Sunday, 18 November 2012

Turning junk into art: the Facebook song

One of the joys of television in my childhood was watching Tony Hart - first on Vision On and then on Take Hart - produce simple and beautiful drawings and paintings with apparent casualness and effortlessness. He had a trick of starting with a collection of rubbish - bits of paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, printed or plain, "any old load of junk" as he would say" - and then "get organised": arrange selected pieces on a backing sheet so that when he put a frame around them they looked great. A work of 'art, you might say.

The Australian composer Gordon Hamilton has done something similar, turning status updates from his Facebook friends into a vocal piece for his choir, The AustralianVoices. I had the pleasure last week of hearing them perform it live during a concert in Old Wolverton's Holy Trinity Church; they invited Polymnia, the choir I sing in, to do a guest spot in their concert, which was pretty cool too. The song takes its title from the first of the status updates: "Toy Story 3 =  Awesome".  Lee Unkrich, the director of Toy Story 3, loved it, and you will too.

I'm not sure what the relevance for learning materials is, other than the obvious one: it's not what you've got, it's what you do with it that counts.

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