And we got a virtuoso to play it for us
Classic FM caught up with kids’ favourite Rastamouse, plus special guest and classical pianist Oscar Paws, as a new series of the hit television show launches.
Rastamouse - can you share with us some of your thoughts on classical music?
Rastamouse: Da Easy Crew have always bin influenced by da reggae vibe and da ‘Mouseland sound’ but mi always keen fi da crew ta listen ta all kinds ah different musical styles. It real cool an inspirational ta hear what udda musicians are doin' especially dem classical music experts. Mi tink dem have ta practice extra hard ta play all dem different instruments an ting. Oscar, him one wicked classical pianist, him have one cool grand piano an him one ah Wensley Dale's favourite musicians. Mi an Wensley were bare excited ta welcome Oscar ta Grove Town an we bin checkin' out him wicked piano playin' - Oscar sure mek dem piano keys rattle.
Rastamouse and Oscar Paws – are there any plans for a collaboration? Have you been working on any music together?
Rastamouse: Oscar, him was strugglin' ta create da world premier piece fi his special Grove Town Prom concert but da Easy Crew got involved to help him out. Tings got a likkle funky when we jammed togedda - wi did a bit ah improvisation creatin' someting fresh an new.
Oscar: That toon we created was awesome.
Rastamouse: Nex' time Oscar is gonna be in town wi gonna jam again - who knows what kind ah magic gonna happen at dat session.
Oscar - What are your favourite pieces of piano music?
Oscar: I love all kinds of keyboard music. The Beethoven Sonatas always inspire me, I love playin' them Pictures at an Exhibition but you gotta be careful cos that piece can break ya piano in two… my favourite concert toon right now is that Rhapsody In Blue… Gershwin sure gets my paws excited.
When did you start playing piano?
Oscar: I've gotta confess to bein' a late starter. Maths was my thing at school, man I loved crunchin' dem numbers but den, I was out with my mama one day and we heard this guy jus' sat in the upstairs room of this restaurant, just playin' some wicked piece on an old upright… and that was it! The piano bug hit me and I've been tinkling on the ivories ever since.
What's your favourite piece in the Classic FM Hall of Fame, and why?
Oscar: Don't you just hate it when you only get to chose one toon. I was listenin to that "Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas T!" sat there at number three, I heard a wicked performance of that Rite of Spring at the Albert Hall a few weeks back but not sure that's in ya Hall of Fame… is it? I'm sure that Zappa's Yellow Shark ain't in there… shame, but then if ya going to make me pick I reckon for me it's gotta be Mozart Piano Concerto twenty-one .
How important it is to get young children involved in all types of music and how would you suggest we encourage them?
Rastamouse: Da Easy Crew's always gettin' asked 'bout how likkle ones can get started mekin music. Wi always keen to lend a hand, an da crew bin helpin' wid some music lessons in a school in NW10 recently but whatever da style da most important ting is to mek sure dat every likkle one has a lot ah fun.
Oscar: And don’t forget, that if you is stuck for ideas you can always turn to ya friends for inspiration.