Without Sight With a Voice; Rowe’s Power Pop Podcast

Entertainment Music

Handicapped children can sometimes feel invisible. Finding a way to celebrate their challenges can be downright, well, challenging. In 2016, six Baltimore area teens who were born blind took part in a songwriting workshop run by Val Smalkin (Silly Goose & Val) designed to encourage self-advocacy and self-expression to the sighted world. Life Beyond Sight, the resulting EP, delivers the fruits of that project—four original songs written by the group, with a mountain of support from artists who donated their musical talents, educators, and recording engineers.

‘Life Beyond Sight’
 
A subsidiary of Theatre Arts Festival for Youth (TAFFYpresents.org), the project evolved over five years until reaching fruition as Life Beyond Sight. Children’s musician Dave Kinnoin and songwriting partner Jimmy Hammer wrote the music for the students’ “Dance of Freedom.” Other songs cover feeling disrespected by peers (“Not With My Eyes”), where they sing “I can see your heart, just not with my eyes”:
 
You want to be a hero
Pretend you’re my friend
I know you think I’m zero, worth nothing in the end
You’d like to help the blind girl
When everyone can see
But when no one is looking
You don’t see me

Life Beyond Sight is filled out with two instrumental tracks (a lengthy piano piece based on “Not With My Eyes” and “Bach Invention In C Major”). But the heart of the EP are the tracks by the teens as they sincerely express themselves, making this release a true novelty, in the best sense.

Life Beyond Sight is available from Val Smalkin’s website, Amazon, and Apple Music.

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If your kids enjoyed the SING! movies about amateurs breaking out of their shells to perform in front of audiences, they might like Gigi Rowe‘s new kids’ music podcast, “Posy Flynn Sings,” available from GoKidGo. Gigi was “traced” for tracks used on the Just Dance! videogame and graduated to recording pop music for teens, tweens, and tykes. Her latest venture drops every Monday, starting April 4, centering on Posy Flynn, who longs to enter the Starlight Starbright Sing-Off. The winner gets to record and tour with pop sensation Gemma Gold. All Posy needs to do is escape terrible Aunt Kitty, with the help of Smoosh, her pet monkey. 

Gigi Rowe podcast for kids
 
Kids audio imaginateurs GoKidGo are releasing “Posy Flynn Sings,” which features a new tune every week, leading to a CD at the end of the first season. The first song, “Shooting Star,” is out now and it’s about as uplifting and danceable as you would imagine. 
 
You can hear “Posy Flynn Sings” at GoKidGoSpotify, and Apple Podcasts. For all your power pop cravings, you can find Gigi Rowe at her website.
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