Meet Chloe and Clio, a hand-clapping, cup-slamming singing duo
CAMDEN — Three years apart, alternative ed students Chloe Isis, 14, and Clio Berta, 17, have music in common. When they sing together, they can take your heart rate down to a nice, soothing level with just their high, sweet harmonies.
Clio is best friends with Chloe's older sister, but it's through their mutual music teacher, Malcolm Brooks, that they discovered they had a knack for harmonizing together. For two months they've been playing together, kicking off their first open mike in Whitefield. I caught their second open mike act at The Rig's open house on Jan. 25. One song, in particular, is childlike with its syncopatic patty cake rhythm in which the girls pick up and slam down paper cups on top of an overturned guitar to provide the percussion to their harmonies. This cannot be decribed in words. You must watch the embedded video to see how sweet this is. Like hand-clapping games and jump rope rhymes for 2013.
"I believe the song is by Lulu and the Lampshades," said Chloe. The song, You're Gonna Miss Me , in fact, was an original song by Mainer's Mountaineers in the 1930s titled Miss Me When I'm Gone. (The original songwriters last names were Mainer; they were not, in, fact, Mainers. They were old-time fiddlers from North Carolina.)
"I heard it and learned the cup rhythm, then taught Clio the cup beat and harmonies," said Chloe.
"It was pretty easy to learn," said Clio.
If anyone got super weepy watching The Clydesdale horse Budweiser commercial on Super Bowl weekend, part of the commercial's appeal came from the soulful Stevie Nicks ballad, Landslide. In the next video included in this story (recorded before the Super Bowl weekend), Chloe and Clio nail Landslide with just the right amount of poignancy.
Clio goes to school at the Watershed School in Camden and Chloe goes to Ashwood-Waldorf School in Rockport. Chloe has been playing guitar since the age of 12. She's been working on a major school project around her music composition and is in the midst of writing songs for her own CD. As for Clio, she's been playing piano since she was six, and she's already got her own CD, titled Little Sisters out on iTunes.
"These songs were done in the past seven years," she said. "So, some of these were done when I was 12 and some just this year. All of these songs were parts of my younger self, which is why I call them 'little sisters.' " She works at Zoot Coffee in the summer and has sold some of her CDs there.
Chloe and Clio plan on doing more open mike sessions together as well as some future collaboration.
"We were talking about what we could do because Clio leaves for college next year, so maybe we'll do a EP [extended play], maybe not a whole CD," said Chloe.
Added Clio: "Chloe had the idea that we should a tour around Maine this summer, just for fun doing performances and concerts."
They might even go out on the streets and do some busking this summer.
If you see the girls out and about, somebody hand them a pair of paper cups. You'll not be disappointed.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org