August 23, 2004

Vintage Electronic Baby Music by Raymond Scott

soothing_sounds_scott.jpgThe only thing that chilled out DT reader (and dance music guru) Tom Whitwell's son Alex during "a very colicky first six months" [!] was Raymond Scott's pioneering (1962-3) synth-meets-noise-meets-big band series, Soothing Sounds For Baby. Unsuccessful at the time, Scott's nursery work was reissued on CD during the late nineties dance music era:

The CDs are interesting, because they're minimalist electronic music - virtually unlistenable - half way between Kraftwerk and Steve Reich, but they have an amazing effect on the little fella...Each CD has one up-tempo dancey number, then a couple of quieter ones, then an epic 18-minute long final track where pretty much nothing happens, but it seems to hypnotise them to sleep...

The Chemical Brothers also had a copy (Tom, the blonde one, told me his
daughter didn't react too well to it...)

So there's a 50% chance of an adverse reaction? Not much worse than Baby Benadryl, and no side effects.

Buy Raymond Scott's Soothing Sounds For Baby, vol. 1 (1-6 months), vol. 2 (6-12 months), and vol. 3 (12-18 months) [Although if Amazon's recommendation engine is any indication, two are plenty; people who bought 1 bought 3, but people who bought 2 didn't.]

CAUTION: Not intended for headbanger use.

1 Comment

This reminds me of an album I found in college by (at the time) GreatfulDead percussionist Mickey Hart. The 70+ minute recording of his son's in-utero heart beat is a sound scape for post-partem blues.

I've used the album as a soundtrack to sleep to on and off for the past 12 year, and found it provides the rhythmic qualities of sleeping on a train.

You can read more about the album, released by Rykodisc, here

From their catalog, it's RCD 20112, and can be had direct from their site.

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