An animated film (script, music and film direction by Howard Blake, drawings by Mark Reeve, animation by Emmett Elvin)
Published by: highbridge music
Commissioned by: The original song-cycle commissioned by The Mary Erskine School Edinburgh for their 300th anniversary (1694-1994)
Instrumentation: 2.1.1,/ 2 perc/ harp/ piano (plus optional harpsichord, celesta, calliope)/ strings

[Key to Abbreviations]
Note on Lyrics: Poems by Robert Louis Stevenson selected from 'A Child's Garden of Verses' (1896)
Duration: 26 mins
First Performance: Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Mary Erskine Choir conducted by the composer, Screening at the Mary Erskine Arts Centre, Edinburgh, November 4th and 5th 2015

Sheet Music Available


Recordings Available
The Land of Counterpane
Released: 2007
Recorded: 25th March 2007
Artists: The Choir of The Mary Erskine School and The Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Howard Blake. With David Rentoul (speaker)
Available from: Highbridge Music

THE LAND OF COUNTERPANE - an animated song-cycle (26-minute film)
Recorded: 2016
Artists: The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Mary Erskine Choir, David Rintoul (narrator), Mark Reeve (graphic artist), Emmett Elvin (animator), Howard Blake (director)

Copyright HOWARD BLAKE obe fram

Director of Highbridge Music Ltd. - The Music of Howard Blake

Studio 6, 18 Kensington Court Place, London W8 5BJ.

Tel: 020 7937 1966   Mob. 07966 387 637


Requests for use of copyrights should be addressed to james.rushton@musicsales.co.uk

Enquiries to hire scores should be addressed to Adam Harvey, Music Sales Hire Library, Unit F3, Dettingen Way, Bury St. Edmunds,Suffolk, IP33 3TU Hire at Music Sales.co.uk 01284 596004



A film produced by Howard Blake Entertainments Ltd. Duration c. 26.00'. .

Download the brochure (pdf).

The Land of Counterpane 


18th December 2016 The girls of The National Children's Choir and the Suffolk Ensemble, directed by Ben Parry, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, performances at 2.00pm and 4.00pm

The first two public live performance of Howard's new animated film 'The Land of Counterpane' (2016), projected on screen with live children's choir and orchestra took place on Sunday 18th December at 2pm and 4 pm to capacity audiences in the Snape Maltings concert hall in a Howard Blake double-bill along with the original film of 'The Snowman'  film (1982). Great performances by the National Youth Children's Girls Choir and The Suffolk Ensemble Orchestra led by Cleo Gould and conducted by Ben Parry. The concert was the brain-child of Proms director Roger Wright moved to Suffolk to preside over the music of Aldeburgh.

THE LAND OF COUNTERPANE - an animated song-cycle (26-minute film) (DVD)

Recorded: 2016
Artists: The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Mary Erskine Choir, David Rintoul (narrator), Mark Reeve (graphic artist), Emmett Elvin (animator), Howard Blake (director)
Categories: [Film & TV Scores]

'THE LAND OF COUNTERPANE' An animated song-cycle for children's choir, narrator and orchestra The poet and novelist Robert Louis Stevenson was a sickly child confined to his bed, the covering of which was a vivid patchwork quilt known as a 'counterpane'. The pictures on it led him to flights of imagination, which he later recalled in his collection of poems "A Child's Garden of Verses". Twelve of these poems are set to music by Howard Blake and his spellbinding animated film has already excited rapt audiences in Edinburgh, the Daily Mail stating that it is 'the film that's poised to be the new Snowman'. It has been scheduled for a world premiere in Aldeburgh on December 18th 2016 in a fabulous double-bill with 'The Snowman' after which date it will be available for your own choir and orchestra to perform. (Film, score and parts available, contact: anna@annamenzies.com)

Related Opuses


18th December 2016 David Rintoul, combined choirs of Mary Erskine and Stuarts Melville Edinburgh and The Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Howard Blake, an animated film by Mark Reeve and Emmett Elvin., Available on DVD from December 18th 2016
13th November 2015

Presentation and screening of the 'The Land of Counterpane' in Edinburgh

13th November 2015

A presentation of the new symphonic aninated  film 'The Land of Counterpane' introduced by its composer, producer and director, Howard Blake

4th November 2015
- 5th November 2015
Mary Erskine Choir, The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and David Rintoul feature in two premiere performances of an animated film based on a song-cycle of poems by Robert Louis Stevenson originally set to music by Howard Blake who will talk about the origin of the work in 1993 and the development and making of the film in 2014/15. To be given before an invited audience of pupils, ex-pupils, parents and all those involved in the projec over these years., Mary Erskine Arts Centre, Edinburgh


26th September 2015 Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Mary Erskine Choir and speaker (tba). Conductor Howard Blake, Mary Erskine Hall, Edinburgh
31st January 2015 Howard Blake conducts the augmented Jersey Chamber Orchestra and St Michael's children's choir and soloists, Opera House, St. Helier, Jersey 8.00pm

Howard Blake conducts screened versions of 'The Snowman' and his new film 'The Land of Counterpane'. The programme will include music from Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Schindler's List, James Bond  and other famous film scores. 

Related Works

'*THE LAND OF COUNTERPANE' op.451 (May 1993) (Audio Sample Available)
A song-cycle to poems by Robert Louis Stevenson for male speaker, film (optional), choir and orchestra
A script created for an animated film of the song-cycle (op. 451)

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