146 East 62nd Street
New York, NY 10021
Phone: (212) 421-8893
Fax: (212) 758-7550
Lomax is a frisky, friendly, gangly dog who still has a lot of puppy left in him. Like all dogs, he loves bones, being petted, chasing sticks, more bones, barking, and even more bones. But most of all, he loves and has an insatiable appetite for songs. Like cookies for the Cookie Monster, songs are his constant obsession...his raison d'etre. When he is without them, he's always impatiently on the prowl for more, and when he's found one, he's happy until the song is over. And then...he wants even more.
Lomax has the unique ability to hear melodies from miles and miles away. When he does, his ears shoot straight up. Then he points with his nose to let everyone know exactly where the song is coming from, barks a few bars (his voice might be gruff, but he has perfect pitch!) to give others a clue what the song might be like, and the chase is on!
His obsession for music is infectious, as he invites the children at home to become Melody Hounds and help him satisfy his craving (NOTE: Our official Lomax Web site will be there to help them with this task!). He urges them to listen with their ears, move to the beat, and sing along, encouraging their participation as they discover song after song on their musical journey.
Lomax communicates with the kids at home in English, but everyone else -- except for Delta -- hears only barks and growls. This gives him a very special connection to the home audience, who will be able to bond, understand and empathize with him.
Sometimes, Lomax has to struggle with difficult decisionsωlike whether to chew a bone or listen to a song about one. The song usually wins out over his stomach. Yes, rest assured, with Lomax, the hound of music, on the case, no tune anywhere in our diverse country will have a place to hide... unless Delta the Cat does something to get in the way.
Reluctant traveler Delta the Cat is a puppet Scottish Fold, a breed of cat whose ears can fold adorably forward. (See picture for reference. A puppet will be designed whose ears can fold forward like this cat's can). This ear position is not only natural for the breed but is perfect for this cat in particular, since she adamantly claims that she has no interest in listening to or singing songs, much less chasing them endlessly around the country. (Chasing a singing mouse would be another story -- see below....) But try as she might, Delta can't convince Lomax -- or the home audience -- that her indifference is real.
Often, she will enlist the audience to take her side in these ongoing disputes with Lomax or let them in on some scheme sheωs hatching to avoid participation, talking to camera in English (though everyone on the train only hears her meows). Delta's kitty vulnerability, pet-ability, and some of our target audienceωs natural affinity for rebels, will make them sympathetic to her point of view.
Lomax figures Delta's negativity is just an act -- a typical cat thing ω and, much to Delta's chagrin, he never flags in his efforts to try to make her participate in all the musical activities on the train. He uses tricks, bribes, cajoling, wheedling, downright begging, sometimes even groveling -- and, most important of all, enlists the aid of the viewing audience in his attempts to encourage her involvement.
More often than not, it's the audience's efforts that are successful (even the viewers' pleading looks at the camera are often enough to do the trick). And, when Delta finally sings, we discover that she does indeed have a gorgeous voice. (Lomax and the home audience are the only ones who will hear and appreciate Delta's performances, however. What we experience as beautiful music, Jean and everyone else on the train will hear only as a series of, meows which, albeit tuneful, are hardly a substitute for Jessie Norman, or even Kitty Wells.)
When Delta finally sings, she looks for all the world as if sheωs thoroughly enjoying herself. Lomax is thrilled beyond belief, praises her to the skies when the song is over, and declares that her singing is proof that she really does like music. Of course, Delta steadfastly (but unconvincingly) protests that she doesnωt, and that it wasnωt any fun at all...really!
Jean is Lomax's beloved and devoted owner, who has taken care of him ever since he was a puppy and who has nurtured and developed his love of music and his unique musical abilities. While Lomax considers himself Jeanωs loyal companion, Delta -- despite the fact that Jean rescued her when she was a stray kitten -- thinks of Jean as "her human," and acts accordingly. Jean loves them both dearly.
A personable, charismatic actress/singer and musician in her twenties or thirties (multiple Grammy Award-winner Alison Krauss has expressed interest in playing the role), Jean is friendly, warm, and inviting, with a beautiful singing voice whose range is well-suited for childrenωs voices to imitate.
Jean is a passionate music lover and collector, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of American songs of all genres and origins. With Lomax as her invaluable and irreplaceable sidekick, she's on a mission to track down these songs, and she's willing to travel absolutely anywhere -- and to take advantage of any prop, person, or (puppet) animal she can find -- in her quest to sing, record, preserve, and teach them to children everywhere. Like Steve on Blue's Clues, Jean is the human connection to the kids at home. With Lomax's aid, Jean will guide them and the children on the train on a literal journey of discovery, and, talking to camera, will encourage them to participate in songs, games, chants, dances, and activities designed to develop their musical intelligence.
Louise and Clark
Louise and Clark are two adventurous, tune-loving puppet fleas who risk life and all twelve of their collective limbs for the sake of being part of Jean's and Lomax's musical expedition. Direct descendants of the fleas immortalized in the famous ukulele-tuning melody, "My Dog Has Fleas," Louise and Clark participate fully in all the musical exercises and songs in the show, albeit far out of earshot (although sometimes in the ear of) Lomax or any of the other characters.
Additional Characters and Celebrities:
* Puppet guests. Regularly appearing -- and/or performing -- on Lomax: The Hound of Music will be puppet versions of the animals featured in the songs sung on the show. They'll often interact amusingly with Lomax and Delta -- as, for example, when all the crabfish featured in "The Crabfish Song" seem destined to become Delta the Cat's dinner.
* Kids, who are not professional actors, but sing well enough to serve as models for children at home to imitate. (Dr. Feierabend's research has demonstrated that children learn to sing best when they and listen to and emulate other kids.)
* Fred Newman, who knows no equal in his ability to made adult and children laugh with the astonishing variety of sounds ω musical and otherwise ω he can make with his mouth, will be a frequent passenger on our train.
* Celebrity guests: Great performances are a regular part of Lomax, the Hound of Music, and weωll be inviting some of the worldωs most talented contemporary musicians to perform on the show. In fact, the brilliant Alison Krauss has already expressed interest in playing the role of Jean, and Grammy-award-winner T Bone Burnett is a major supporter of the project, as are the producers of the celebrated PBS TV show Austin City Limits. (T Bone, Terry Lickona of Austin City Limits, and multiple-Grammy winning record producer Nile Rodgers will actively participate in recruiting celebrity talent for the program.) Performers who might show up include country and folk artists such as the Dixie Chicks, Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Buffett, and Kenny Chesney, as well as wonderful performers from the pop, theatrical, and film world, such as India.Arie, Bernadette Peters, Sheryl Crow, Hilary Duff, Brian McKnight, John Lithgow, and B.B. King. But that's not all. For example, a famous basketball player might make an appearance to teach kids about rhythm by dribbling his basketball!
In the end, it's the common language of song that enables all our characters to communicate and connect and that binds everyone together into one big happy family on Lomax, the Hound of Music.
Click on the links below to learn more about Lomax, The Hound of Music, Sirius Thinking's new music education show for preschoolers, scheduled to come your way on PBS in late 2007....
Preschool Music Classes Based on Lomax
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