recess radio program

03/30/05
Zen Baby
    by John Cech

 

Zen Baby is the title of a new CD of music to soothe the awakening nerve endings of young children and, I can't help but think, the frazzled nero-receptors of their parents, as well. Here's a little from the opening track, "Good Morning" played by the guitarist Roberto Montero:

Brief Sound Clip:

Everything is mellow, everything is basic, unadorned, everything is smooth and calm and peaceful, as in "Zen, Baby". Zen is about meditation, about the absense of stimulation, about the serenity that can be found when you turn everything off, including your mind and all its chatter. And the CD tries to follow these principles on other tracks with piano music by Chris Barron that simple directs the child (or adult) listener, through ascending, descending or swirling arpeggios to "Look Up"or "Look Down"or "ook All Around"

Brief Sound Clip:

So far, so good. Then Zen Baby adds body percussions from the Brazillian musician Giba Alves, and we have shifted from meditation to movement , as in "Grow,"where you can almost imagine the sound of effervescent cells bursting into life:

Brief Sound Clip:

I like the premise of this CD. Music for young children (whom linguists refer to as "Universal Listeners") doesn't have to always follow traditional, familiar patterns or expectations. The freer, often jazz-inspired forms of Zen Baby opens a small window of opportunity to let in the fresh air and sounds of a playful, dancing, polyrhythmic world.

Brief Sound Clip:

Copyright 2005 John Cech

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Wednesday, 23-Feb-2005 13:43:33 EST


"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."