British label Cala Records has discovered an innovative and entirely natural way of soothing babies to sleep.
Their award-winning concept is the brainchild of renowned conductor Geoffrey Simon and has attracted attention across the UK and internationally.
“I invited the cello sections of four of the great London orchestras to record in a large hall,” Geoffrey explained, “to hear, for the first time ever, what 40 virtuoso cellists would sound like when playing together.
“The sound they made was gorgeous — incredibly big, rich and expressive.
“Then, when we played The Swan — the hauntingly beautiful melody from The Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns — something amazing happened.
“I asked the musicians to perform this intimate music with great restraint. A magical atmosphere floated across the room, utterly tranquil but still incredibly rich. We were mesmerised.”
It was this unique combination of relaxation and richness which Geoffrey discovered communicates with babies, sending them gently to sleep and even calming their parents.
‘babymusic.com’, the division of Cala Records devoted to the well-being of babies and children, was launched with the Baby Cello CD, to high acclaim from the public and media.
Sarah Stacey commented in The Mail on Sunday: “Since I last wrote about Baby Cello Geoffrey has been inundated with calls from grateful parents, and even one great-granny, testifying to its effectiveness.
“The warm, deep sound of the cellos works for grown-ups, too: I float off almost immediately.”
The label now offers a vibrant range of CDs and digital downloads, including Baby Cello, Baby Harp, Baby Symphony, Mother Goose, Peter and the Wolf and the seasonal favourite A Cello Christmas.
Each track is specially recorded and remastered, with any loud or harsh registers softened to make them magically soothing.
Also available is some of the finest music for children from other labels, and the range has proven to be successful and versatile, both at home and in classrooms.
“It’s amazing how much music can shape the individual,” wrote Mark Kebble in his review of ‘babymusic.com’.
“Research connects musical participation to better behaviour, and achievement in music helps develop self-esteem.”
The childcare world has embraced the unique concept, with Gold and Excellence awards from Practical Pre-School, Creative Child, Top Choice and iParenting Magazines.
Visitors to the website can hear free samples of the music and can take advantage of generous Christmas offers.
There is also a helpful resource centre, ‘Music In Our Lives’, which provides information about the lasting value of music for children, and musical opportunities in the community.
Geoffrey concluded: “We realise babymusic.com was destined to do more for youngsters so we offer guidelines as to how music stimulates intellectual awareness and emotional growth.
“We are passionate about bringing this to young people. Music makes the colours of the world a little brighter.”