Sayppo gives life to two deceased poets

With his ‘Mad Dog and Clever Cat’, Mr Sayppo makes Oliver Goldsmith and Mary Hannay Foott alive again.

Helsinki, Finland – According to composer Tapio Sayppo, the creator of ‘Mad Dog and Clever Cat’, he in summer 2010 found two interesting books of poetry in English in a library. In those books, two poems were strongly ‘talking’ to him, ‘Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog’ by Oliver Goldsmith (1730–1774) and ‘The Clever Cat’ by Mary Hannay Foott (née Black) (1846–1918). He decided to compose them. In February 2017 he completed the creation after working on it for a very long time.

Mr Sayppo talks about the poems. 

‘”Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog” in a nutshell: In a town there was a man considered to be kind and gentle. A stray dog went mad and bit him. People swore the man would die. But the man recovered of the bite, and the dog died! (What an allegory.)

“Clever Cat” in a nutshell: There was a hungry cat called William, the poorest ever seen, who did not go a-mousing, but only played the tambourine. One day he met a female cat, Princess Felina of Catland, who fell in love with him and his tambourine. They started dancing and from then on, she gave him as much food as he wanted. Now there is a cat, the fattest ever seen, who need not go a-mousing, but only plays the tambourine.’ 

Sayppo wrote a two-part work of music titled, not surprisingly, ‘Mad Dog and Clever Cat’ for female choir and piano. The duration of this composition is 27 minutes. The 58-page sheet music product also includes a CD-ROM disc with the same sheet music as on paper as multi-page PDF files (15 paper sizes to be used around the world) for viewing, printing, and copying, and WAVE and MP3 format files for listening. According to Sayppo, ‘these instrumental files are useful for getting acquainted with and rehearsing the music, which, belongs to “serious” classical choir music genre and is somewhat, but not very, demanding for the performers’.

Sayppo says: ‘The beauty of this project is how art can be a bridge, connecting people living today, like you and I, with these two great poets who passed away a long time ago, making their fantastic poems, their words, their thoughts, and in a way themselves, alive again. When composing this music, I almost felt their presence. I imagined them writing their lines, perhaps in darkness with a candle on their tables. I am very glad, actually honored, to have made them remembered again. They deserve it. Now the poems of Oliver Goldsmith and Mary Hannay Foott will be sung by fine female choirs and played by their fine pianists around the world.’

Mad Dog and Clever Cat for female choir and piano is available at Indiegogo:

Media Contact
Company Name: Mad Dog and Clever Cat
Contact Person: Tapio Sayppo
Phone: +358 46 5237283
Country: Finland