Monday, July 9, 2012

The Langley Music Project [1976]


"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." --David.Bowie (on the Langley students' rendition of "Space.Oddity")

"The effect of all those young voices singing 'Calling Occupants' is charming." --Richard Carpenter, The.Carpenters

"When I heard about the Langley Project, it seemed very interesting, but I did have the thought that it might sound like children singing off-key in a gym. The reality blew me away -- a haunting, evocative wall-of-sound experience that is affecting in an incredibly visceral way. What an amazing CD!" --Fred Schneider, The.B-52s

"This is beauty. This is truth. This is music that touches the heart in a way no other music ever has, or ever could." --John.Zorn

"Outside-music archivist [and Langley chronicler] Irwin Chusid [insists] that these strange and charming renditions of songs like 'Space Oddity,' 'I'm Into Something Good,' and 'Desperado' have artistic merit. Surprisingly, he's right. In its own surreally amateurish way, this stuff is both accomplished and addictive." (Rating: B+) --Rob Brunner, Entertainment.Weekly

"Once you recover from the kitsch of their schoolyard rendition of the Carpenters' ode to extraterrestrial life, 'Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft,' you may well regard this CD as a testament to the value of creative teaching, and of music education in schools." --Sue Cummings, RollingStone.com

"It is very evident that the [Orff] instruments were not used as they would be used in the Orff-Schulwerk approach. AOSA has no desire to be connected with this recording ... Thank you for your interest in the American Orff-Schulwerk Association." --Executive.Director, American Orff-Schulwerk Association


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.

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