Paul Austin Kelly & Richard Durrant | Dreams--The Walking Oliver Poetry in Song Competition 2004

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Dreams--The Walking Oliver Poetry in Song Competition 2004

by Paul Austin Kelly & Richard Durrant

This newest addition to the Walking Oliver catalogue is truly unique - a professionally produced CD based on lyrics written exclusively by children 12 and under, Paul Austin Kelly and Richard Durrant have set their words to music.
Genre: Kids/Family: Educational
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1. Flying in My Head Paul Austin Kelly
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4:12 album only
2. The Beautiful Game Paul Austin Kelly
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3:14 album only
3. Night of the Reptiles Paul Austin Kelly
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3:37 album only
4. Why I Don't Like Ghosts Paul Austin Kelly & Richard Durrant
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1:40 album only
5. Split (You Fractured My Heart) Paul Austin Kelly
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3:58 album only
6. Fade Away Paul Austin Kelly
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3:23 album only
7. Maya & I Paul Austin Kelly
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4:37 album only
8. The Cold Stares Paul Austin Kelly
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3:16 album only
9. Before the Dance Paul Austin Kelly
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3:16 album only
10. It's Easy to Dream Paul Austin Kelly
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2:17 album only
11. My Family and Me Paul Austin Kelly
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3:42 album only
12. The Bus that has No Sheep In Paul Austin Kelly
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3:45 album only
13. Who Am I? Paul Austin Kelly
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0:48 album only
14. Dreams of Home Paul Austin Kelly
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6:40 album only
15. Sweet Dreams Richard Durrant
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1:50 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
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

The CD
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.


Reviews


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Gerald Haigh--Times Educational Supplement

A children’s poetry competition has led to an outstanding musical recording.
A children’s poetry competition has led to an outstanding musical recording. Gerald Haigh reports~

Something remarkable has happened here. Paul Austin Kelly and Richard Durrant, of Walking Oliver– producers of classy and beautifully recorded performances of songs for children– have applied their considerable talents to 15 wonderful poems by children. The poems were entered for the Walking Oliver Poetry in Song competition 2004, supported by The TES, and the result is always excellent and often truly beautiful.

For Paul and Richard, composers and performers, it’s been a challenging task. Children’s poems come in widely differing styles and those chosen, though they show genuine understanding of rhythm, are mostly too subtle to just go tum-ti-tum.

Paul and Richard, though, are well up to the task. Using a combination of live payaing and singing with a lot of clever studio work on a synthesiser, they pay respect to every poem.

As a singer, Paul Austin Kelly seems able to switch on anything from grand opera to country and western, with engaging warmth and clarity.

So, “Flying in My Head,” by seven-year-old Lucy Elizabeth Humphries, a jolly number about mentally escaping from maths, gets a bouncy tune and rhythm that eventually soars freely on a big ensemble sound:

“Chase the wind and dancing
All across the ground,
Always in my head it seems
Such joy is to be found.”

The really hard ones to set, however, were surely those in which children poured out inner feelings that sometimes seem almost too private and painful to touch. How, for example, to set about writing a tune to 10-year-old Lucie Shaw’s “Split (You’ve Fractured My Heart)”, about dad leaving the family home.

“When everything is over
You’ll be on your own.
Dad is like the gardener
Now the seeds are sown.”

Paul Austin Kelly’s response is to make the poem become, effectively, the lyric of a major number in an unwritten modern musical– shades of Sondheim, perhaps– and he sings it with the passion it deserves.

There are so many delights– “Maya and I,” 11-year-old Katie Ebner-Landy’s crazy dream about a bamboo airport, turns Paul and Richard into Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, while “The Bus that has No Sheep In,” by Laura Hoath, aged 10– a dream in more poignant mood– gets the jazz-funk treatment.

This isn’t a singalong product (although experience tells me that when children really like a song they’ll always give it a go) but it is a delight to listen to, especially with the texts to hand.

Marianne Hatchwell

The more I listen to "DREAMS" the more I enjoy it!
The more I listen to "DREAMS" the more I enjoy it! I love less usual melodies and musical form, syncopation and modulation! I studied a little music! I shall order a copy of Through Tenderwood as Paul Austin Kelly and Richard Durrant have recorded it.

Marianne

Elizabeth Humphris

What a fantastic CD!
What a fantastic CD!  All the tunes are wonderful, making us smile, feel sad, dance.....  We have all been singing them ever since we got it.  The poems really come alive and touch the soul.  I admire your talent tremendously and am so grateful to you for bringing such excitement and joy to us.