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Young Rapture Choir in France

By Laura Veirs

About a year and a half ago during a tour through France, a man named Patrice introduced himself after a show. He told me he was teaching some of my songs to his middle school music class. "Wow, I'd love to hear a recording," I told him. A few months later, back in Seattle, I received a package with their renditions of "Rapture" and "The Cloud Room". Forty-five pure, young, French-accented voices piped through my speakers, and I sat there dumbstruck. Accompanied by cello on the first song and a rock band on the second, this mysterious children's choir gave me the surprising gift of hearing my songs in a whole new light. I wrote them a letter thanking them for the honor, and they replied with a plan to do a full concert of my songs the following Spring.

Fast forward to the evening of April 8, 2006, in a school theater in Cognac, France ... Producer/drummer Tucker Martine and I sat at the back of a packed room. Two hundred and fifty parents and students sat on the floor and in the bleachers in front of a small, informal stage. Thirty girls and five boys (ages 11-16) arranged themselves on the stage. To their left, a back-up band of boy teen rockers strapped on their guitars. With his '80s blond hair flowing, Patrice faced the choir in white pants with his electric guitar slung low.

The choir began to sing, and Tucker and I looked at each other, shocked. The mixture of the kids' powerful, pure voices and the band's grungy guitars and drums was incredible. Patrice had a casual approach: he was funny, quirky, and very much in love with life and with his students. Everyone had obviously worked hard to pull the whole show together. They sounded terrific.

Most of the older girls stood tall and sang with confidence. The younger kids were more distracted and fidgety, and a few boys barely moved their mouths, their arms hanging limp at their sides. I almost burst into tears during a duet of "Magnetized" * by two adorable 11-year old girls who also played double recorder solos. I sang "Rapture" with the choir and enjoyed looking over at the kids as we sang together. A couple of other highlights were when the group morphed the end of "Shadow Blues" into "John Henry Lives", and when Patrice explained, "We're trying to make 'Rialto' sound like the Pixies." A million thanks to Patrice and his students for their hard work and wonderful interpretations of my songs. Rare experiences like this make my life as an artist unexpectedly rewarding.

Laura's most recent album is "Year of Meteors"

* Thanks to Tucker Martine for the song recordings

Comments

Laura- This is an inspiration! Thank you for posting. I reviewed your album in The Crutch’s last issue, you can read here:
http://www.thecrutch.net/may2006.pdf
As a writer and performer in Seattle, I must say that you are a real role model; thanks for the music.

And to Nonesuch - this blog is a great idea, way to jump on the bandwagon before pretty much everyone else (as far as record labels go, that is).

This is a true story that clearly shows the mega difference in every aspect(s) between a “true” artists & bunch of “wannabies” who bear the name tag: Celebrity. To be honest with you this latter makes me puke! Sorry to be so direct & rude.
And to NONESUCH: The name you’ve chosen for your label says it ALL.
Cheers & Keep UP the excellent job.
Hamid.
Tehran-Iran.

A great story - though in Belgium we do have a similar girl choir called Scala. They perform a whole array of rock songs, and are quite big in France and Germany.
David,
Antwerp (Belgium)

that is so incredibly sweet! i loved that story

I found out about Laura Veirs via the UK’s The Word Magazine’s March 2005 free monthly sampler CD and I am so thrilled that I found my way to her music. I have never heard anything quite like her before. She is a real, genuine, 110% orginal talent and can’t be categorised simply just as a “folk” singer as she seems to have invented a whole new genre! I love her many references to nature, you really see the picture she describes. It is pure poetical magic - in fact there is something of an “other world” about her music - “music while you work” for faerie folk - do you know what I mean? Listen to Year of Meteors and you will! .

I love the CD Triumphs and Travails Of Orphan Mae too, especially The Jailhouse Is On Fire, Black Eyed Susan and Through December (the free track on The Word mag 2005 sampler). I now have all 4 of her CDs as I have just received Carbon Glaciers and Troubled by Fire (via Amazon.com Marketplace - imported from the US ….. sooo quickly), but I can’t bear to take Meteors off my CD player to listen to them!

I think that Galaxies (2nd Track on Year of Meteors), if released (or re-released?, could be a massive hit if it were given airplay. I listen to UK radio quite a lot but have never heard Laura played. I’d love someone at the BBC to champion Laura (come on Jo whiley, Janice Long), but then when she is the huge star she deserves to be, we earlyish fans of LV might actually feel quite narked!

Signing off now to stick Meteors back on my player - totally addicted!!

Jan Morris
Bristol, England - 30th June 2006

French Kids Love Laura Veirs

I’ve long championed Laura Veirs, and at her Mercury show I even met Sufjan! So she can do no wrong in my book. Laura posted an interesting story on Nonesuch’s blog.About a year and a half ago during a tour…

Love the story. I actually bought the Rapture Choir CD too. To me, Laura Veirs is the ultimate artist, totally real, and connected to her audience, and deserving of their admiration based on her artistic merit alone, not based on artifice. Just because Nonesuch added her to their catalog, I will start investigating the rest of their catalog carefully and see what other artists they have there, so that I can buy their CDs and promote them to friends. Cheers!

Hello! How can I buy the beautiful Young Rapture Choir CD?