Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Seeing the world through music

In an interview with NPR's Renee Montagne
Natalie Merchant talks about creating her new album, Leave Your Sleep,  partly to introduce her seven-year old daughter to the wide spectrum of the world's music.  Merchant says she adapted a wide range of poems from  nursery rhymes to lines from Victorian poets, and that she was connecting musical styles to place, from jazz to Celtic to Chinese rhythms. This is not an album for children so much as about childhood. In the NPR interview,  Montagne described the songs as like "hand-painted toys" especially in Merchant's recording with The Chinese Music Ensemble  of the nursery rhyme "The King of China's Daughter" It includes these lines:
I skipped across the nutmeg grove,
I skipped across the sea.
But neither sun nor moon, my dear,
has yet caught me.
Leave Your Sleep could add rich dimensions to your exploration of multicultural literature with adult ESOL students, older children,  or in any cross-cultural journey.

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