April 18, 2009

For Today: The Langley Schools Music Project

I was looking up Liberian Congresswoman Malinda Jackson Parker to find more pianists for our Pianosphere project (the one where we judge if Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou is the Best Piano Player Ever to Live & Play the Piano). Irwin Chusid is the man who first compiled "Songs in the Key of Z", & the Wikipedia lists as one of his primary accomplishments the recovery of the Langley Schools Music Project. They are a "collection of children's chorus recordings made from 1976-77 by Canadian music teacher Hans Fenger in a school gymnasium in Langley, British Columbia, near Vancouver. The students performed unique versions of pop hits by the likes of The Beach Boys, David Bowie, and Paul McCartney. The recordings were quickly forgotten until Victoria record collector Brian Linds found the first record in a thrift store and sent it to" Irwin Chusid. (I love the poetry of the Wikipedia, like how the recordings were "quickly forgotten.") It's not quite of the pianosphere, altho there are pianos.

Here's a few samplers:

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Found at bee mp3 search engine

David Bowie said of that recording of Major Tom: "The backing arrangement is astounding. Coupled with the earnest if lugubrious vocal performance you have a piece of art that I couldn't have conceived of, even with half of Colombia's finest export products in me". Since when did Mr Bowie refer to the former colonies as "Columbia"? UPDATE: Thank you, anonymous comment, for pointed out that David Bowie meant Colombia, that country, not Columbia, the alternate name for the New World. I think I had Murillo's Lesson on the brain.



ß. Andrigon said...

Shit, that Last FM link only lets you listen to thirty second samplers. You can buy it on iTunes here.

Anonymous said...

It's "Colombia", not "Columbia" in the quote. Think about Colombia's exports and what they are and you'll understand Bowie's remark.

Mary Catherine Mary said...

We have this record (on vinyl) and listen to it frequently. This was an inspired project, to be sure ... with an awe-inspiring result.

ß. Andrigon said...

Thanks, anonymous, I added a note. Wow, Miss Mary! You have it on vinyl!