|1. Music To Be Born By||Year of Recording: 1989|
|Record Label: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings|
|Producer: Mickey Hart|
|Engineers: Mickey Hart, John Cutler, Tom Flye, Jeff Sterling|
|Cover Art: Steven Jurgensmeyer|
|Series Ethnomusicology Consultant: Fredric Lieberman, Ph.D.|
This soothing, 70-minute soundscape, originally created for the birth of Mickey Hart’s son Taro in 1983, was intended to transform the coldness of a hospital birthing room into a warm, rhythmic environment for the process of labor and birthing. However, after requests by several friends to use the album for their own birthing processes, Hart decided to release the recording for the general public. The music consists of Taro’s heartbeat (recorded in utero) overdubbed with bass harmonics (provided by Bobby Vega), drums, and wooden shakuhachi flute (played by Steve Douglas). Music to be Born By was issued in 1988 as part of “THE WORLD” series (now part of the Mickey Hart Collection made available by Smithsonian Folkways).
The birthing process, one of life’s great mysteries, triggered a musical response in me. The sound from the fetal monitor included among a host of gurglings and bodily noises, the emerging heartbeat of my unborn son Taro. It was the sound of new life, and a startling rhythmic event—the inner orchestra of emerging life, the rhythm world of the body at its most essential. It compelled me to entrain with it, to create new, complementary rhythms. As a father, the repetitive pulsing became symphonic in my mind; it drove me into the studio to create a new composition incorporating my son’s living, developing, hopeful, amazing, unconscious, primordial music: Music To Be Born By.
- Mickey Hart
©2011 360° Productions, Inc.