07 March 2004

Innocence and despair

Checking out the Langley Schools Music Project site is worth it for the celebrity testamonials alone: David Bowie, John Zorn, and Neil Gaiman, for starters. But the music itself does well and truly boggle the mind.
The Langley Schools Music Project is a 60-voice chorus of rural school children from western Canada, untrained but captivated by melodic magic, singing tunes by the Beach Boys, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, The Bay City Rollers, and others. The students accompany themselves with the shimmering gamelan chimes of Orff percussion, and elemental rock trimmings arranged by their itinerant music teacher, Hans Fenger.
Fenger writes of 9-year-old Sheila Behman's version of the Eagles' ''Desperado'' on that record: ''She sang it without a trace of sentimentality, a literal reading. She had no idea about the romantic cowboy stuff; she just heard it as sad, the way a child does.''

No comments: