Wetaskiwin Composite High School Music students will be putting on a production based on Ken Nordine’s Colors Nov. 8.
When you think of a colour, can you give it human characteristics then ad music to make it come alive?
In a 1960s ad project of the Fuller Paint Company that’s exactly what they did and on Friday, students from Wetaskiwin Composite High School are putting their own spin on things.
Dennis Rusniak, member of the Battle River Big Band and a volunteer in the school’s music department said, The FPC had their ad department make an campaign using the 34 colours of paint they sold, the poetry of Ken Nordine, a voice-over actor, and Dick Campbell a poet and pop musician.
The instructions were to run a number of advertising spots accompanied by music and poetry all of which magically gave human characteristics to the colours, he said.
“Working with the students and their teacher Sandra Hall, we experimented with all kinds of sounds, inspired by the available radio spots,” said Rusniak.
For over a month, some students enrolled in the music department at WCHS created musical examples to support the poetry and readings and will be presenting them Nov. 8 at 12:30 p.m. in the high school’s music room. Although the event is free to the public, space is limited so people will have to pick up tickets at the WCHS office if they want to attend.
“This is the definition of art,” said student Tyson Brown. “You have music and poetry dramatized with speaking.”
Student Madeline Vandersluys said when she was first approached with the idea it was unlike anything she’d ever heard of and wasn’t sure what to make of the project but as its come together, she’s excited for the performance.
Having an opportunity to write, compose and play caught the interest of Spencer Lindahl.
To have the voice-over for the poems, Rusniak contacted Edmonton CBC Radio One.
“They jumped at loaning us the Edmonton AM announcer Mark Connolly who enthusiastically gave us a thumbs up,” he said.
“He’s really excited about coming out to do this,” said Hall. “It’s a really interesting concept to give human attributes to paint colours and if you listen you can see the colours come to life.”