Various Artists
Innocence & Despair: The Langley Schools Music Project CD - Bar-None


Conventional children’s music is condescending. Or, so thought intrepid and astute Langley, British Columbia elementary school music teacher Hans Fenger, who discovered that kids in his classes cherished songs that evoke loneliness and sadness much more than the trite bubblegum pop they’re purported to adore. In the mid-Seventies, Fenger gathered approximately one-hundred-fifty students to record their favorite tunes. The song arrangements were simplified so that the kids could play most instruments themselves on xylophones, drums and percussion with Fenger on acoustic guitar. The results are incredibly captivating. Such “adult” songs as David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” The Beatles’ “Long And Winding Road” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” - recorded live in the school gym - are turned into haunting, epic mini-symphonies that truly evoke a sense of innocence and despair. (Dave Clifford)
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