recess radio program

Lulie the Iceberg
    by John Cech


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You're hearing a small section from the first, mood-setting movement of the American composer, Jeffrey Stock's, music for Lulie the Iceberg -- based on a story for children by Her Imperial Highness Princess Hisako of Japan. It's about the journey of a little iceberg from his home on the Greenland Ice Sheet at the North Pole to the South Pole, where he has been told that he will be able to hear the voices of the elders, the ancient ones who know "all that's happened since the beginning of time" and are "the keepers of the earth's wisdom." Sam Waterston narrates, as Lulie begins his adventure, and the cellist, Yo-Yo Ma provides the soulful, yearning spirit for this traveller:

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Paul Winter, who has been known to hold conversations between his saxophone and the forest birds, is the voice of Lulie's friend, Kiki, the artic tern who first tells him about the Ice to the South. On his odyssey, Lulie meets puffins, dolphins, whales and favoring winds that help him on his way; and at night the moon and the stars whisper to him, easing his loneliness and fears. His story is part spiritual journey, part naturalist saga, part tone poem. And the parts of this UNICEF-sponsored project add up to a magical whole. For here is music that isn't dumbed down to children, that isn't served up in commercial snippets. Instead, Lulie the Iceberg both encourages children to listen, long and carefully, and it rewards their attention with enthralling substance that won't melt, even in the summer's heat.

Brief sound clip

Copyright 2004 John Cech

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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."