I’m going to be a dad soon. My wife is 20 weeks pregnant, lugging around a cute, little baby who weighs ten ounces and is roughly the length of a banana. At this point, the fetus — whose sex will be determined next week — is already flexing its limbs, having dreams, and starting to swallow. Its glands are also starting to secrete a waxy “cheese-like” substance called vernix caseosa. Yum!
Most importantly, though, the baby’s ears have finally developed enough to actually hear sound. Making a mixtape to celebrate this development was obvious, but what kind of mix was I to make?
While I could’ve thrown together some shitty cute lullabies, the baby will hear plenty of those once it’s born. And since it can’t speak and can barely move, a sing-along or dance mix would be kind of insulting. Besides, because the baby is tucked in my wife’s belly, doing backstrokes in warm amniotic fluid, who’s to say that all music won’t sound like Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports?
So, I decided to make a mix suited specifically to the baby’s environment. Rather than catchy hooks, we have gentle vibrations by Can and Jim O’Rourke. Rather than exploding beats, we have the soft pulses of Nobukazu Takemura and The Books. Rather than rigid structures and compressed sonics, we have the fluidity of Boredoms and the ethereal frequencies of Oren Ambarchi. My aim is not only to introduce music to our baby, but to also transmit these vibrations, these pulses, these frequencies through my wife’s belly and through the amniotic fluid. It’s my way of saying “Hello, welcome to the world of sound. You’ll love it even more once you’re born.”