Boomkat Product Review:
Touted by the label as the scariest, most inappropriate and possibly most influential kids TV music of ALL TIME, Sidney Sager and The Ambrosian Singers’ ‘Children of the Stones’ really is a terrifying anomaly collecting polyphonic vocal drone and “wordless wails” you’d sooner associate with the darkest Italian library records than anything made for children’s television. It’s a real fucking find this one - highly recommended if yr into anything from Delia x Daphne to Demdike.
Accompanied by some excellent liner notes from Stewart Lee, who manages to capture that weird pre-internet feeling of never being quite sure if that moment of weirdness you saw as a kid on tv was real or imagined, you’d be forgiven for putting ‘Children of the Stones’ down as some mad hallucination if it wasn’t for this artefact before you now.
As Lee explains, ‘Children of the Stones’ presumed an intelligence and curiosity “beyond the usual assumptions about the pre adolescent audience” - touching on themes of adult fears and longings, and featuring as protagonists a village of lobotomised weirdos which provide the concept for the score.
Blending unhinged choral work by the Ambrosian Singers, with radiophonic effects and horror film themes that resemble aspects of loftier avant-garde theatrical works of the era, it’s not hard to hear how this stuff could induce phantasmagorias in imaginations not yet overstimulated by the sugar rush of social media and hyper-strobing cartoons.
The whole thing lasts just 20 minutes and includes some 31 parts of music oscillating between echoes of church and theatrical music and richly evocative, dread-filled concrète and psychedelic fantasy that, luckily enough for these times, sound best with the heating off and a musty paperback illuminated by torchlight under the bedsheets.
What a find.