The Start of Things - Alison Faith Levy’s New Beginning
Alison Faith Levy, best known as “Sippy Alison” of legendary kindie trailblazers The Sippy Cups and the songwriter behind such Sippy hits as Magic Toast, The Jellyfish, Move Your Pants and One Day Soon, is a beloved children's performer, bandleader, composer and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
After spending five years criss-crossing the country with the psychedelic rock n' roll circus for kids that was The Sippy Cups, performing in such venues such as Symphony Space in NYC, Lollapalooza, House of Blues, Central Park Summerstage and Austin City Limits, Alison Faith Levy took a brief break from performing for children and found success with her "grown-up" Americana band, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, with songwriting partner Victor Krummenacher (of Camper Van Beethoven).
Alison missed performing for children, however, and started up a music time at a local bookstore. She began writing new songs for the kids, and word spread quickly. Within a few months the place was packed to the rafters every week and she started booking performances at libraries, museums, music venues and outdoor festivals.
She enlisted the help of her friend, songwriter and bandleader of lush indie popsters The Orange Peels - producer Allen Clapp. Together they took the new batch of songs and crafted their perfect album for children, World of Wonder, playing practically every instrument on the album themselves and mining their collective encyclopedic knowledge of pop music for production touchstones.
Since the release of World of Wonder, Alison has played hundreds of shows for families throughout Northern California and beyond, with her Big Time Tot Rock band. In addition, she has developed her own “Big Time Tot Rock” curriculum for teaching music to toddlers and preschoolers, which has grown to include preschools and community centers all over the San Francisco Bay Area.
Now comes The Start of Things - a giant leap forward both sonically and conceptually, incorporating her recent experiences as a music specialist in the preschool classroom, and bringing a whole new batch of sophisticated pop songs to little ears. Weaving throughout the upbeat, lush tunes are subtle themes of self-expression, self-empowerment and self-acceptance.
The songs were inspired by her young students and their quirky takes on life, and many of the melodies and lyrics came to her in the pre-dawn hours, when her songwriting muse would wake up long before the alarm, ready to sing a quick voice memo into the phone before driving her son to school.
Once again she has teamed with producer Allen Clapp, now in his brand new Mystery Lawn recording studio in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains, to fashion each song as its own little universe of sound, infusing the tunes with real emotional truth while keeping an eye and ear on a young child’s imagination.
In addition to writing and recording The Start of Things, Alison has been hard at work adapting World of Wonder into a full-length stage musical for families. She has teamed up with best-selling author Veronica Wolff to create a whimsical, colorful, timely story that will resonate with young children and their parents, and the show is currently in the development process with a musical theater company in San Francisco. She is also the resident composer for StageWrite, a Bay Area nonprofit which teaching playwriting to elementary-age students, culminating in a professionally produced musical theater production at the Brava Theatre Center in San Francisco.
Alison is married to Danny Plotnick, a filmmaker and professor. Their 15-year old son, Henry Plotnick, is an electronic music composer who has released two full-length albums of experimental, minimalist music on independent labels. He has been deemed “the next Philip Glass” in the international music press. Henry attends Asawa School of the Arts High School as a Piano major. They live in San Francisco.
For more information about World of Wonder - The Musical, contact [email protected].
Alison also teaches Big Time Tot Rock Music Classes:
Alison's Big Time Tot Rock Music Classes are high-energy music appreciation and movement classes for children 4 and under. Current public class schedule (subject to change):
Mondays, 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Kinderboogie at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center
Big Time Tot Rock Classes are also available for preschools and early childhood development centers. Contact [email protected]