An International Song Project
Snow Angel combines my original music and story with culturally beloved songs and poems familiar to children throughout the world. It is written for children’s choir, narrator and my world jazz fusion ensemble. Our premier performance was filmed as a musical greeting from American children to others around the globe. We are now excited to be in the beginnings of visiting other nations, performing and recording with their children as they sing Snow Angel greetings back!
For more details and questions please feel free to contact me,
Listen to a brief BBC story about the Snow Angel project.
Snow Angel in America – May 10th 2011
On May 10, 2011, in Shawnee Mission, Kansas we dedicated the premier of this concert to all these children, in the hope that we may all sing together soon.
Sounds like Snow – A prequel to Snow Angel. I wrote this for a children’s choir in Kansas City directed by Charles Bruffy and Patrice Sollenberger. The children read their snow poems over part of the music.
Snow Angel – When I first came to the States, I was living alone in an old house when a huge amount of snow came down. I was looking after a little boy at the time, called Christopher. We were driving back from my house to his when upon parking the car, he leapt out flung himself on the ground and flapped arms and legs around.. I was so worried that he had had some kind of fit that I screamed at him to get up.. he did, and there I saw my first snow angel. I wrote this song in about 5 minutes.
Listen to America’s final version of “Theme from Snow Angel”.
Snow Angel in the U.K. – 30th September 2011
I recently travelled to the U.K. where I introduced “Snow Angel” to the choir at Holywell Primary School in Loughborough, where I used to go to school! It was great to be back. We had lots of fun learning and singing the “Snow Angel” song and the English song from the Snow Angel project, “Holly Red”*. Many thanks to Peter Easton, their choir director, Hazel Needham, their accompanist and of course all the brilliant children! What a fabulous time!
Holly Red and Mistletoe White – Since my childhood, I have always loved the “Little Grey Rabbit” books by English born author Alison Uttley. With kind permission from The Society as the literary Representative of the Alison Uttley Literary Property Trust, I have set my music to a little poem from one of her books.
*Music by Natalie Twigg, words by Alison Uttley, with kind permission from The Society as the Literary Representative of the Alison Uttley Literary Property Trust
Purchase the final UK version of “Theme from Snow Angel“
Snow Angel in Iraq
Ya Teir is a song from Iraq that I found whilst feeling under the weather having a day off.. I was googling without any ideas and stumbled across an Iraqi arts website. I clicked on a few arabic written phrases that I had no clue what they meant and found this gorgeous song. I immediately thought of my world jazz fusion ensemble performing it with children singing. .. we did and this was the beginnings of the snow angel project…
Snow Angel in Brazil
Se Essa Rua Fosse Minha – a friend, upon returning from a trip to Brazil bought me a cd of compilated lullabies. This is the first one and grabbed my attention on many levels.
Snow Angel in Croatia
Kisa Pada is from Croatia, I found it on a website called “Mama Lisa’s World” . I loved the song. I found several versions of it on you tube. I checked with a Croatian friend that she knew it, she was so happy to hear this song from her childhood, as was a Croatian man in an airport once! The meaning then fitted perfectly within my story.
Snow Angel in Lebanon
Ya Amar is a very special song from Lebanon. During the 1970s there was terrible in fighting in Lebanon and this little girl recorded this song that her father had written. Re-Mi Bendali became the hope of a nation as her sweet innocent voice swept the war torn country. I found this song from a friend in Jordan. With the generous permission from Rene Bendali we are able to include this song in “Snow Angel”.
Snow Angel in Italy
Funiculi Funicula – No music project like this would be complete without a word from the music passionate nation of Italy. This was a song on one of Pavaroti’s cds that I used to play to my 3/4 year old class. This was their favourite song.. they happily sang along with him!
Snow Angel in France
Attention started off as a prelude that I wrote. I was thinking about a French song and whilst researching I came across a French poet Villon 1431-1462. He was a very talented word smith, leading a life of a scallywag. He wrote a poem about some wonderful women who had died. His main line translates as “Where are the snows of yesteryear ” and thinking about this and with reverence of women today, I use the line “here are the snows of yesteryear.”
