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Album Review: A Wild Christmas
Philip Aaberg
Cover image of the album A Wild Christmas by Philip Aaberg
A Wild Christmas
Philip Aaberg
1994 / Wild Sanctuary Music
48 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
A parrot singing lead on “Deck the Halls”? Dolphins on keyboards? Bats on bells? Chimps doing a pizzicato cello line? All this and much more are captured on this extraordinary collaboration by Bernie Krause, who recorded the animal sounds from around the world and composer/pianist Philip Aaberg, who added some sampled animal sounds, arranged the Christmas music, and played the sampled sounds on keyboard. Many of the animal “voices” are easy to recognize, but others sound like actual instruments. Both novel and musically sound, this is a fascinating accomplishment on many levels. Many “novelty” recordings wear thin after listening to them a few times, but Aaberg did an excellent job with the arrangements, and I think people would really enjoy this album if they didn’t know that ALL of the sounds are animals rather than more traditional instruments. “Silent Night”, “Sheep May Safely Graze” and “Shepherd’s Rocking Carol” are gorgeous, and would fit into many traditional Christmas recordings. “Deck the Halls” and “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” are funny, truly making a “joyful noise”. “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” is a grand finale , with fourteen different animals and birds extending their greetings. This is Christmas album for those who like their holiday music different from Johnny Mathis and the usual array of pop stars, young and old, singing the same old tunes. Great stuff!
November 1, 1994
This review has been tagged as:
Holiday Albums
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