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YOU HAVE ARRIVED AT BYTE-TOWN.CA

GOOD FOR YOU! It must be one of your lucky days. We hope you’ll have many more.

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.


NEWS:

A new album, SONGS TO EDNA ST VINCENT MILLAY, performed by Ottawa singer-songwriter Sophie Leger, containing settings to 21 if Ms Millay’s verses, is expected to be published by late summer/early fall of 2017.

Work has already started on another album, SONGS TO PADRAIG Ó BROIN, with 20 settings of the Irish-Canadian poet who died in 1967.

Also in preparation are two more album in the Songs for the Inner Child series: one of SONGS TO GABRIEL SETOUN, and another of SONGS TO FYLEMAN, HOWITT AND (MORE) DE LA MARE.



A NOTE

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. This was a time when (in the words of John Updike*)... in England Lewis Carroll, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Rudyard Kipling all wrote stories and poems for children to read. They did not do it offhand, or with a sly smile, but in earnest, with all the skill and wisdom they had, as if their lives depended upon it which in a way they did.” This was a time 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 is a lot 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 music has elements of the folk tradition as well as links to the light classics. Percy Grainger comes to mind.

* from Updike’s Introduction to The Young King and Other Fairy Tales by Oscar Wilde, Macmillan, 1962.

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.



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