In 2018, Jodie McLeod published her children’s picture book Leonard the Lyrebird thanks to a crowdfunding campaign. Both McLeod and Eloise Short, who did the illustrations, live in the Blue Mountains where the bush animal story is set. Now Leonard the Lyrebirdis to hit the stage in a brand new production called Leonard the Lyrebird: A Musical Story, which Mountain Concerts and Scenic World Blue Mountains are presenting this month. The show features an original classical composition by Ian Munro to be performed by pianist Grace Kim (who is also the producer), cellist Teije Hylkema, and clarinettist Philip Green, with Munro himself as the narrator. Ian Munrospoke to Limelightabout the project.

Some of the Leonard the Lyrebird: A Musical Storyteam: Teije Hylkema, Jodie McLeod, Grace Kim and Ian Munro. Photograph supplied

Was it you who was inspired to write the composition based on the book or were you commissioned?

I was asked by Grace Kim to write a musical setting for Leonard before I’d read the story or seen the illustrations. Grace’s description of the project immediately took my fancy, as I’ve always loved the genre of story-telling in music since I...