Boomkat Product Review:
Here's a strange one for you. Charles Spearin set about this project recording the various people living in his neighbourhood offering their thoughts and musings on the subject of 'happiness'. Spearin then went about arranging and transcribing these recordings into music. The first track, 'Mrs. Morris' perhaps best encapsulates the ideas behind this record, taking the speech patterns of an old lady and highlighting their inherently melodic properties by mimicking them with a particularly agile piece of sax playing. Other pieces are slightly more loosely interpretative, supplying rather lovely instrumental arrangements to echo the sentiments expressed by speakers, as on the extremely jaunty concept jazz of 'Vittoria'. While that aforementioned track highlights a Matthew Herbert-esque level of playfulness, a piece like 'Vanessa' makes a more emotive, convincing case for the project, enveloping a deaf speaker's monologue in a beautiful flurry of instruments. Not only does it all fit together very nicely, it also makes for a rather impressive piece of composition. Often a very strange listen, The Happiness Project nonetheless fulfills its goals convincingly, rendering speech as music in a thoroughly joyful fashion.