Once Around the World


Samuel Johnstone


+49 30 214 594-251

CR Matthias Daenschel


Mike Svoboda’s Once Around the World tells the story of the ethnomusicologist and adventurer Professor Edward Thomas Hoggins I. In Hoggins’ attic was a box containing his legacy: coloured postcards sent home from his adventures around the world at the start of the 20th century, showing musicians, ensembles, and orchestras from various musical cultures, and – sensationally! – an enormous collection of shellac records with recordings of these very musicians.

This fantastical journey around the world is brought to life through these postcards and recordings and an on-stage ensemble or orchestra, narrated and conducted by Mike Svoboda as his ancestor Prof. Edward Thomas Hoggins IV. The postcards are projected onto the screen whilst the shellac records are played on the gramophone and the music is taken over and embellished by live musicians. A dialogue between cultures is created across time and space, and the musicians on the postcards come to life.

This one-hour musical adventure with sights and sounds from far away and long ago brings the huge variety of music in our world closer to children (and adults) and introduces them to the fascinating instruments which make the music. The elements which bind all music together become clearer through a dialogue between historical recordings and living musicians.

Ensemble version: 9th April 2017, Lucerne Festival with the Lucerne Festival Academy Alumni, Mike Svoboda, conductor and narration. Commissioned by the Lucerne Festival

Orchestral version: 21st October 2017, Philharmonie Essen, NOW Festival, Jugendsinfonieorchester Bochum, Mike Svoboda, conductor and narration. Commissioned by the Philharmonie Essen.

Music Mike Svoboda
Text Manfred Weiss
Animated Film Matthias Daenschel
Dramaturgy & Education Johannes Fuchs

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Orchestra version
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Chamber orchestra version
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Ensemble version for 14 musicians
1(picc).1.1(bscl).1(cbsn).- and narrator

The narration could be spoken by the conductor or by an actor/actress.

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Technical Requirements

Orchestra version
Gramophone; amplification for the narrator, film, and the gramophone; video projection and screen

Ensemble version
As above, with amplification for the 5 strings (dpa) and two tables with contact microphones: all with individual loudspeakers in close proximity to the sound source.

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Media Centre

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