Touching Sound Living Lullabies

Author(s): Sorrel Doris Hays

Edition: 2

Copyright: 2016

Details: Print Prod w/Audio/Video |

Touching Sound Living Lullabies provides a refreshingly new and unique approach to understanding and valuing music. Author Sorrel Doris Hays begins with a simple song, the lullaby, as the initial focus, in a variety of cultural contexts from North and South America, Africa, China, Turkey and Europe, with substantive essays on the history and evolving nature of lull music and the science of psychoacoustics.

From lulls, Hays broadens the discussion to more complex contemporary forms of Western instrumental structures. Through conversations with veteran composers Pauline Oliveros and Annea Lockwood, Hays explores the effect of sound upon the body. Therapists, audio engineers, teachers, artists and hundreds of parents and other caregivers contribute to the discussion of sound and its physiological impact.

The book is anchored by 58 musical scores and 2 CDs of 84 original recordings with choirs, soloists, location recordings and instrumental ensembles.

Of interest to specialists in the fields of:

  • world music
  • music appreciation
  • music therapy
  • women’s studies
  • psychoacoustics
  • electronic music
  • general music
  • contemporary music
  • music composition


List of Scores

Chapter 1 Opening the Treasure Chest: Describing the Songs
Why We Make Music
The Necessity for Community and Ritual
Lullaby Singing as Caregiver’s Rite
Women’s Position as Lull Singer
Lullaby as Foundation of Musical Culture
Cultural Pendulums, and What Is Valued
Lulls as Lamentations
Conversation with Avital Greenberg
Generational Differences
Nurturing by Caregivers

Chapter 2 Two Strings Vibrating
Vocal Vibration
Body Rhythms, Pitch Range and Repetition
Conversation with Annea Lockwood: Syllables as Lullers
Conversation with Pauline Oliveros
Intimacy of Singing
Nonsense Syllables
Contours of Babyspeak, Origin of Lullabies
Animals in Lullabies
Babies as Composers

Chapter 3 In Body Meant
Sounds of Satiety
Conversation with Annea Lockwood
Physiology of Pleasurable Sound
Conversation with Pauline Oliveros: Breathing Singly and Together

Chapter 4 Perpetual Motion
Cosmic Harmony, Earthly Vibrations
Grabbing Listeners, The Shapes of Sounds
Electromagnetic Harmony
How We Hear
Conversation with Ruth Anderson: Sound that May Be Healing
Conversation with Annea and Pauline
Microtones, Overtones and Tunings
Hearing and Listening
Babies as Deep Listeners
Rocking, Syncopation in Ewe Lullabies, Kwakiutl Cradle Strings, Science of Baby Oscillation
Conversation with Dr. Elizabeth Pease” Biofeedback and Rhythmic Generators
Tibetan Singing Bowl and Focused Consciousness
Repetition and Entrainment

Chapter 5 Pictures in the Ear
Conversation with Marilyn Ries: Mixing Audio with Nature Sounds
The Kaluli and Onomatopoeic Words
Audio Depth, Noise as Background
Conversation with Annea and Pauline: The Visual in Sound

Chapter 6 E-Motion
Womb Tempos, Oscillation and Emotion
Communal Lullabies
Patterns of Connection
Conversation with Annea Lockwood: Environment and Audio Symbolism
Conversation with Pauline: In and Out of Synch with the Earth’s Vibrations
Microwaves and Body Music

Chapter 7 The Quiet and the Roaring of Lulls and Laments
Sound as Consolation
Music Sets Tone of Human Conduct, Chinese Philosophy
Conversation with Annea and Pauline: The Power of Silence, Sutras and Buddhist Liturgy
Intimate, Quiet Times
Blues as Lamentations
Voices Mourning
Power in the Sound of Names
Laments, Victorious Transformers of Emotion
Death Tolls
Sleep as Death Metaphor
Conversation with Avital Greenberg: Lullabies as Goodbyes
The Beatas of Brazil and Sacred Harp
Conversation with Annea and Pauline: Lulling, Rituals of Grief
The Vietnamese Jeh: The Logba of Eweland
Weeping in New Guinea, Hysteria in Greece
Conversation with Annea and Pauline: Passionate Outbursts
Out of Silence, Burst of Grief: Alaskan Natives
Loud Through the Skin
Private Litanies of Comfort

