ALICE IN WONDERLAND (2010)
Duration: 8 minutes
Programme note In February 2010, Wendy Hiscocks was commissioned by the British Film Institute to compose and perform music for a reissue of surviving footage assembled from the very first film adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The film, produced at the Hepworth studio in 1903, was directed by Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow and employed the acting talents of the studio staff and family members: Hepworth played the part of the frog footman, his wife acted as both the White Rabbit and Queen, and May Clark, who ran errands and fulfilled some secretarial duties, took the role of Alice. Even the family dog, Blair, who was the star of Rescued by Rover (1905), made an appearance. Timed to coincide with the release of Tim Burton’s version of the Alice story, Wendy Hiscocks’ music accompanied both a three minute and eight minute clip of the original 1903 film and was screened in the foyer of the National Film Theatre at London’s South Bank throughout February and March of 2010. She has now performed the music live to screenings in the National Film Theatre at the South Bank, the British Library and in recitals. The posting of this BFI archival material on Utube created something of a sensation and was approaching a million hits by Christmas 2010. Negotiations are now underway between the BFI and Disney to include the archival film on a deluxe edition of Alice in Wonderland that accompanies the new version by Tim Burton for release in 2011. Requests by audiences and musicians for a score have resulted in the preparation of this edition. It is difficult to notate all the subtle fluctuations of tempi that occur so naturally in a live performance to the film without overburdening the score but the markings included here are an essential starting point for performers, as is the attention that has been given to pedalling. The still from the film reproduced in this score has been given with the permission of the BFI.