This newest addition to the Walking Oliver catalogue is truly unique - a professionally produced CD based on lyrics written exclusively by children. The first annual Walking Oliver Poetry in Song Competition of 2004 inspired well over a thousand primary students across Great Britain to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard in most cases) and compose poems on the theme of 'Dreams'.
1300 kids (12 and under) submitted their poems from all over the UK. 15 winning poems were chosen by the judges' panel and all of them are here!
Sharing a profound admiration for these young lyricists and respect for the emotional integrity of their work, Paul Austin Kelly and Richard Durrant have set their words to music, creating songs that are as meaningful as they are entertaining.
The enclosed booklet includes some of the original artwork submitted with the poems from our obviously multi-talented poets. Walking Oliver's resident graphic designer Ornan Rotem graciously lends his imagination and skill in creating unity between sound and vision.
"Poetry in Song" 2004 Judges:
Michael Rosen, children's poet
Ron Heapy, children's book editor, Oxford University Press
Herbie Flowers, composer and instrumentalist
Paul Austin Kelly, singer/songwriter and director of Walking Oliver
Rod Savage, Deputy Editor of Teacher Magazine
Winners will each receive a free copy of the CD featuring cover artwork made up of illustrations submitted by the entrants themselves with a design by the inimitable Ornan Rotem. The CD will also be on sale to the general public and through the schools, as well as part of the Walking Oliver catalogue through the WO official website, CDBaby and on many download sites.
PAUL AUSTIN KELLY is the co-Director of Walking Oliver Ltd and a world-renowned opera singer. But don't panic! Even Paul knows that most children's ears aren't yet ready for the intensity of the operatic style! Nevertheless, as a highly trained musician, he knows what quality music for kids should be, so he brings his formidable musical talents in both composition and voice to the Walking Oliver musical repertoire. As agile on guitar as keyboard, with a voice that maneuvers skillfully and playfully through a wide variety of musical styles, Paul brings the joy of music and the talent of musicianship to every Walking Oliver recording , making the music come alive for children who can't help but sing along!
RICHARD DURRANT is renowned for his extraordinary guitar playing, equally at home with traditional folk and pop music as well as the classical repertoire. He is also an accomplished music composer, producer and recipient of the 2002 Daily Mail Golden Jubilee Award by HRH Prince Charles for his work promoting art in the community. Owner of the LongMan Records label, he is the producer of the very successful Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.
In 2002, Paul Austin Kelly made it official. From country to folk, jazz to hip hop, rock to pop and even classical, Walking Oliver recordings would be imaginative, insightful musical journeys, always backed by quality musical performances, always delivering on the promise of quality music for kids.
Still, it has been with the collaboration of his artistic partners that Paul's original mission comes full circle. After having been in contact for more than three years via email and telephone, famed children's illustrator Korky Paul finally hopped aboard the Walking Oliver bandwagon and not only designed the irresistible WO logo, complete with a whistling, finger-snapping Oliver, but also joined the team as designer and illustrator of their CD mini-books and labels, giving Walking Oliver both a fun-loving canine mascot and fantastical full-colour fun to accompany children's listening experience. Because while Walking Oliver will always be first and foremost about quality music for kids, music is just the beginning. Through music, words and art, Walking Oliver is dedicated to creating those special moments of love and laughter for kids and their families.
Paul has performed leading roles with many of the world's most prestigious opera companies including the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, La Scala in Milan, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Glyndebourne Festival.
He has made numerous guest appearances on BBC Radio. Mr. Kelly has also worked professionally as a jazz singer and is an accomplished guitarist and trumpet player. A native of upstate New York, Paul Austin Kelly lives with his wife Carol, son Zack and, of course, Oliver Himself, at their home in Lewes, East Sussex, England.