The Skeleton Park Community Songbook: Chris Brown with The Pittsburgh Institution Choir

The Skeleton Park Community Songbook is an arts project slash fundraising initiative, which has amassed a dozen musical collaborations pairing local professional musicians with various community organizations. Today, we’re featuring the last official contribution from Chris Brown and the Pittsburgh Institution Choir who’ve joined forces to perform Oblivion. This track is somewhat different from the rest of the series in that a video was not released. However, you’ll still find a description of this piece of the of the Skeleton Park Community Songbook puzzle, as well as an audio recording below.

The Greater Kingston area is home to 7 prisons. Every local has a connection to them. In a speech at The Grand Theatre years ago, Jean Vanier spoke on how the prison walls were to keep us out as much as to keep inmates in. We are ignorant of the living conditions, economy and challenges of a great many of our citizens; inmates, employees and volunteers alike.

Inmates gave their time anonymously and freely to donate this track to the Community Songbook. This track was recorded inside the prison, in 3 sessions, with participants working on arrangements and actually writing additional lyrics between recordings:( the ‘response lines’ you hear in the verses). All singing, arrangement and playing is theirs, with the exception of myself organ and Elijah Abrams on bass. Since this recording. the guys have been working on originals and arrangements of songs by local musicians.

For those of you who may have missed past additions to the Skeleton Park Community Songbook that were featured on Kingstonist, please take some time to explore the project via the links below. Of course, there’s always the possibility that organizers will add a few more bonus pages to the Skeleton Park Community Songbook.  If and when that happens, rest assured that we’ll give them just as much attention and adoration as the first 13 tracks.

Thanks to all the musicians, community groups and folks who helped make the Skeleton Park Community Songbook possible.  Also, thanks and credit to Christopher Gary for the SPMF photo that was used for today’s post.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

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