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Music made by children in schools,
This review is from: Classroom Projects (Audio CD)
Trunk records have a reputation for unearthing and releasing long forgotten and unknown outsider music and this compilation of music, songs, singing and sounds made by children in schools is no exception. Comprising of over 20 recordings taken from various albums and singles recorded and released in extremely limited quantities by British primary and secondary schools between 1958 and 1981, it is, on the whole, more unconventional than the sing-along style of the Langley Schools Music Project. Much of the music featured is either of the folkish or Avant Garde (including BBC Radiophonic-esque tape manipulation) variety and there are some scary as hell pieces alongside moments of out and out beauty and straight-forward sing-alongs.
'Don't Drink and Drive' by the Hutton School Choir is a mid-seventies message on the perils of drink driving ("Once you've drunk all your ale you'll have the bobbies on your tail") and it is exasperatingly addictive. The Chelmsford County High School cover of the Korean War folk song 'Portland Town' is sombre but beautiful and the Small Choir of St. Brandon's School take on 'Bright Eyes' is the album's most Langley-like moment. Most of the Avant Garde recordings are taken from 'Sounds and Silence', a 1969 album comprising of music composed and played by children that acted as a companion to a book of the same name. Together they were used as guides to stimulate creativity in the classroom and a couple of these tracks are very spooky indeed.
In the very interesting sleeve notes, Jonny Trunk explains how rare some of this music is and that a lot of the schools have long since shut down and of the schools that are still open, none have any of their recordings in their archives. All of the recordings have been taken direct from vinyl copies (none of the master tapes exist) but the overall sound is very good and the occasional inconsistency here and there adds to the overall charm. Clocking in at 58 minutes, this is another interesting and worthwhile release from Trunk records. Great cover artwork too.