Little Star Lullabies!
Earlier this year, I recorded an album of classical music specially created to help babies and small children relax and sleep. I’d always felt that the music on many of the albums in this genre wasn’t of a particularly good quality and this was confirmed from discussions with several musician friends who have children. Parents were dismayed that childrens’ music was often highly artificial, with synthesized childish sounds, clumsy harmonies and could become grating after a few listens. We discussed the point that record companies and producers wouldn’t contemplate using such poor quality sounds on a release aimed at adults, yet it was considered entirely appropriate for a small child. Taking this to its logical conclusion means that childrens’ ears become acclimatized to unrefined, unnatural sounds instead of subtle, authentic ones.
Another common technique in releases which are often described as ‘Classical Music for Babies’ is to take well known classical or baroque pieces of music (such as Pachelbel’s Canon in D or Bach’s Air), strip them of their subtlety and sophistication, then present them in a simplified, synthesized form (often involving a glockenspiel and sometimes even a synthesized drum beat!). By removing the expression, nuance and elegance, the piece becomes unnatural and again is a bit like surrounding children with plastic flowers in the hope that this will cultivate a love of nature.
What I wanted to do was to compose and record a selection of organically written pieces played on real instruments which could be enjoyable for both babies and their parents – without it becoming predictable or wearing after a few repetitions.
The end result – is ‘Little Star Lullabies’ – an album recorded using orchestral instruments such as cellos, string orchestra, piano, recorders and flutes. It offers children the chance to experience music played on real instruments and is written to include more subtle harmonies, musical contrast and counter melodies to engage the ear but remains gentle, soothing and uplifting. It can be purchased through itunes, amazon mp3, CD baby or as a physical disc through this website.