Indigenous in the News Featured Artist Review -
Sohow long has it been exactly since we last heard anything aboutTwinkle, Twinkle Little Star? Or Baa Baa Black Sheep for that matter?Writing something unique and interesting about a children’s song CD hasprovided its own kind of challenge. I embrace that, however, I must beperfectly clear on learning to sing and play children’s songs. I haveto tell you that I discovered that it wasn’t fun for me.
My ideaof musical fun is a 20 x 30 FT stage under the lights with 30,000 watts,tuned up and jamming to a crowd of frenzied dancers. I have enormousrespect for those that can just stand there and sing. I stand in awe ofthose that can carry that off with dignity and grace.
On Radmilla Codys Precious Friends; Songs for Children, There are severalhighlights. I am particularly entranced by the third trac, Buy aVehicle. The lyric tells a story about what owning a car would mean toa Native family. Its fun and I am sure is intended for a slightlyolder child.
While the first several trax are a vocal backed bya drum and rattle accompaniment the clever I Made Him/Her Cry changesit up with the use of a guitar backing.
The fifth trac, MyRelatives, is a song about a traditional protocol in Navaho culture andhow important your relatives are to you. They are important enough togo visit but, also, since everything is a relative, just steppingoutside means that you are able to visit with your relatives by simplytaking a walk. Everything has spirit and so we are comforted by thefact that we have relatives everywhere.
Of course you’ve got tohave a song about fry bread or it wouldnt be a children’s song CD.With a lovely piano accompaniment it relates the making of fry bread tokids in a fun and animated song form.
Twinkle, Twinkle LittleStar is sung with passion in Navaho beautifully by a woman that caresfor kids. Another light and elegant piano accompaniment and some sortof music box chime really sets this twinkle apart from the rest ofthe pack. There is some serious thought behind what Ms. Cody is doinghere.
Obviously, there is language preservation going on at theintroductory level, which is the single most important step in theprocess of retaining and revitalizing a culture. Teach the young onesthe language; you will keep the culture alive and vital. While shesings most of the songs in her traditional language, the universalityof several songs puts them in the category of instantly recognizableto anyone.
The organization of the song titles, the sparearrangements, the traditional language, and the tasty use of soundeffects, fatten the production and keep it interesting.
The realbeauty of this CD, however, is in the nature of the singer. She hasmanaged to get into a Childs spirit and sing with the same enthusiasmyou might get from a group of young children who love to sing it outloud. I wish that I could do that.
That is why it is such a joyto hear this CD. There is much skill involved in keeping the attentionof young children but, there is no doubt any child listening to this CDwill want to listen to it all. As for the child in me, I have reallyloved listening to this CD because for a minute there I became a kidagain. Here is a listening experience that is not to be missed. Theimportance of this work must not be overlooked.
For further info on this artist please surf to the following web site: http://www.radmillacody.net/
To contact Radmilla: firstname.lastname@example.org
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