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This is the website of Byte-town Fyfer. It lists the few 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.
Work is continuing on the fourth album in the projected ten-CD series of Songs for the Inner Child. This one will offer 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.
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 well as intellectual meat 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. The composer is once again singing the songs himself, with a little help here and there from Ottawa singer-songwriter Amanda Bon.
A note 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. After the release of the Lear CD in early 2014, there will still be more than 150 songs left to record. The composer's hope is to live long enough to finish the task.
DAVID SIMMONDS/SJEF FRENKEN CD
At the same time work is proceeding on a CD offering the combined talents of lyricist (and sometimes composer) David Simmonds, and composer Sjef Frenken. In the course of their eight-year association, they've co-written more than 30 songs. The album will offer some two dozen of their collaborations and five songs written entirely by David Simmonds (who on his own has more than one hundred songs to his credit).
TALES TOLD AND RETOLD
A collection of short stories entitled TALES TOLD AND RETOLD, written by Sjef Frenken, is now available either through the order form elsewhere on this website, or from Books on Beechwood (35 Beechwood Ave, Ottawa, ON, K1M 1M1. Tel: 613-742-5030. eM address: firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information about this book, check out the WRITINGS rubric on this website.
Sjef Frenken' s one-man show took place at the Michel-Ange coffee house on 8 December 2012. It combined his songs, poems and stories - all with a story-theme. The event raised more than $600 dollars for CHALICE, a Canadian charity that provides small loans to potential entrepreneurs in developing countries.
THE CD 'SONGS TO ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON' IS STILL AVAILABLE! So is the CD "SONGS TO EUGENE FIELD"
And, of course, the latest in the series "SONGS TO WALTER DE LA MARE"
These three CDs can also be obtained through or at Books on Beechwood (see the store's contact information above)
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