A fascinating article argues that talking to children– even very young children– about race turns out to be absolutely vital to fighting discriminatory attitudes. And it’s important to talk explicitly– “everyone’s equal” doesn’t mean much to a child who hasn’t quite grasped the abstract concept of equality but who has noticed differences in skin colour, that they seem to matter in some way, and also that *they’re not allowed* to talk about this. Well-meaning parents are, understandably, reluctant to talk about race– they don’t want their children to use these categories. But they’re mistaken to think that the children won’t acquire the categories– they’ll acquire them, scarily early, and not in a way that the well-meaning parents want them to.
Early Gregorian Chant is eerily beautiful, and it turns out that the cloistered nuns at Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation are among the best in the world at singing it. They’ve recently won a contest for female singers of GC.
So suppose you are Decca Records and you’ve now got a recording contract with the nuns for Gregorian Chant. Just how are you going to sell it?
Well, as it turns out, you’re part of Universal, which has signed on Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga and cloistered nuns! WOW! As CNN puts it, Lady Gaga and the nuns are label-mates.
To be fair, we don’t know that the company even mentioned the two together.
The video below might give you an idea of the beauty of the singing. (I couldn’t find anywhere to sign up to join the cloister; it does look to be heavenly.)
And here’s some info from CNN: Singing Nuns Join Gaga’s Record Label:
The Benedictine sisters have taken a vow of isolation and intend to stay in their convent for the rest of their lives.
As part of an ancient order that dates to the sixth century, the nuns can only communicate to visitors, even family, through a grill, according to Decca. …
“We never sought this, it came looking for us,” said the Reverend Mother Abbess in a statement. “At first we were worried it would affect our cloistered life, so we asked St. Joseph in prayer. Our prayers were answered, and we thought that this album would be a good thing if it touches people’s lives and helps them find peace.” …
“When you hear the sound of nuns chanting, it’s like an immediate escape from the challenges, stresses, noise and pace of modern living,” Decca executive Tom Lewis said in a statement. “You’re given a glimpse of a secret world of peace and calm.”
The group of traditionally self-sufficient nuns includes a plumber, an engineer, an electrician, a silk-weaver and a dental assistant.
You can find posts of ours on Gaga here.