Lullabies go digital

Two ongoing initiatives — lullaby workshop and digital music sequence — flip the highlight on that elusive lockdown phenomenon: a superb evening’s sleep

“We see this workshop as an offering in the pandemic; the gift of sleep is a blessing,” says music artist Gurupriya Atreya over cellphone from Bengaluru. She is speaking about her collaboration with Chennai-based vocalist Vedanth Bharadwaj and their digital, weekly workshop on lullabies that started in October 2020.

In its twenty third week, the occasion has succeeded in creating a worldwide group of youngsters, dad and mom, grandparents, singers and artists united by an oral custom of timeless soothing melodies sung as a pre-sleep routine.

Lullabies go digital

Simultaneously, Duroflex, producer of mattresses that manufacturers itself as The Sleep Company, on World Sleep Day (March 19) launched Sounds of Sleep — a digital music sequence that “aims to revive, celebrate, and recreate India’s rich tradition of regional lullabies in a digitally convenient way.”

Aimed at new-age dad and mom who wish to inculcate wholesome pre-sleep routines for his or her family members, the six-episode sequence is hosted by actor and mom Kalki Koechlin. It options well-liked singers like Monali Thakur, Shilpa Rao, Chinmayi Sripada, Sanah Moidutty, Shalmili Kholgade and Geetha Madhuri.

Based on a 2016 research by Marieve Corbeil, a doctoral candidate at Université de Montréal, that proves “lullabies are the best way to calm an infant”, the music sequence is “for new-age parents and about the importance of healthy sleep,” says Smitha Muraka, VP Marketing Duroflex.

In an interview printed in Education Week Corbeil states:

Lullabies go digital

“I found infants remained calm twice as long when listening to a children’s song, which they didn’t even know, as they did when listening to baby talk. Singing to infants is continuous, has steady beats and many repetitions of melody and words, compared to intermittent and much-more variable baby talk. Those factors make music much more predictable and perhaps more reassuring for infants. Finally, live singing is much more effective than recorded singing, and face-to-face singing is best of all.”

Both Gurupriya and Vedanth really feel that the pandemic gave them the time and alternative to make their dream of collating an album of lullabies a actuality. Vedanth, who’s well-known for his rendition of the songs from the Bhakti and Sufi traditions, admits to being stunned by the response.

“The magic of lullabies has brought so many people on to one platform,” he says.

Pick a tune

Though the duo started with round 12 songs, it was quickly flooded with songs from completely different cultures and languages, and have now coated Tamil, Bengali, Urdu, Spanish, Trinidadian, Assamese, Nepali, Malayalam, Sinhalese and Punjabi.

Once a month, a lullaby from a movie — like Nanhi Kali Sone Chali (Sujata) can be featured as a result of “it is very relatable,” says Gurupriya. Vedanth and Gurupriya have additionally sourced lullabies from households.

Conducted over Zoom, their workshops have 100 contributors; additionally it is reside streamed on YouTube for an additional set of audiences. They additionally characteristic particular classes with visitor artistes like indie pop group The Ghosts (who carried out the Christmas-related lullaby ‘Silent Night’); Punjabi singer Radhika Sood Nayak; Malaysian singer Cheryl and the Nepali theatre actor Amjad Parwej.

Their current lullaby live performance at Tantrotsav in Auroville was meant to instill calmness as a prelude to the excessive vitality festivities at midnight. “When we performed, the children fell asleep,” says Gurupriya.

Art begets artwork

Auroville-based artist Osher Shanti Rozin describes the workshop as “an amazing initiative”. Touched by the sweetness of the songs, she started illustrations for the lullabies.

As she began listening to and understanding the lyrics, she started to give attention to bringing out the feelings from throughout the lullaby. “It’s not about the details but about the feelings,” says Osher, who makes use of blended media like watercolours, pencils, crayons, black and glitter pens to precise herself.

Vedanth talks about attention-grabbing discoveries they made throughout this workshop sequence. “The beauty of a lullaby is in its simplicity,” he says. “The same song has been rendered over centuries by practitioners and has evolved.” He talks about how a Tamil phrase entered a Spanish lullaby by way of nomads who travelled from southern India to Andalusia in Spain.

In the context of including phrases and pictures, storyteller and actor Janaki Sabesh has an amusing story. When on summer season trip in Thrissur, she would sing a well-liked Malayalam lullaby to calm her sister Rekha who missed her dad and mom.

“I would add images that my sister could identify with,” says Janaki and sings, “arara ariraro, kaathala ezhindu…. pallu thechu Horlicks kudichu kulikanum … kovil poitu vara vazhila … Icecream namma chapdanum” [We will wake up in the morning, brush our teeth, drink Horlicks, bathe … go to the temple and on our way back, we will have ice cream].

Recalling the lullabies her mom sang to her kids and grandchildren, storyteller Smitha Nair, who lives in Kochi, says, “It has a soothing effect on babies. In Kerala, the most famous lullaby is ‘Omana Thinkal Kidaavo’ by Iriyamaan Thambi written in 1813 for the baby King Swati Thirunal of Travancore. It’s so full of love and splendour and a beautiful wish for the infant.” Another of her favourites is ‘Unni aarariro’ from the Malayalam movie Avalude Raavugal.

Smitha additionally mentions listening to Bombay Jayahsree’s album Vatsalyam (see field) when she was anticipating her kids.

Kalki Koechlin, who hosts the Sounds of Sleep, remembers on the lookout for soothing music “to put my baby to sleep and to create a healthy sleep routine for her. I knew India had a very rich collection of regional lullabies but found it difficult to discover these hidden gems.” Which is why she is thrilled to host this sequence, and hopes “to share the sense of warmth, nostalgia and bonding experience for every new parent.”

Multilingual treasure

  • In 2003, Carnatic musician Bombay Jayashree launched Vatsalyam, an album of well-liked lullabies from completely different Indian languages. The album contained songs similar to ‘Mannupugazh’ (Tamil); ‘Jasoda Hari’ (Brij Bhasha); ‘Omana Thinkal Kidaavo’ (Malayalam); ‘Ghumer Boodi’ (Bengali); ‘Laali Shri Hayavadana’ (Kannada); ‘Jo Jo Jo Raama’ (Telugu) and ‘Kanne Navamaniye’ (Tamil).
  • She additionally wrote the lyrics for and sang ‘Pi’s Lullaby’ for the 2012 movie Life of Pi. The tune was nominated for the Best Original Song on the eighty fifth Academy Awards. In her weblog, the singer writes that director Ang Lee described the temper for the tune in these phrases, “A child sleeps not because he is sleepy, but because he feels safe.”

Up subsequent

  • Duroflex Sounds of Sleep premièred on World Sleep Day, serving to its viewers rediscover lullabies from completely different components of India and perceive why lullabies are good for sleep. Upcoming episodes are:.
  • April 09– Tamil – Chinmayi Sripada
  • April 16 – Punjabi – Shilpa Rao
  • April 23 – Telugu – Geetha Madhuri
  • Episodes might be seen on the Duroflexworld YouTube channel

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