Snow Angel in Bangladesh
On the Seashore of endless worlds children meet – a very fitting poem by Tagore. He was Bengali. I found from expert sources that Tagore had written this poem, when he was sick, in English.. and so it was never in his native tongue, Bengali! I later found “Haattimatimtim” a wonderful sounding nonsense Bengali rhyme.
Snow Angel in Afghanistan
Star – This song is from “Qu Qu Qu Barg-e-Chinaar, a children’s song book from Afghanistan. The book was put together by American born, Louise Pascale. In the 1960s when she was working in Afghanistan with the peace corps she realised that there were no music books in the elementary schools. So, Louise collected children’s songs with the help of Aghan musician Hafizullah Khial, a Pashtu poet, Selaab and an elementary teacher, Hamida Hamid. She put them into a book for the children. Almost 40 years later, back in America, Louise discovered her book. Highly aware that Afghanistan had been at war for almost twenty years and that the political climate had led to the eradication of music, Louise was sure that her copy of the book was the only one left, meaning the loss of a generation of music. She made a commitment to return these songs back to the children of Afghanistan. With this goal in mind she set up the Afghan Children’s Song Project. To date 25000 books have been distributed to children in Afghanistan (www.afghansongbook.org/).
Snow Angel in Ghana
Caldera – This was originally an ancient Ewe (Ghana) song, it is so ancient that nobody understands the words anymore, but they love the sound they make and so generations upon generations continued to sing this song. A musician friend Jerry Leake is an expert world percussionist, upon asking him if he knew any songs that would fit into my project amongst others he came up with this one. It is on his latest CD “Cubist”.
Snow Angel in Korea
Icicle – very simply I asked a Korean friend if they knew any Korean children’s songs about snow or winter weather and this one surfaced to the top. It has become apparent that many Koreans sing this as children.
Snow Angel in Spain
Nana – fabulous Guitarist, Beau Bledsoe introduced me to this ancient melody, arranged here by Da Falla.
Snow Angel in Germany
Prelude In C minor by Bach – … and no project like this would be complete without some music of Bach’s. Enough said.
“Natalie is a passionate, creative musician whose wish is to share her love of music with the whole community. This generous, all inclusive approach embraces everyone, young and old alike. Her performances are like her, warm and entertaining – and not to be missed!”Christine Pendrill
English Horn, London Symphony Orchestra
“Natalie Twigg is not only a gifted oboe player, but has been able to use her talents in music that is both meaningful and captivating. It is original without being difficult to understand, and the performances are always of the highest standard. I look forward to hearing the results of her newest project.”Gordon Hunt
principal oboe, Philharmonia Orchestra and London Chamber Orchestra
“Magical and Imaginative”Emily Pailthorpe
international oboe soloist
“It’s so heartwarming to me to hear what you are doing. These acts of kindness go a long way in today’s world.”Louise Pascale
author of Qu Qu QU Barg-e-Chinaar, Children’s songs from Afghanistan
“As a radio station we get so many songs sent to us all the time, all certain to be the next number one hit, but the quality of ‘Holly Red’ stood out the moment we heard it.”Ed Stagg
BBC Radio presenter
“The idea of including a variety songs from different countries, which I’ll admit I struggled with when I had simply read about it, I think really works because you have chosen songs for their musical and poetic value and because you have responded warmly and musically to them. The narrative is maintained in a way I didn’t think possible: it’s a charming story with a life of its own and certainly not just a vehicle for linking the musical material.”Peter Easton
Music Co-ordinator, Holywell School
“What a wonderful, fun event that covers so many interesting styles and cultures congratulations to you on this huge success! I am sure it will be well received wherever you produce it. The singers sound great and the band is very tight. Love Caldera, well done, nicely sung, and what fun ~ good use of the “party” element within the journey.”Jerry Leake
Berklee College of Music
“She is a right old bossy boots”Natalie’s Mum
of Natalie aged 7