Today I got to spend my son Joel's 27th birthday with him here in England. He showed me his amazing new Christmas album, which is a true delight. I asked him if he would give away two of his albums to my friends at itakejoy, as a Christmas gift to the winning reader to open the holiday season. So many have been waiting for this album, and I'm so thrilled he was able to release it in time for Christmas, so that you can enjoy it with your family. I asked Joel to share a bit more about this album and his current world of music.
What advice would you have for Moms who want to encourage their kids’ musical interests?
From my perspective and experience, the best thing is that kids learn to love music first, before getting deeply involved in a formal study of it. I think exposure to the great composers—Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Vivaldi, and others like them—is very important. The more children develop a taste for that music, the more they will learn to love it, and the more they will be able to really comprehend and enjoy what they are learning when they begin formal study. Keep it as background music throughout the day in the house; look for classical concerts where you can take your kids—a lot of orchestras do kids' days. Our tastes and habits shape us into the people we become, and immersing children in the midst of such music enriches their souls.
Why did you decide to write this album?
While I enjoy the better-known Christmas classics with which we’re all familiar, I have come to have a deep appreciation for ancient Christmas Carols, tunes which were once part and parcel with the advent season but which are often less familiar to our modern ears. Some of the melodies from this album are nearly a thousand years old, and are from all over ancient Europe. There is a beauty and simplicity to these tunes, and I wanted to give them a new life and audience.
Tell us about your recent musical pursuits.
It’s been a busy year musically for me. I’ve been working in Los Angeles in the film world, orchestrating music, conducting, and writing scores for films. I’m especially excited to start work on a film my brother Nathan wrote and is producing, entitled, “Confessions of a Prodigal Son”. The movie is a modern take on the prodigal son story. We're so excited to share the redemptive tale with so many people who can relate to this story.
How can we buy your album?
You can buy it wherever music is sold online, or you can buy it directly from CD Baby:
It has been a very exciting journey arranging these beautiful carols, and I hope that everyone who listens to the album will experience the same joy I felt in discovering them.
To be entered into the contest for a free album, share the album page ("Midwinter Carols" - By Joel Clarkson) on your Facebook, Twitter, or become a fan of Joel on Facebook (Joel Clarkson Music on Facebook). You will receive an entry for each individual way that you promote this. I know you will enjoy this album as much as I do. I keep these tunes with me all day long! Here's a sample of a lovely piece from the album: