The Village of Vale: A Storybook Record

"One of my earliest memories is sitting on my Grandma and Grandpa's velvet couch listening over and over to Prokofiev's 'Peter and the Wolf.' I felt so much fear when the french horns would play the wolf's theme and so much joy when the strings played Peter's. A couple of years ago, I sat down to read 'Peter and the Wolf' to the pre-K students I teach music to here in Brooklyn. I pulled out a beautifully illustrated version of the story and flipped through the illustrated pages as the music played. The kids were completely captivated; I was completely captivated. I realized then that I wanted to create an experience like that for people young and old, told in different ways: an original storybook to hold in your hand and thumb through on the couch, artwork to hang on your wall, music to play throughout your home, a theatrical performance to go out at night to see, each piece coming together to tell the same original story. So I gathered some of the most talented storytellers, artists, musicians, and performers I know to start to build 'The Village of Vale.'" 

- John McGrew, The Village of Vale


I felt the same way about Peter and the Wolf. My kids do, too and then my mom made them stick puppets to play out the music as they listened, which is why this project struck such a chord with me... because storytelling is such a limitless medium and I love the idea of advancing traditional storytelling with the technology we are fortunate enough to have in our possession. It is an honor to support John's storytelling project The Village of Vale. 

On their Pledge Music Page:

The Village of Vale is a collection of songs and stories set in an Edward Gorey-meets-J.R.R. Tolkien world. Using symphonic, electronic, and choral music elements intertwined with acoustic guitars, piano, and harmonium, the music of The Village of Vale combines current/progressive styles with the traditions of music-storytelling in folk.

A modern Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf,’ this unique project brings together musicians, artists, writers and performers to effectively tell one story in five different ways. The Village of Vale is at once a collection of new songs, a printed and illustrated storybook, and a multi-dimensional installation and performance art show. 

The Village of Vale is a story of a town that is forever changed when a traveling Trader visits its gates. The Trader trades objects and goods with townspeople in the village who in turn are profoundly changed for better and worse. The world of Vale includes trees that can be burned to the ground to bring back loved ones from the dead, eye glasses that reveal the true nature of whatever the wearer sees, ghosts, lovers, animals, spirits and a boy who watches over it all, caught between a world he knows and the world beyond Vale that he longs to see. 

Your Pledge involvement will see the hiring of our orchestra, our choir, our artists, the recording of the record, the printing of both the storybook and the vinyl, and the installation at The Invisible Dog Art Center in February of 2015. Your support and engagement means the world (of Vale) to us. Our sincerest thanks. 

For more on The Village of Vale, go hereThere are tons of different ways to support the project and get amazing stuff in return. Go, team.