Friday, May 27, 2011

Gifts from Japan!

One of our good friends in Japan named Hagy sent us a surprise gift! First she sent the Chopin magazine from March 2009. Wasn't that so nice of her?! Back on March 31 I posted some pictures from it here. Here are a few more pics from this magazine.

Hagy also sent a piano book of songs by Takatsugu Muramatsu! It has the songs "You Were There" and "Far Away" in it. I know what I'll be working on this summer. :D Thank you so much, Hagy, for your kindness!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Salt+Light TV Interview

While Libera was in Canada, Salt+Light TV interviewed Kavana, Liam and Freddie. Wow, this was a really great interview! I think it's one of the best they've ever done.

The three boys are all really well spoken, and the interview was nice and relaxed. We found out a lot! There were the normal questions asked like, "Why are you called Libera?" and "How old are the boys?" but there were some really interesting questions also.

When they tell the interviewer that there are about 40 members of Libera, Kavana explains that some of them stayed at home because they're either too young to travel, or Liam adds that they've got exams to revise for. That would be Sam and Josh! :)

It was interesting that all three of the boys got into Libera through their school music teachers. And Freddie didn't even sing! Although he does tell us later that he also plays the violin, the piano, and the trumpet! Talented kid! I love the way Liam laughingly repeats the word "graduate" when he is asked about his voice changing. :)

I thought the question about the "choir" vs. "boy band" thing was really interesting. I usually call them a boy's choir, but I know the programs always call them a "boy band." Liam laughed when he was asked this question and said that they are more like a "boy group." :)

It's so funny how excited they all get about the "massive percussion section," and how much Kavana loves the "big gong." I wonder if they've ever gotten to bang it... ;)

The interviewer asks them what has been the most fun for them. Freddie's favorite moment was singing the "Bayan Ko" encore in Manila when they would sing a phrase and everyone would start screaming. Liam's favorite was singing "Love and Mercy" in front of President Bush at the Kennedy Center Honors, meeting the famous people there, and the beach balls falling down from the ceiling.  Kavana loved the 5-day detour after the volcano erutped. I can see something like that being his favorite experience. And I understand his feelings. It's nice to know that the fun doesn't have to end just yet. :)

When asked if there were times when something has gone wrong, Kavana mentioned that the lights were too bright in Yankee Stadium, and they all squinted. I had never noticed before but now always will.  :) And there was a concert when the lights didn't go down and they had to sing a second song while still kneeling. lol.

They all love doing the music videos. Liam says, "It's cool to see how it all works as well, like when you watch a music video on TV it all looks like so neat and normal, but then, when you're on the set there's wires everywhere, and people running about." :)

I also love what Liam says about what their peers say about them: "I don't think many people have a problem with it, because it's not something you can mock really. I mean, not many people get a chance to record albums and tour the world, so you can't laugh at them." He's so right! lol.

One last note, I love how Kavana gives the interviewer a thumbs up when he gets his name right. Oh, Kav... :D Great job, guys! And thank you to Jimmy Riddle for the link.

These are pictures of the interview from Salt+Light's Facebook page:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Message from Libera to Japanese Viewers

Cassius, Ralph, Freddie, Barney, James, Kavana

Libera has a short video posted on the NHK website for the drama Madonna Verde. You can watch it here. It's a very nice message explaining "Song of Life" and letting the people of Japan know that it can help give them peace during a difficult time. All the boys are excellent speakers. Good job, Libera! :) Thank you to hagy for the link.

Ralph - Hi, everyone in Japan. We are...

All - Libera.

Barney - We are singing the main theme called "Song of Life" for the drama Madonna Verde.

Ralph - The "Song of Life" is about peace and hope and happiness throughout the world. And we think it has something which everyone can relate to, sort of think that this is their own song.

James - We hope we can reach out to people with this song and give them peace and power.

Cassius - We hope you enjoy this song in the drama.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

EMI Survey for USA Fans

Attention all US Libera fans! Yesterday I got a comment to the blog from Andrea, an intern at Libera's record label, EMI Classics. For a while fans have been feeling like EMI doesn't really try hard to market Libera.  It's hard to find CD's anywhere except a few at Barnes & Nobel and Borders, and they're never played on the radio or on TV. Most people discover Libera by accident, listening to "you might also enjoy" music, getting a forwarded e-mail (like we did) or seeing something on YouTube. Once we find them it's great, we start doing some research and eventually we're hooked, but there don't seem to be as many new fans as we wish there were. Well it seems EMI wants to change that. Here is the message that Andrea sent me.

Hi Lexi!

