Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Alastair Moock's Answer to Cancer

There's an intriguing story about filmmaker Woody Allen. After he made the critically-successful and box office favorite ANNIE HALL, he went to Orion Pictures with the script for his next project, INTERIORS.  Head of product Alan Ladd Jr. was understandably hesitant – it was a complete 180 from Allen's previous warm, personal, and funny Oscar-winning movie. But Ladd committed to the picture and INTERIORS was made, distributed, and slaughtered by the press and public alike.

Years later, Ladd was asked why he had signed off on such a downer of a film, one that was destined from the beginning to be a failure. Ladd replied, "It was necessary for Woody's development as a filmmaker." Ladd was willing to invest $10M of Orion's money on the hope that Allen would continue to evolve and bloom, which he did.
Alastair Moock traveled down a similar road this past year. A year ago, one of his five-year-old twin daughters (Clio) has diagnosed with ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia). Everybody take a deep breath. She's in remission now. Along the way, Alastair decided the best way to combat the boredom and everyday terror of pediatric cancer was through music. He embarked on a project that could serve as a resource for patients and pediatric oncology programs.

SINGING OUR WAY THROUGH: Songs for the World's Bravest Kids is not your typical children's music CD. In fact, it's unlike anything since Dennis Caraher's album, PRACTICING DEATH, which helped kids come to terms with mortality. Moock is obviously narrowcasting to a very specific audience. Reviews and press coverage are for publicity more than anything else, since I can't see many unaffected families running to purchase the CD to expose their children to cancer and its affects.

From the opening line "C is for cancer, that's growing in me," the listener is in for a rough but illuminating ride. This is not background music. Moock brings you into the PICU to ride out the entire experience that Clio and his family went through. Themes include siblings ("Have You Ever Been Jealous?"), parents ("Take Care of Your Grownups"), and physicality ("When I Get Bald" and "I'm a Little Monkey").

The result of a crowd-funding campaign, proceeds from SINGING OUR WAY THROUGH will go towards putting the music into family cancer programs across the country. It's tough to argue with a performer who clearly states that his goal with this CD is "to bring some joy to kids with cancer." Holy cow. Mission accomplished, Mr. Moock.

SINGING OUR WAY THROUGH is available through Alastair Moock's website, Amazon, CDBABY, and iTunes.

Here is the official video for "When I Get Bald," featuring Alastair Moock and his daughter, Clio.
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