Josephine Foster – Little Life – 10″


This was an exclusive Record Store Day 2013 release and has been available to purchase from us since after 20th April 2013.

Little Life is a home recording made by Josephine Foster in 2001. Although she had been writing songs for years, the idea to record something was new to her as she had previously notated her music longhand.

Inspired by her work as a music teacher to young children, she recorded this collection of miniature songs to 4-track. Upon rediscovering records for children by American folk musician Ella Jenkins from her own youth, Foster began to play the ukulele in her teaching work. Thus many of the songs of Little Life were written upon that instrument and recorded with playful harmonic overdubs as though assembling a tiny nave ensemble. The subject of the songs were largely inspired by and dedicated to youngsters she knew although the subject matter ranges from personal to pure fiction.

The songs have a rhythmic feel, showing a variety of influences such as Tin Pan Alley, Afro-American chants, as well as the Seeger family collections of scores and recordings of children’s folk songs. Foster has said her hope was that her ” ditties” might encourage verse invention and group improvisation in a simple repetitive framework.

Recording Little Life helped to usher in a reformed and more personal manner of singing and songwriting for Foster, leaping down from her opera stage training to the hermitage of the classroom.

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