I am Andrea, an intern at EMI Classics. We are doing some research here on how to reach out to libera fans here in the US, and find out exactly who are US listeners are. I have created a survey and would REALLY appreciate it if you could invite your blog readers to take it (those in the US). The results will be VERY valuable to us. Our main goal is to reach out to fans and get more involved with them. Our priority is hearing from the fans, and finding out what they want more of. Here at Libera's record label we will do our best to share anything we can about Libera with our online fanbase. Thank you! Here is my link! It is a very quick survey:

I just took the survey and it was really quick and easy. It will only take a few minutes of your time. If you want to take the survey just click on her link. Hopefully this will step up the advertising in the US! :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Canada Tour Video

I made a video of Libera's Canada Tour. There weren't any Meet & Greets, so it's not as good as my US Tour videos, but I hope you like it anyway. I used the Libera songs in the same order they sang them in the concerts. It helps me remember the concerts and the soloists that sang, even though not every song is their new version.

Thank you to Jimmy in Japan for some of the Toronto Islington pictures and to Libera for the pictures at the end. It's kind of a Meet & Greet, right? :D All the other pictures and videos were taken by me or my mom. Hope you like it! :D

Monday, May 9, 2011

Oliver Putland Wrote Back to Me!

Back on January 31, 2011 I posted an article about Oliver Putland. You can read it here.  Before I posted it, I sent it to Oli to see if he had any additions or corrections to make. I got a message back from him that was so nice, but I didn't want to print it unless he said it was OK. Well, he wrote again (back in March but I don't check YT very much-lol) and said I could! Now everyone can read about how funny and nice he is and what life was like for him back in the Angel Voices (pre-Libera) days. When he talks about being energetic as a kid, you can totally see that in some of the videos! lol. Thank you, Oli!  :D

Hello there, Lexi. Hope all is well in Chicago.

Sorry I didn't get back to you quite as quickly as I would have liked, but busy busy busy!

It's funny you talking about my singing all those years ago as it seems like another existence altogether. Like some film one remembers watching, it was so long ago.

Thanks for the flattering comments, there. Always nice to hear people's reactions to anything I've done.

Libera- or Angel Voices as it was called in my day (Bloody hell- 'in my day', it makes it sound ancient!) has really blossomed into quite a big thing now hasn't it? I remember it was one of the most exciting experiences of my life, both exhausting and exhilarating in equal measure and part of me can't quite comprehend that people are still talking about it at all, least of which people on the other side of the globe!

I started singing in St Philips Choir at around 1987-88, I must have been around 7 or 8.

My voice soared into the soprano heavens along with the rest of them for about 6 years until one day I was doing jumping jacks in gym class and my voice was unceremoniously jolted into the baritone, in which it still resides today.

When I first started, I was sorted into my house which was Purcell, the others being Attwood, Britten and Tallis- all named after illustrious British classical composers.

I can only assume that other Royal College of Music choirs were given similar houses to join to get a sense of public school style pride and competitiveness, vital to a young boy's education within the Church of England's infrastructure.

Contrary to what you may think, I wasn't very good at first.

Most of the time, if a TV show wanted the choir on it, I would be placed at the back or at worst, left out altogether.

This wasn't because I couldn't sing. On the contrary, I've always had perfect pitch and can hear a duff note in a choir of thousands. My problem was I couldn't keep still. In most of those appearances, we were required to appear like angelic monoliths, resolutely singing into a mystic ether of dry ice framed limbo. While all the others stood with a solemn gaze into the middle distance as if in saintly reverence, I jittered about like a grasshopper with the equally saintly reverence of St Vitus. It was only when I was about ten when my body finally calmed down and my volume increased that I became a viable option for Robert Prizeman (our Choirmaster) to put me more centre stage in his productions.

During that time, I did those two TV series you spoke of, but before then we were whisked up and down the UK in rather fun coach journeys, performing in strange, three act stage shows which involved a medley of random numbers, a comedy showcase and complete musical show-stopper.

These were honed, stalwart, never fail productions which always garnered a warm reception wherever we performed them, but I can't help misremembering the show as a weirdly entertaining mixture of something that Enya, Terry Gilliam and Tim Rice may have created in response to either several holy visions, or the consumption of heavily fermented communion wine.

I loved doing those shows and both series were also lots of fun to do, if hard work.

I've got loads of anecdotes, but I won't bore you with them all. I'm aware that even though I'm now in my early thirties, I can still easily sound like an old fart and I'm too excited about the potential of the future to wax lyrical of the past just yet. :-)

All my focus is on my film work now, which I've been steadily working towards as a career since I was about 12, so thanks very much for the mention of Foley Flip. The more publicity I can get for that stuff the better! Oh and thanks for the complements regarding the Website. I think it needs a few more changes to get what I want from it but I'm getting there!

I work for Aardman Animations now, the guys who make Wallace and Gromit. So still in the media biz though very much from the other side of the camera lens now- and very happy this side thank you!

Thanks very much for asking me about the article before printing it, I'm very flattered that you're doing it at all, and if you want to know more, I'll see what I can do. Busy-ness pending.

