Tag Archives: musical score

“Famishius Fantasticus” Premiers at Dakota High School

Michael Markowski, a composer and longtime fan of Chuck Jones, recently was commissioned by the Wind Ensemble of Dakota High School in Macomb, Michigan to create a musical work for them. The result was "Famishius Fantasticus" a four-minute "wild concert-closer" in the words of the composer. 


Mr. Markowski writes in a letter to Chuck Redux: "Thank you so much for allowing me to share my music with you. Chuck Jones has been a surprisingly big part of my creative life, from watching Looney Tunes as a kid to studying them in college as a film major. Famishius Fantasticus was so much fun to write, and I'm excited that I will be able to share my love for the original Looney Tunes cartoons with the current generation of high school and college music students who, in most cases, have never even seen one." 

In the foreword to the score, he's said, "When I was first asked to write a piece that "captured the energy of the students," I couldn't help but think that Wile E. Coyote was the man (or animal) for the job. The title, Famishius Fantasticus, is a direct allusion to the faux binomial (the scientific Latin name) of Wile E. Coyote, as shown in the opening freeze-frame of the 1956 Looney Tunes cartoon, There They Go-Go-Go

"…[Famishius Fantasticus] is dedicated to all my friends and colleagues who vehemently go after their dreams, who never give up, and who continue totry new things no matter how many crazy ideas might blow up in their faces."

And we agree! Here, then is the Dakota High School Wind Ensemble of Macomb, Michigan, performing Michael Markowski's Famishius Fantasticus. Enjoy! (Please pay close attention to the percussionists, they work overtime for this piece. You may also note that ping-pong balls, an air horn and the magnificent Mahler Hammer are utilized to produce some delightful sounds.)


PLOOP! (Sound Effect)

CJLayout-122 copy
When you see the word 'PLOOP!' written with the instruction that it is a sound effect, what noise do you hear?  In this layout drawing (graphite on 12 field animation paper) by Chuck Jones from his 1959 short animated cartoon, "Baton Bunny" and debuting in theaters nationwide on January 10th we find Bugs Bunny struggling with loose cufflinks, a pesky fly and a score (score!) that demands the utmost from its conductor.  Our intrepid rabbit is, of course, up to the task.  

Jones' sound effect note would have been heeded by his long-time sound editor (and film editor) Tregoweth "Treg" Brown (1899-1984) and we're sure he knew exactly what was called for in this scene as Jones and his crew by this time were of a mind, so attuned to each other that the slightest gesture or the least of clues would automatically be interpreted properly.