Swing and Sadness was the result of a collaboration with David Adams. David Adams, as well as being a professional musician, was father of Sam Adams-Nye, winner of the BBC Chorister Year competition in 2005. Sam was featured in my book How High Should Boys Sing? as was Louis Alexander Desire, whose picture adorns the front cover of Teaching Singing to Boys and Teenagers. David had been experimenting with some alternatives to both the traditional cottage industry of classical boy trebles and the commercial music industry’s “cute boy granny album” genre. David and I were of one mind with regard to this, particularly given the interviews Sam had given me for How High? Sam had already recorded several demo pieces. Rightly or wrongly, Louis replaced Sam in this project and recorded the resulting Swing and Sadness demo album. The arrangements were mostly by Will Goodchild and recorded in pre-Oranmore Studio days at a studio in Bristol.
The project was part of a grand tour I organized for Louis that coincided with my AHRC funded Young Masculinity and Vocal Performance project. You can read about it this link from the Boy Choir & Soloist Directory. Louis returned to England a couple of years later to give a recital as part of my inaugural professorial lecture at Edge Hill. Needless to say, his recital completely upstaged my lecture – a fact I was quite happy with.
Swing and Sadness has never actually been released, but the concept is one that continues to underpin my endeavours with young soloists. The “swing” is something of musical quality that is a “bit different” to the usual “granny material”. The “sadness” is in the fact that the boy is about to lose for ever the soprano (“treble”) voice that blossomed in maturity for perhaps only one or two years. Contact me if you are interested in this album.