Hey guys… I’m not really in the mood to write a lengthy post today. My neck and shoulders hurt from sleeping “wrong” last night. Bill has to go away again this week, so I’m not feeling very inspired. I did write a fresh post on the travel blog.
Anyway, since I’m not really in the mood to write a lot today, I thought I’d share some music I recently discovered. I think I found Libera— an English boys choir whose members range from age 7 to 16– on YouTube a few months ago. I was so enchanted by their music that I downloaded a couple of their albums. Last night, one of their ethereal pieces played on my HomePod and I decided to see if they had any more recent albums released.
It turned out they’d released If in 2021. I downloaded and just listened to the whole thing this morning. It’s perfect music for a Sunday morning, especially as I’m writing and thinking. I will confess, however, that I had to stop a couple of times because I was moved to tears. I never really liked boys choirs that much before, but now that I’m getting old, the good ones impress me greatly. I find their music very peaceful and nourishing to the soul. Another album is coming out soon. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for it.
Here are a couple of videos I found today…
And I recognized the music below because I’m a fan of John Rutter’s choral music, and had heard “Deep Peace” done by his Cambridge Singers. Libera does justice to this gorgeous and thoughtful piece…
I really enjoy excellent choirs. I haven’t sung in one myself in a long time, but I do miss the experience. It’s almost as nice to hear them, even if I can’t join them. I am very impressed by how amazing these young singers are. I feel a little jealous, too, because they still have so many years ahead of them to develop their gifts.
While I’m writing about young musical talents, I feel like I should share this awesome news piece I read yesterday about in the Washington Post. Ten year old Pennsylvania fifth grader, Olive Wallace, composed and hand scored a piece that she played at school. She was disappointed in her performance, so she just set the piece aside. Her mom, Mimi, saw the handwritten piece and put it up on TikTok, asking someone to play it for her. Many musicians took up the challenge, and soon Olive was an Internet sensation.
At first, Olive was upset with her mom for sharing her music, but then had a change of heart when she heard a pianist play it. Then, the piece was arranged by Dr. Christopher T.F. Hanson, director of musical education at Seattle Pacific University, and conductor of a string orchestra in Washington State. Olive said that rendition of her song, which she titled “For Greatness We Bring”, was perfect.
Hanson made a controversial statement, saying that he hoped to monetize the orchestra’s version on music platforms and donate the proceeds to music education. I applaud his idea to donate the money to music education, but I also feel like it’s not really his right to decide to monetize the composition, since it’s not his original work. I also took issue with this comment he made:
“I saw it as such a beautiful example of how the 21st century can utilize technology and social media to connect people,” Hanson said. “Because she scrawled some notes on a page, because I can read music and I have access to a community that makes music, we’ve now connected with literally millions of people.”
I don’t know about you, but that statement sounded a bit minimizing to me. This is a ten year old child with an obvious musical gift. Hanson makes it sound like she had beginner’s luck or something, and it took his genius to bring the music to life. That’s not so. Go on TikTok, and you’ll find a lot of interesting interpretations of Olive’s work. Some are better than others, in my opinion, but they all represent creativity inspired by one person’s initiative. Nevertheless, I can’t deny that Dr. Hanson’s string version is beautiful. I cried when I heard it. So did Bill. So did a lot of people commenting on the YouTube link.
I think Olive’s composition is incredible. I think she has the potential to go far, if she nourishes that gift of hers. But I also know what it feels like to be pressured when you’re a kid… so I hope she gets gentle encouragement to develop her talents. I also hope that Dr. Hanson shows her the respect she deserves.
I should mention that I don’t usually enjoy “kid acts”. I find that a lot of times, youth is used as a gimmick to promote and sell the talents of people who should be allowed to be children. However, there are some exceptions. When it comes to boy choirs, naturally, that has to be done when boys are actually still boys.
Well, that about does it for me today. I think I’ll go take a pill and watch some more cop videos or something. The weather is yucky and my muscles hurt. See you tomorrow.