Major Parkinson ft Los Alamitos Sound FX - 'Solitary Home' (single)
I’ve written (too much…) previously about the sheer scale of Major Parkinson releases, comparing their last album ‘Blackbox’ in terms of magnitude to Haydn’s Creation, as well as Karlheinz Stockhausen's operatic masterpiece 'Mittwoch aus Licht' (still perhaps a little too much helicopter Karlheinz?), and I’ve even considered how their music has an almost theatrical stage musical quality to it at times.
Well, bring that all together and you have the key elements for their latest release, a revamped version of their track ‘Solitary Home’, but this time featuring the Los Alamitos Sound FX show choir from the USA and a myriad of additional musicians assembled by Major Parkinson. Now most regular readers will know my views on Major P, so I don’t really want this to be about them, because the guys from Los Alamitos Sound FX have done sensational work here, and both their performance and the arrangements are so visually powerful that it brings the song totally to life.
So Los Alamitos Sound FX are from Los Angeles, and they strie to achieve the ‘’highest level of choral excellence with a program designed to celebrate diversity of talent, creativity and musicianship.’’ Their young choirs have been named Grand Champions in show choir competitions over 175 times, including ten National Grand Championship titles. So whilst those of us in the UK might not be experts in the world of ‘show choiring’, be in no doubt, these guys are the best. They could take an ‘Of Monsters and Men’ track and make it seem interesting – or am I just being silly now?
Whoever it was at Los Alamitos who picked up on the fact that ‘Solitary Home’ would be perfect for them is quite simply a genius. But brave too, because the complexities of the rhythms and offbeat syncopation are such that the arrangements are labyrinthine, and arranger Josh Greene has done a phenomenal job moulding everything together. In addition to that it is performed by the choir with such a genuine enthusiasm, and with a lovely precision to the lyrics, that the song just blossoms into life, particularly if you view the video of their performance of the song.
From a Major Parkinson perspective I guess it also proves simply that ‘a good tune is a good tune’, and how their work could be transferrable in any musical direction, whether it be stage musical or full blown symphony orchestra – not that I’d want to give them any crazy ideas.
Watch ‘Solitary Home’ featuring Los Alamitos Sound FX’ here.
Just how good is that? I don’t normally list too many credits, but there are so many ‘worthy of laudation’. I’ve mentioned Josh Greene the arranger, but choir directors David Moellenkamp and Moanna Dherlin have all done amazing work, the stage choreography by April James is compelling to watch, and the performance by lead vocalist Sara Michelle Mislang and all the choir is spectacular too, and I’m just so grateful to them for bringing this to life for us all to see. Of course the whole release has been closely overseen, produced and supported by Major Parkinson. A full list of credits can be found on the Youtube link, and I apologise if I've missed a critical link.
Los Alamitos Sound FX have a website, and looking at it they clearly are finding things a little tough going right now during the pandemic, so please consider supporting them if you like the production.