The Way Home

An Ageless Tale for All Ages

Synopsis for a Musical Film of Live & Animated Images

From wonder into wonder the powerful rhythms of Bali, Japan and Africa take you on a journey into worlds of splendor never seen before. As the sensual rhythms of drum and bamboo flow through your chest, belly and feet, you slide round and round in a spiral seashell, bounce on an enormous Japanese drum, dance inside the giant bamboo tubes of a Balinese xylophone, jump into the center of a flower blossom, a place where only honeybees have been…

Two children from a far-off planet, devoid of sound and color, arrive on Earth in search of music. By chance they land in ancient India and from there they travel to Bali, Japan, Africa and fifteenth century Italy. Throughout their journey they encounter the deep, powerful rhythms of drum and bamboo and discover many intriguing natural forms—seashell, sunflower, snowflake...

When those objects morph—precisely synchronized to the rhythms of the music—into spirals, spheres and other forms, the kids (and their audience) jump, swing and dive into a glorious jungle gym of geometry. Playing inside those forms we see, hear and feel the surprising connection that binds nature, geometry and musical rhythm.

But the journey is not all play; the children must overcome dark forces, negotiate close calls and narrow escapes. They are abducted by the flying shadow monkeys in Bali, terrified by a tough old samurai warrior in Japan and pursued by that African trickster, Ananse the spider. Finally, landing in Italy, they meet geometer Luca Pacioli (1445–1517), author of a treatise entitled “Divine Proportion.” He conjures up a geomagical spectacle of transformation wherein the nature, geometry and music the children encountered reappear to reveal a deeper message, that nothing is separate—everything is connected.

The Way Home is a full-length film of animated figures (lead characters and geometric forms) and live action (musicians, dancers, natural phenomena). There is a story line, humor, tension, and character development: the children (a 12 year-old girl and her younger brother) serve as guides, leading viewers into an exploration of their own sensory perceptions of sound. The film poses provocative questions meant to generate further inquiry which will be supported by interactive media, books, recordings, constructive play objects, and simple musical instruments based on those played in the film.

The Way Home is a new telling of an old story—the wonders of harmonious proportion that we find in natural forms and the wonderful ways we express that beauty and order through geometry and music. Working together, the music, images, and story of The Way Home convey an elemental force that goes directly to the deepest part of our being. This is real magic—creation, growth and transformation, the force that sprouts a seed, spins a spiral, sounds a drum...

Moon and sphere, starfish and pentagram, sunflower and spiral set to the music of ancient traditions—timeless elements for an ageless tale, one that is forever re-imagining itself, forever spiraling outward, leading us to new places, forever spiraling inward, showing us the way home.

enso—a gesture in the Japanese art of sumi-e
The circle is open. In its embrace, fullness…emptiness…

More than a decade in development, The Way Home has a screenplay, several animatics (animated storyboards), a complete presentation (graphics, natural objects, concept & technical descriptions, soundtrack samples, etc.) and is ready for production.

Personal presentation arranged for potential participants.

The audio that accompanies this page is a sampling of traditional music from Africa, Bali, Japan and ancient Europe used in The Way Home.