- Breathing In and Out
- Guy Smiley
- Forever, and No Time At All
- Lights and Shadows
- Here I Am, Just For You
- And Until Tomorrow
- Day Past Due
- Leap One
- Lullaby for Hugo
- The Little Possum
- Call and Response
“When I became a parent myself in 2017 I began to consider the potential of composing a new set of works specifically for babies and their parents (particularly those who find repeats of Twinkle Twinkle on the baby monitor infuriating).
I have always favoured quietness, lyricism and intimacy in my piano playing and composing. I’ve been humbled to learn that my previous albums (both with my jazz piano trio, Nat Bartsch Trio, and as a solo artist) have helped people through times of stress and grief, are used to settle babies to sleep, and in one case, even accompanied the delivery of a baby into this world.Music therapy research recommends certain musical parameters to relax babies to sleep. Particularly in the neonatal intensive care unit, music is known to relax premature babies when it has the same tempo as the mother’s heartbeat, uses simple harmony and rhythm, gentle soft-sounding instruments and repetition. Relaxing the parent is equally important.
Music that babies have heard in utero makes them feel safe and secure once they are in the world. In the hours after my son Will was born he became overwhelmed and upset. It was incredibly moving to see his body relax and his crying cease as we played my song And Until Tomorrow — a song I practised and performed regularly when he was in the womb.
This album, with its melodic and harmonic diversity, improvisation and range of tempos, is not a therapeutic device as such. It is also important to note that music therapy is about working with a trained music therapist who tailors the music to suit the individual family and their circumstances, often performing it live. Every baby is different. However, it is influenced by this research wherever it could be. Listening to this album whilst pregnant and including it in a regular sleep-settling routine might help to maximise its potential.
You might find that some songs resonate with your baby more than others, and making a playlist of their favourites might be useful.
This album is dedicated to my son. Most of these compositions were written with one hand, whilst holding Will in the other. The titles of most of these lullabies are inspired by his stage of development at the time of composition. Watching him thrive and enjoy music along the way is one of the greatest gifts of motherhood. It feels as though Will has been in my life forever, and for no time at all.”
All compositions by Nat Bartsch except And Until Tomorrow — Bartsch/Howard
Recorded at ABC Studio 345, February 2018
Additional recording at Lukktone, December 2017
Engineered and mixed by Luke Howard
Additional engineering by Russell Thomson
Mastered by Lachlan Carrick
Produced by Nat Bartsch and Luke Howard
Photos by Brett Scapin and Luke Howard
Artwork by Luci Everett
With special guest appearance by Will Hopkins