Archive for December, 2010

This video was too awesome not to share. This is Jim Barthelman’s 5th grade class–and a number of good-natured adults–of Quinhagak, Alaska performing the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah. Quinhagak (pronounced quin hah guk) is a small Yupik Eskimo village of 680 residents in Western Alaska.

The kids were originally slated to perform the song live, but they were too shy so their teacher came up with the idea of making a music video instead. Have a happy holiday season!


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If, like me, you come out in a rash after hearing the same ten carols played fifteen thousand times between Halloween and Thanksgiving, then this jukebox is for you. Here’s some holiday music that hasn’t been overdone or beat to death and that doesn’t cause listeners to break out in red and green pox.

A beautiful poem set to beautiful music by Loreena McKennitt. If you can find her CD “To Drive the Cold Winter Away”, it is very worthwhile.

As you may have guessed, I prefer old fashioned carols that celebrate the winter solstice. This rendition of  “In the Bleak Midwinter” is by the Potters.

Bob Hallett of Great Big Sea, aided by an enthusiastic audience, does the GBS version of “Come and I Will Sing You”. “Come and I Will Sing You”, also known as the “Ten Commandments”, is a very old song with variations in a number of different languages. Although it may appear to be a version of the “Twelve Days of Christmas”, it’s not–the imagery is strange and pagan. You can hear Great Big Sea sing this song on their album, “The Hard and Easy”. The CD also comes with a companion DVD on which the lads discuss some of the history behind the songs.

To end, this is a time lapse video of a blooming Christmas cactus set to “Betlehem, Betlehem” by Kitka from their album, “Wintersongs”. If you haven’t heard Kitka, they are an all-woman ensemble specializing in the vocal music of Eastern Europe.   I highly recommend their “Wintersongs” album, by the way.  You can purchase a copy from their website (http://www.kitka.org) or from CDbaby.com.

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They said it couldn’t be done, but Christopher Salmon did it! His Kickstarter page garnered $161,774  put up by 2,001 backers. The original goal was $150,000. Now that the money has been raised, it time for the actual work to start. Chris has put up a production blog and encourages everyone to follow along as he adapts Neil Gaiman’s short story, “The Price”, into a short, animated film.

It goes without saying that “Battlestar Bears” and the other fictional children’s books listed here should immediately be rushed into production. I know I would buy them.

I also badly want to see “A Klingon Kristmas Karol” which is currently showing in Chicago, IL. Minnesota had the honor of producing this play first which tells the story of how Klingon Scrooge learns the importance of courage and bravery, thus keeping Klingon Tiny Tim from being horribly murdered. The production is entirely in Klingon with subtitles that are projected in the theater.  Somewhere Charles Dickens is probably turning over in his grave, but I love the whole idea.

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