Take care, and good luck with the blog,


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Song of Life Full Music Video!

The full "Song of Life" video was released today! It's so beautiful, and Ralph did a really great job! It's so cool that the way he sounds and moves while he's singing is exactly the way he sings it live. I like that part of it was filmed outside, too. Thank you, Libera! Thank you, Ralph! :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Canada Tour Programs For Sale!

There are Libera Canada 2011 Tour programs left over that are now for sale on ebay! We bought several of them at the concerts. They are really good quality and have the words to all the songs and portrait pictures of all the boys. Click here to view the ebay page. Wish they'd do this for all the concerts!

The programs have already been paid for, so all proceeds of the ebay sale go to Libera. The price is $2 Canadian each. Postage and packaging is as follows:

Canada: 1 Program ($2.85); 2 Programs ($3.75); 3 Programs ($4.10); 4 Programs ($4.50); 5+ (contact seller)

USA: 1 Program ($4.00); 2-4 Programs ($7.75); 5+ Programs (contact seller)

International: 1 Program ($7.75); 2-4 Programs ($15.00); 5+ Programs (contact seller)

Thanks to Kent for handling the program sale! :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Libera Official Canada Pictures

Wow! What a busy Libera day! So many goodies for us to enjoy! Libera posted lots more pictures of their fun times in Canada. Go to their blog here to view them all. Next up should be a video! =)

Jude playing a game in the Hockey Hall of Fame. He has such a nice smile!

Jakob, Ralph, Barney, mini James, and Jude in their hotel,
the Royal York in Toronto...I love this one so much!

Eoghan at Niagara Falls Skylon Tower observatory. Cute!

Sammy with a rainbow at Niagara Falls - I think
this looks like a profile picture for Facebook. :)

Daniel and Jakob at Niagara Falls. See the rainbow? Such happy boys!

"Serious tree climbing" day! I'm liking Barney more and more! Such a ham for the camera! :)

Luke up in the tree...for some reason this picture makes me
want to listen to mini James sing Touch the Sky... :)

Oh this picture is amazing...of course I mean the city! I didn't even notice
the three extremely good-looking boys standing in front of the skyline! :) lol

Ben, Ralph, Alex, Matthew, and Jakob! This is an amazing picture
of the boys and of the cathedral! Glad they had such fun!

Song of Life Partial Music Video!

It's what we've been waiting for! Libera and EMI Japan just released part of the Song of Life music video! Yay for Ralph! He does such a great job! Watch it at Can't wait until the entire video comes out.

Cassius' peaceful look reminds me of Michael Horncastle.

Dylan Duffy

Mini James & Ralph

Kavana & Alex

Great group picture with Ralph in the middle!

Matthew R-A

Another group pic with Josh & Alex on the ends.

Big Benedict with a twinkle in his eyes.

Barney Lindsell



My Canada Trip

Here's some of my other pictures from the Canada trip. Just pictures with no people in them. =)

I have NEVER seen this! They sell milk in a bag! It's actually 3 little plastic
bags of milk inside 1 big bag. They take it home and pour it into a pitcher!

After running around like moles underground, we did find
an above-ground mall in Toronto called Eaton Centre. Awesome!

We ventured out in the cold and discovered Dundas Square
and that Yonge Street is the longest street in the world!

The drive to Chatham was very rural with lots of farms.
Reminds me of the Midwest in the US. :)

There's a lot of traffic in Toronto!

You don't see billboards like this in the US.

Wrigley's Field?! Am I in Chicago?! lol 

Horseshoe Falls on Canada side. And everyone knows
the view on the Canada side is better.  =) 

Bridal Veil Falls on US side. On the right you can see
people walking down stairs to the river level!

Skylon Tower. Libera was at Niagara Falls the
same day we were! Some other fans saw them and us!

Pretty Japanese garden in Niagara Falls.

View of the falls through garden door.

Niagara - Burger King and Curry Queen!

Criminal Hall of Fame?!

Library in Hamilton. It's just fun to say.  =)

Hamilton is the waterfall capitol of the world!
Who knew?! This is Webster's Falls.

Tew's Falls. There are over 100 waterfalls in Hamilton!

Toronto skyline.

Hockey Hall of Fame, obviously.

Cows stuck to the side of a building in Toronto.

Canada's mailboxes are way more colorful than ours!

CN Tower. I know this pic isn't as good as Libera's.
That's because they aren't in front of it. lol

Rogers Centre where the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team plays. My dad wanted to
take a tour of the stadium, but there was actually a game going on at the time.

Winner of "Funniest Name for a Restaurant!"

Building on stilts - Ontario College of Art & Design.

SQUEEZE in Canada = MERGE in US! lol

All the McDonald's signs have a Canadian maple leaf in the center!

Buffet in Guelph! Our day for "over-intake of food."

Going Home! Line at the border.

Chicago!!! Woo-hoo!!!