Music seeps into children’s novel

Rick Scott wrote and recorded a four-disc musical novel for children.  - Photo contributed
Rick Scott wrote and recorded a four-disc musical novel for children.
— image credit: Photo contributed

When award-winning singer/songwriter Rick Scott wrote his first novel, the words refused to stay on the page.

Music seeped in between the chapters and characters began demanding songs.

So he obliged. This month Scott launches The Great Gazzoon – A Tall Tale With Tunes & Turbulence, a dramatized musical audio novel recorded on Protection Island with 25 actors, singers and musicians.

Unfolded over four CDs with a 40-page illustrated songbook, Gazzoon is a folk tale told by a veteran folkie: for more than 35 years Scott has performed in nine countries and released 18 recordings, including seven award-winning children’s albums produced by Gazzoon co-writer/producer Valley Hennell.

The project was recorded on Protection Island by engineer/percussionist Anthony Maki, and illustrated by Ottawa artist Linda Sanborn.

Like his ancestors before him, Gazoon Wazoo is supposed to be practising to Walk the Wire between the towering peaks of Mount Lanadoon.

Instead he’s been playing music and making up songs with a poetry-writing princess, two thieving friends and his special ekko.

Can one boy’s love of music outsmart the angry Winds, defeat wily Lord Grot and bring balance and safety to the Kingdom?

The Great Gazzoon is the epic tale of how one boy’s love of music overcomes his fear and transforms his community.

Over four hours and 60 chapters, through narration, dialogue, poetry, music and song, Scott and 25 actors, singers and musicians embrace themes of literacy, friendship, overcoming fear, discovering creative process and trusting what you love.

Scott was inspired to write Gazzoon after facing his fear of learning to walk tightrope to play the title role in the musical Barnum.

He scored the story with folk melody performed on all manner of dulcimers strummed, plucked, bowed, E-Bowed, hammered and slide, accompanied by violin, cello, guitar, bass, hang, didgeridoo, percussion, kora, tama, kalimba, shakuhachi, thunder drum, horns, dishwasher and human beat box.

To celebrate the release, Scott performs a musical reading at Harbourfront library Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. The album will be available at the reading, plus Kool and Child, Pumpkin Pie Kids and online at www.gazzoon.com.

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