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This is the website of Byte-town Fyfer. It lists the currently available musical and other works of Sjef Frenken. If you want to know a bit more about him, click on BIO. But he won’t mind if you don’t.
It’s out! The long-awaited, four-years-in-the-making THE SONGS OF DAVID SIMMONDS AND SJEF FRENKEN – 32 of Their Collaborations – is hot off the press. It presents the combined talents of lyricist (and sometimes composer) David Simmonds, and composer Sjef Frenken. In the course of their twelve-year association, they've co-written more than three dozen songs, of which 32 found their way onto this project..
This two-disc album features the composer singing, with here and there an assist by the lovely voice of Amanda Bon. The songs range across a wide spectrum of topics and emotions, with lyrics that touch the heart, engage the intellect and tickle the funny-bone.
The lyrics to the songs can be found here.
SONGS TO EDWARD LEAR
The fourth, beautifully illustrated album in the projected ten-CD series of Songs for the Inner Child is now available. This one offers sixteen of Edward Lear's longer verses, including Calico Pie, The Owl and The Pussy-Cat, The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò, and The Dong with the Luminous Nose. The imaginative illustrations are the work of Australian artist M.M.J. Lee. For various reasons, including the excessive thickness of the booklet containing the lyrics, this CD has been issued in a digipak.
As with the previous three albums in the series (Songs to Robert Louis Stevenson, Songs to Eugene Field, and Songs to Walter de la Mare), it contains music that on the one hand appeals to youngsters, and on the other hand has enough musical as and well as intellectual content to be appreciated by adults. These songs are not limericks; in fact some are rather lengthy. The small handful of musicians for this enterprise is again drawn from the Aomezeyck Ensemble, with arranger Greg Geeves at the piano in two of the songs. The composer is once again singing the songs himself, with a little help here and there from Ottawa singer-songwriter Amanda Bon.
A word about the concept behind the series SONGS FOR THE INNER CHILD:
Ever since 1962, Sjef Frenken has searched out the best in English-language poetry for children for the purposes of setting these gems to music. Most of these verses date from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, when children of the well-to-do were reared by nannies whose tasks included introducing their charges to the world of poetry. And while these poems were written for youngsters, there's lots of material that will appeal to adults: recollections of their own youth as well as poignant and beautiful language from the pens of some of the world's greatest wordsmiths.
The collection of songs totals more than 250 so far. Now that the Lear CD has been released, there will still be more than 150 songs left to record. The composer hopes to live long enough to finish the task.
SONGS TO EDNA St VINCENT MILLAY
All the recording has been done for a 21-song album of settings by Sjef Frenken of poems by Edna St Vincent Millay. These are sung by Ottawa singer-songwriter Sophie Leger. It is expected that this album will be available by early Spring 2017.
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