After Sylvester inadvertently uses the magic pebble to transform himself into a rock, his parents soon become aware their son is missing (“Where is Sylvester?). As they grow more anxious, they venture out to ask their neighbors if anyone has seen their boy (“Ask The Neighbors”), and then the neighbor’s children (“Ask The Children”).
A note for the benefit of any tune detectives among my readers: the third part of today’s track, “Ask The Children,” is based on a composition by Maurice Ravel, the Prelude from Le Tombeau de Couperin. I selected this track as dummy music during the workshop of Sylvester because I thought the scurrying sixteenth notes were a wonderful evocation of children at play, and eventually decided it would be okay to incorporate it as a quotation in the score. Of course, I’ve fiddled with it a bit, adding the “Oatsdale” theme as a foreground melody in the first section and tinkering with the tempo in the middle. It makes me feel a little self-conscious to dress myself in borrowed finery from Ravel, but you should think of this more as a hommage than a rip-off.