Chesterton in Song!

For fellow G.K. Chesterton fans out there (and there are a lot of you, it appears), here’s some news you can use. Who knew—I certainly didn’t—that Prof. Ross McKitrick of Guelph University in Canada, who is one of the most important critics of climate change alarmism, is also a music producer! And he has turned his talents to the use of the Nicole Ensing Band, whose debut CD, “Riddles and Creeds,” came out just last Friday. And what marks out “Riddles and Creeds” for note is that it consists solely of the poems of G.K. Chesterton set to music.  Talk about a theme album!  (And take that, prog rockers!)  You can sample some of the tracks, or order the CD, at the “Riddles and Creeds” link above, and you can catch an interview with lead singer Nicole Ensing here.

Normally I leave music notices to Power Line’s official Music and Arts Editor (Scott), but as I’ve claimed the Chesterton beat for Power Line I get to intrude. Nicole Ensing’s piano-backed vocal stylings have been compared to Sarah McLachlan (by the American Chesterton Society, so there), but equally interesting to me is the challenge of writing melodies for Chesterton’s typically idiosyncratic poetry style. (Chesterton didn’t just scribble out a few poems in his spare time. The Collected Poems of G.K. Chesterton is 375 pages.) But like Chesterton’s often circuitous prose, his poetry doesn’t lend itself to easy arrangement. Ross notes this in his liner notes for The Convert:

Chesterton’s poem rhymes using ABBA/ABBA/ABABAB, which doesn’t lend itself to a song structure. Our goal was to preserve the meaning while staying in the confines of a melody line that uses short phrasing to keep a relaxed, cheerful feel, as befits the underlying mood of the poem.

Anyway, all Power Line Chesterton fans should support this worthy artistic venture. Oh, and while we’re at it with Ross McKitrick, don’t miss his latest paper Climate Policy Implications of the Hiatus in Global Warming (PDF) published about ten days ago by our friends at the Fraser Institute in Canada.

The Nicole Ensing Band

The Nicole Ensing Band


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