Someone suggested that Suss Müsik repost our contributions to the weekly Disquiet Junto projects, because they enjoy reading the explanations of the tracks. While you’re reading the original post, make sure you check out the other contributors’ works as well.
The Wind in the Willows is a classic children’s novel written in 1908 by Kenneth Grahame, following the adventures of four animals (Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger) in various capers. The book timeless message of wit, wisdom and whimsy has entertained readers of all ages for generations.
Suss Müsik assigned each character a voice or phrase, then composed a series of loops in different lengths to represent each chapter’s setting: a zither to represent the hidden mysteries of the Wild Wood, syncopated percussion for Toad’s ongoing fascination with motorcars, etc. We took some artistic license with transitions between chapters.
For those who wish to follow the narrative, a synopsis of each chapter is represented below with cue points:
0:00 – Chapter 1. “The River Bank.” Mole leaves his underground home and discovers Rat paddling down the river in a boat, expressing his curiosity of the world above ground.
00:10 – Chapter 2. “The Open Road.” Rat takes Mole to meet Toad, and the three embark on a romantic journey across the countryside. Toad pursues an excessive compulsion to recklessly drive several expensive motorcars.
00:38 – Chapter 3. “The Wild Wood.” Mole and Rat get lost in the Wild Wood in the midst of a snowstorm. Cold, hungry and terrified, the two accidentally come upon Badger’s front door.
01:07 – Chapter 4. “Mr. Badger.” Badger invites Mole and Rat into his home, where they rest for a few days and discuss what to do about Toad’s mercurial behavior and dangerous driving habits.
01:39 – Chapter 5. “Dulce Domum.” Rat and Mole are traveling when Mole’s instincts cause him to suddenly realize they are walking directly above his underground home.
02:04 – Chapter 6. “Mr. Toad.” Badger, Rat and Mole attempt to speak sense to Toad, but he responds childishly and refuses to listen. Toad eventually steals and crashes an automobile, is arrested and sentenced to twenty years in jail.
02:39 – Chapter 7. “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.” While searching for Otter’s missing son, Mole and Rat set out on the river and hear strange music. They come upon the deity Pan who sings them a song as the sun rises, which they immediately forget.
03:25 – Chapter 8. “Toad’s Adventures.” The jailer’s daughter takes pity on a miserable Toad and helps him escape from prison. He convinces a train engineer to let him board, only he is forced to evacuate when the train is pursued by police.
03:57 – Chapter 9. “Wayfarers All.” Rat becomes restless and enters a dreamy state in which he hears the call of the sea. Mole takes it upon himself to bring Rat back to his senses.
05:03 – Chapter 10. “The Further Adventures of Toad.” Toad insults a washerwoman, steals her horse, swindles a peddler, steals yet another car and crashes it into the river. The current takes Toad downstream where Rat plucks him to safety.
05:31 – Chapter 11. “Like Summer Tempests Came His Tears.” Toad discovers that his mansion has been taken over by his enemies. Mole, Rat and Badger develop a plan to sneak into Toad Hall through a secret passageway.
05:56 – Chapter 12. “The Return of Ulysses.” Toad Hall is reclaimed, and Toad learns that his arrogance has been the cause of his troubles. The characters celebrate and live out their days peacefully along the riverside.
The piece is titled Domum, which is Latin for “home” and echoes Grahame’s theme of returning to where you belong.