Baby Playlist, #4

  • Echoes of Nature: Ocean Waves . A cliché and a no-brainer, but everybody digs it, babies and adults alike, although the dog thought there was a storm coming at first . . . Let’s observe the effect on the baby:
Looks good. The next recording is:
  • Alvin Curran: Songs and Views From the Magnetic Garden . An electronic music classic, at once serious, abstract and as accessible and more interesting than what popular audiences are used to with Brian Eno. Curran combined analog synthesis, environmental sounds (waves, dogs) and acoustic performances (singing, trumpet playing) into an intuitive, extended fantasia. The music is rich, beautiful, and engrossing. It works as well for ambient pleasure as it does for active listening, and there is so much strength and interest that most will be drawn into deep engulfment in the music. An essential, Dig This selection. And, what does the baby think?
Upside down, it doesn’t matter, it’s dreamy to her. Finally, and good for playing all night long, through feedings and fussiness, is:
  • NASA: Voyager Space Sounds : Recordings collected in space by the Voyager and Cassini craft, over five hours total duration. Sound is a wave, whether the ocean or electromagnetic waves propagated in space and reacting with other fields and electronic equipment. Unclassifiable ambient sounds, haunting and energizing with a profound sense of other-worldliness. Highly recommended for babies:


I'm a composer and musician, and I write about music—I do that here, for the New York Classical Review, at the Brooklyn Rail (I edit the music section there) and any place else that will have me, like New Music Box and Music & Literature. I also wrote the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew book in the 33 1/3 series.