Exclusive David Simon Q&A (page 16)
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Exclusive David Simon Q&A Q: What about "Way Down In The Hole" for season 4?  Did you get someone to newly-record the song or did you pick a previously-recorded version?  [Glen in Pennsylvania]

A: In keeping with the theme of the season, we sought out voices of middle-school-aged students from Baltimore.  Rather than seek out a particular recording artist this year, we tried for the essential voice of our adolescent characters.

Beyond the musical choice, I think it works emotionally.

Specifically, our theme was arranged and produced by Doreen Vail, Maurette Brown-Clark and J.B. Wilkins.  The young voices featured are those of Ivan Ashford, Markel Steele, Cameron Brown, Tariq Al-Sabir and Avery Bargasse.  The musicians are Ronald Lindsey and Thomas Crosson.  Mike Potter engineered the session.

All of the boys are from Baltimore and Tony Small, who directs a boys choir locally, found them for us.

Q: Obviously Jim True-Frost (Prez) is Ed's proxy this year.  Do you have a proxy character (other than that pushy reporter)? [Jim King]

A: I don't think Prez is Ed's proxy.  Ed is Ed.  Prez is Prez.  They were both cops and they both went to the Baltimore School System to teach, but the similarities end there.

We have allowed Prez to experience some of the first-year adventures typical of Ed's journey and that of other city teachers, but he experiences this as Prez, not Ed Burns.  That said, this year really reflects a great deal of Ed wants to say about his seven years in the school system.  Although he is hugely influential and essential to all of The Wire's storytelling, this particular story arc is more his own than any other.

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