us enjoy listening to classical music in the house, and the idea that music is to be played and not just listened to is firmly part of my son’s life. Fiddlesticks is about engaging with the arts in all its forms. Of wonder at the sounds that musicians can create, stories that music can be used to tell and being able to respond to music as they see fit.  And Joe Wos gave a wonderful example of responding to music through his drawing.

During the Carnival of the Animals, Toonseum Director Joe Wos was on-stage drawing a cartoon as a response to a poem (submitted by children to the Pittsburgh Symphony) and the movement of the piece.  And as he did, he had everyone’s attention, you could hear kids all over the audience trying to see and guess what was going to emerge next on the paper as Joe worked. Their rapture and delight was audible.

Fiddlesticks has always been a place where the audience could respond to the music without the pressure of respectful silence during the performance. And this delightful collaboration with live drawing and live music gave the audience more license to do so. Wonderful!

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