Disquiet Junto Project 0250: Soothing Sounds for Parents [repost]

Someone suggested that Suss Müsik repost our contributions to the weekly Disquiet Junto projects, because they enjoy reading the explanations of the tracks. While you’re reading the original post, make sure you check out the other contributors’ works as well.

Sound is the first of the five senses we experience. We feel our mother’s heartbeat while residing in the womb: a pulsating sense of being connected, something nurturing us to the next stage of life. This might be why Suss Müsik finds the soft, hypnotic thump of a bass drum so reassuring. It’s a repetitive affirmation that we are safely alive, a beat that burrows into the listener’s center of gravity, sonic vibrations that are felt rather than heard.

Raymond Scott’s Soothing Sounds for Baby, surprisingly, is not an endless cocoon of light and fluffy lullabies (for that sort of treatment, check out Steven Halpern’s Music for Babies). Scott’s music is playfully percussive, with odd twists and an occasional electronic blip to keep things interesting. It’s not music for sleeping; it calms a baby by activating the human mind’s exploratory instincts. Soothing Sounds for Baby is perfect writing music.

This piece is fairly typical of Suss Müsik ambient explorations. In this case, flutes and other wind instruments are played and treated with a dollop of echoey reverb. Bass drum seemed too harsh for this context, so a sofa cushion was thumped with a wooden spoon to provide the rhythmic spine. The result is meditative without being anesthetizing, a preparatory calm before the next threshold is reached.

There are two nephews and seven nieces within the Suss Müsik ecosystem. This piece is dedicated to the most recent, a beautiful baby girl who last month celebrated her first birthday.

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