Child Development Background of this Lullaby (by Jan)
This lullaby tells the story of a birth I witnessed at the Bokko Birth Center, Kagawa, Japan. Under the "watchful eyes" of an experienced midwife, and with the calm and confident presence of a husband and the curious and helpful presence of a sister, a new baby enters the world and the circle of "love we all will share." The song references the midwife using The HUG Strategy, "See, then Share" a baby's capabilities, to reassure a new father that all is well. The thirty-second Japanese introduction to this lullaby was inspired by a Birth Center grandmother who sang this very lullaby while sharing her newborn with us. (CLICK HERE to witness this sweet encounter.)
Musical Background of this Lullaby (by Jim)
The lullaby that the Birth Center grandmother sang is one of the most popular in Japan. The melody is by Austrian composer Franz Schubert. I wanted to use both western classical instruments (piano and string quartet) and a traditional Japanese instrument (koto) to arrange this song. Hopefully that combination communicates the universal language that both babies and music share. As the instruments enter in support of the melody, this lullaby aims to convey the ways that both families and professionals cherish a newborn's presence.
Thanks to Tony Bowman for producing this song with such attention to detail and for creating and rendering the piano and koto parts so sensitively; to Ronda Bowman for her beautiful vocal; to Tomomi Thorbjornson of North Carolina State University for advice about the koto and Japanese pronunciation; and to Leah Gibson (cello) and Laura Thomas (violin and viola) for their excellent performance of the parts I wrote for them to play.
For more information about other HUG Lullabies, see HUGs Around the World: International Lullabies to Calm Babies and Empower Parents, a project that combines HUG Your Baby content with the musical traditions of countries visited during the 2013-2014 International HUG Your Baby Teaching Tour.
CLICK HERE for more information about HUG Your Baby.