Chapter 8 Liquid Sounds and Functional Music
Hildegard and Water’s Power
Conversation with Marilyn Ries: Repetitious and Evocative Water
Water Mood Audio, Continuity of Nature’s Rhythm
Nature Audio Moods
Conversation with Annea Lockwood: Water as Life Sound

Chapter 9 Missing Connections
Conversation with Mary Burt: Sound and the Autistic Child
Southern India, The Joyous Lullaby
Naming as Affection, Yoruban and Igbo Lullabies
Reparenting, The Allomothers
Community of Helpers
Conversation with Annea and Pauline: Why People Listen Together, Minimalist Music
Attention Focusing Sound
Conversation with Jeri Hilderley: Aural Memory and Physical Coordination
Time Out Music
Feeling the Sound Move
Kwakiutl Cradle Rocking Song

Chapter 10 Dreams, Rapture, Ritual
Building Bridges to the New—and Old
Conversation with Annea Lockwood: Easing Audiences in, Rituals of Listening
Dreams in Our Mind
Conversation with Annea Lockwood: Emotions and Dream States
Ritual in Improvisation
Remembered Sound
Glow of Motherhood, Ecstasy of Birthing
Music and Birthing
Eskimo Conjurer and the Great Sea of Emotion
Hildegard Ecstatic States
Conversation with Annea Lockwood: Where Does Music Originate?

Chapter 11 Future Lulls And Expectations
Ever Changing Songs
Lull Words Around the World
Expectations Through Songs
Conversation with Sheri Bauer-Mayorga: Reluctant Caregivers
Conversation with Annea and Pauline: Traditions, Or What’s at Hand
Changes Over Generations, Personal Property Songs
Conversation with Annea Lockwood and Pauline Oliveros: Musicians’ Lullabies
Formal and Informal Lullabies
Conversation with Christina Hays: Family Memories
Sharing Cultural Influences
Conversation with Pauline and Annea
Future of Lulling Music


Biographies and Discographies: Sorrel Hays, Annea Lockwood, Pauline Oliveros


Lullaby Scores

List of CD Tracks

Sorrel Doris Hays

Sorrel Hays’ fascination with lullabies began in the 1980’s, with projects that included a series for public radio called “Lullaby, The Universal Tradition,” aired in the Horizon series of National Public Radio, and a commissioning project for composed lull music titled “Sleepers” for Finnadar/Atlantic Records.

Sorrel Hays first drew national attention to her music with Sensevents for six instrumentalists, motorized plastic sculptures, dancers and interactive audience at the 1976 Lincoln Center Festival Out of Doors. At a Sensevents performance in Atlanta’s Lenox Mall by Atlanta Symphony players, thousands showed up; children sat on the switch mats for motors and lights that acted as conductors for the musicians, causing a nonstop performance and standstill in the mall.

Hays has written five operas for stage and created a number of text-sound operas for German broadcasting. Her radio opera Dream in Her Mind premiered at Westdeutscher Rundfunk Cologne in 1995, and was featured in the Media Museum Roskilde for the Copenhagen Festival 1996. Dream in Her Mind uses an imaginary meeting of Gertrude Stein, Hildegard, Jessamyn West and others on the planet Venus, as cartographers exploring the landscapes of personal consciousness. Her latest opera is Bella, featuring Bella Abzug and the politics of equality from 1960-1998.

