What would it be like to grow up your entire life without the benefit of gravity? What if you were the only person in the world who couldn’t walk like a normal human being and had to always be careful lest the slightest breeze blow you to the next kingdom? What if you only had one emotion and couldn’t ever cry?
Well that’s what the main character in George MacDonald’s short story The Light Princess faces when an evil witch steals the princess’ gravity from infancy.
Only in the enchanted lake by the castle can the princess be a normal human being – but one can only stay in the water for so long. But things do look up when a prince from a faraway land comes and the two fall in love. Things are turning out for the best.
But, of course, that just isn’t meant to be. Not simply satisfied with stealing her gravity, the wicked witch drains the lake and curses the land so that there isn’t a drop of water anywhere – dooming everyone to a certain death. Only the life of a man willingly sacrificed will break the curse and bring back the water.
I have been writing the pieces for my senior recital since my freshman year of college. In selecting the themes of the pieces I was writing, I realized that I loved how music has the ability to convey an idea, emotion, or story and I was captivated with the idea of writing my own musical story.
The Grace Baptist Church Praise Orchestra had recently performed The Selfish Giant by Dan Goeller, one of my favorite composers, and this piece greatly influenced me. I loved how effective his music was at telling the story and how perfectly it fit with the narration. This gave me the idea to compose my own music to a story.
At the suggestion of Dan Goeller and Lisa Hernacki, I searched through several old public domain short stories and found The Light Princess. I fell in love with the story almost immediately and especially appreciated the hidden meaning of the book (to be discussed in a later post).
The entire work that I am currently writing will be about 30 minutes long and is for full orchestra and narrator. I am over half way done with the work and am so excited to share with you my journey along the way!