Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Midnight Lullaby - Jane Roman Pitt

A few weeks ago I was contacted and asked to review a lullaby CD by classically trained singer Jane Roman Pitt. Her CD is called Midnight Lullaby. While Bean doesn't let me rock her to sleep any more, I really loved the times when I would sit in her room with her in my arms rocking her to sleep. I would turn down the lights and turn on soft music for her. These were very special days to me. These memories made me want to listen to Jane's music and yearn for those sweet times again.

First, my own thoughts on the songs. Jane Roman Pitt's voice really does soothe you. The best way I can describe it is a sound that feels like you're being wrapped up in it. Midnight Lullaby is soothing collection of songs written by some of well known singer songwriters including Bob Dylan, Wilco, Tom Waits, The Dixie Chicks, Sade and more. She has turned these songs into beautiful lullabies.

I was also given the chance to interview Jane and here's what she had to say about her music.

Pinkie:  I really enjoyed your CD. I love the “re-telling” of these contemporary songs into lullabies. But this really isn’t the first time you've done this, is it? Didn’t you do something similar on your Peace of the River CD with “Here Comes the Sun”?

Jane:  I’m so happy to have the chance to talk to you and your readers about music and lullabies. Yes, you are exactly right---it was “Here Comes the Sun” that inspired me to use other contemporary songs as lullabies. I thought and thought about putting that one on “Midnight Lullaby” but because it talked about the sun coming up, I figured it wasn’t actually a perfect image for the midnight theme!

Pinkie:  Other than the birth of your grandchildren, was that the first spark of the idea of doing a compilation of lullabies? I read on your blog that you really didn’t have a huge appreciation for lullabies until a friend of yours asked you to sing some on her CD series. What made you take notice of the effect music has on children?

Jane:  Although I loved doing the Beatles song that way, the idea of collecting lullabies came only when Gari Stein asked me to sing lullabies for her children’s project. I’d sung some of those songs to my own children, but while recording them all together I remembered just how sweet lullabies are and started to think more about them.

I also had ventured into singing jazz and country music, and the feedback was that my voice was just too sweet for those genres---I wasn’t tough enough! But when I sang lullabies, it felt like a perfect fit and I didn’t have to try to sound like anybody else.

I also realized during that recording that quiet music has a powerful effect---the recording engineer started to fall asleep! And when Gari told me that the kids in her music classes settled down as the lullabies were being played, it made me feel like it was something important--we all know how great it is to get kids to settle down!

Pinkie:  Your songs from Midnight Lullabies make the listener feel, or at least they made me feel, wrapped up in the tones of your voice. Other people have said your voice sounds like warm honey. I couldn’t think of a better explanation of your sound. I know you are an accomplished and award-winning musician but this CD must have made you realize again and again how important music is to the soul.

Jane:  What a beautiful way to describe music, and thank you for feeling that my songs convey that comforting “wrapped up” feeling---how perfect for lullabies! I do think that music is very important to the soul, and the heart, and the body. Musical vibrations resonate very deeply in us. Physics tells us that vibrations, or sound waves, are at the basis of all physical creation---including people! When we hear music that seems to resonate it can be not only pleasurable but healing.

Pinkie:  Do you have any plans for another lullaby compilation or what’s next for you other than enjoying your beautiful grandchildren?

Jane:  I would love to record more lullabies. I have several lists of songs planned out already! I have to admit, though, that this past month I’ve had my hands full (literally) with my brand new grandson and toddler granddaughter and it’s been an experience that I’m very grateful for. Nothing like practical experience to be able to relate to all of you who have little ones to settle down on a daily (and nightly) basis!

I told Jane that I honestly didn't have much musical background myself but since Bean has come along, I wished I had more knowledge that I could share with her. This was her advice to me and I really cherished it coming from someone so well trained in music:

With Bean, and all children, don’t feel like you have to know a lot about music to have them appreciate it---just sing whatever you know, hum, play recordings for them, take them to children’s concerts, etc---and they’ll grow up to love music and love you for giving it to them!

I highly recommend Midnight Lullaby to any parent.  Even now, Bean likes to listen to it before bed.  It does seem to set the mood for her to fall asleep.

***I'd like to thank Jane Roman Pitt and Beautiful Day Media for contacting me and giving me the chance to review this CD.  I was provided a free copy of the CD for purposes of this review.***
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