Hays’ Our Giraff e was the headliner at New York City Opera’s 2008 VOX Festival. Her cantatera (her word) TOOWHOPERA, was commissioned and produced by the 2009 Georgia Music Teachers Conference. Her comedic ballad opera, The Bee Opera, with lyrics by Hays and Denise Duhamel, was premiered in New York City in 2003.

Hays’ Something (To Do) Doing for scat singer and chorus, and Sound Shadows, for didjeridu, oboe, video, electronic keyboard and dancer as percussionist, were produced in the Whitney Museum’s first audio art festival 1990. The fi lm House, part of the Sound Shadows concert, was shown at Women in the Directors Chair Festival in Chicago, and on the Independent Focus series of Channel 13 in New York City.

Hays and her music are the subjects of a film documentary by George Stoney, Southern Voices: A Composer’s Exploration, a journey into childhood memories via the melodies and rhythms of Southern dialect. Hays composed many works with Southern influences, including Tunings for string quartet, and The Glass Woman, commissioned by the Chattanooga Opera, based on the life of an eccentric Arkansas antiques collector, produced in New York in 1989 and 1993.

Sorrel Hays created many works especially for the medium of radio. Echo U.S. Continental, exploring aural space, aired over American public radio in 1991. M.O.M. & P.O.P. for fi lm and three pianists premiered at the 1984 Radio Bremen Pro Musica Nova festival and in the National Women’s Studies Conference at Rutgers University. Disarming the World/Pulling Its Leg, her docudrama about women’s peace camps, broadcast in 1986 over WNYC in Manhattan. Love in Space for chorus, actors and Synklavier, was broadcast in 1987 by Westdeutscher Rundfunk Cologne.

Hays began her career as composer/pianist when she won first prize in the Gaudeamus Competition for Interpreters of Contemporary Music at Rotterdam, Holland. In 1978, she gave the premiere of Henry Cowell’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. Townhall Records reissued her comprehensive recording “Sorrel Doris Hays Plays Henry Cowell” in a 1997 centennial edition to mark Cowell’s hundredth birthday. Her A Birthday Book for voice, oboe and tuba, and Rocker Parts for two pianos, were commissioned for the Henry Cowell’s Musical Worlds Festival in New City and the Cowell’s Musical Legacy Festival at Hertz Hall, Berkeley, California.

For her multimedia concerts, she created a number of films including “Flowing Quilt” and “Wooden Houses,” made in collaboration with Marilyn Ries. Other of her films include “C.D., The Ritual of Civil Disobedience,” shown at the National Video Festival and in a touring exhibit of the American Film Institute.

Hays was on the faculties of, and was guest lecturer at, numerous universities in the United States, including Queens College and Brooklyn College CUNY, Vassar, Cornell College, the University of Wisconsin, and in Artist Residencies with Rhode Island College, the Copenhagen Soundlaboratory, the Georgia Council for the Arts and the New York Foundation on the Humanities. In 1998, she was consulting designer of the graduate program in electronic music at Yildiz University, Istanbul. From 2009 to 2016, she was on the faculty of the University of West Georgia. From 1974 to 1984, Hays was consultant composer and writer about contemporary music for a children’s text series called MUSIC, published by Silver Burdett.

Sorrel Hays directed the first American lecture concert series on women’s music at the New School for Social Research in 1976. Her Tunings was performed in the first concert of women’s music at the Library of Congress. She directed the activities of the New York branch of the International League of Women Composers from 1976 to 1984.

Sorrel Hays’ music is published by Henmar Press/C. F. Peters, Hildegard Press and Tallapoosa Music. Hays is an Artist Fellow of the New York Foundation for the Arts, was awarded Fellowships in Music Composition in 1998, and in Media Arts in 1985. She received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Council on the Arts, the Astraea Foundation, Meet the Composer, the Eastman Foundation, ASCAP and the Tennessee Foundation for the Humanities.

Related ISBN's: 9781465297693

Print Package



ISBN 9781465297693

Details Print Prod w/Audio/Video