Maximus Musicus Visits the Music School is one of five concert programmes featuring the musical mouse, Maximus Musicus.
The first four tales of Maxi feature the orchestra, the music school, dance and song and when the authors received a commission from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, they created a new story interwoven with Icelandic music, depicting the environment and the natural wonders of their home country; “Maximus Musicus Explores Iceland”.
The story revolves around the nature and culture of Iceland, both old and new, and is solely based on Icelandic music, ranging from folksongs to brand new cutting-edge music, using nine different pieces of music. The story also celebrates new friendships and the similarities, rather than differences, of all nationalities as well as the unifying nature of music itself.
Maximus Musicus lives in a concert hall and is surprised by two visiting mice arriving in the case of a conductor. He is shy of the newcomers but remembers that strangers are just friends we have yet to know, and the two mice, Viva and Moto, are both cheerful and friendly. The mice are excited to be in Iceland and Maxi offers to show them around.
The music and the text complement each other to make a syncronized spectacle. To the knightly theme of Jórunn Viðar’s music, a horn player from the orchestra strolls through the city to fetch his child. The child is never gender-identified in order for every child to be able to identify with little Blair. The child is the only human to interact with the mice and invites them to travel in their backpack.
Father and child return to the concert hall to meet up with the mother, who has just finished work. She is a climber in a rescue team who also works cleaning the many-storeyed glass windows and is now headed towards the glacier to rescue a scientific gadget.
In the highlands they experience the ice cold glacier, a volcanic eruption, geysirs and waterfalls. They then stay in a cottage with the child’s grandparents and the mice hear stories of trolls and dance with country mice.
The next day they hear the grandparents tell tales from the past, accompanied by a medley of folksongs, two of which the audience sings along to as well as helping to make weather sounds.
In the end they return to the city. The mice see the conductor ready to travel and hop into his case. Maxi decides to join them to see new countries and new children.
On arrival to a new concert hall, Maxi realises that even if the musicians and the audience look a little different from those at home, they all have the same smiles. He concludes that: ”Wherever there’s music, there are happy people.”
Maximus Musicus is the brain-child of two orchestral musicians at the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Their five books with CDs have been published in several countries and the concert programmes performed by many orchestras world-wide.
Maximus Musicus is the brain-child of two orchestral musicians at the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Hallfríður Ólafsdóttir, flutist and author, and Þórarinn Már Baldursson, violist and illustrator. Their five books with CDs have been published in several countries and the concert programmes performed by many orchestras world-wide.