There are lullabies destined to soothe the spirits of cranky babies and there are lullabies that manage to calm peevish grown-ups, fussy babies and fatiqued children alike.
Dodo La Planète Do - Dream songs Night Songs fits into the latter category. The locally-produced recording of lullabies from around the world was released last week.
"There's nothing that calms better than singing," producer Paul Campagne said.
"When you hold a child to your breast and sing (he or she) feels the vibrations. My wife (Connie Kaldor) and I did it all the time with our two sons."
Campagne's original idea was to gather together a group of artists who now call Montreal home - but originally came from other parts of the planet - to record lullabies from all over the world.
The songs are all traditional lullabies, often played on traditional instruments from Canada, Haiti, Spain, Senegal, Britain, China, Egypt, Cuba, the United States, Italy, Nigeria and Mexico.
"Choosing the songs and artists was a pretty organic process," Campagne said. "I began by asking our percussionist if he had any suggestions and one thing lead to another. It was entirely on a whim that I went to see (Chinese artist) Liu Fang perform at Centre Pierre-Peladeau. I’d never heard her play before."
In the end, Campagne and artistic director Roland Stringer of La Montagne Secrètte - the album's distributor - brought together Liu Fang, Cuban native Carlos Placeres, Canadian prairie-born Kaldor, Idrissa Sissokho (born in Senegal), Sylva Balassanian (born in Lebanon) and the Canadian group Hart Rouge which consists of Campagne and sisters Suzanne and Michelle.
The project not only resonated across generational barriers but presented Campagne with delightful production challenges along the way.
"When Liu Fang came into the studio to record and started playing her Chinese harp my jaw dropped", Campagne said. "I wanted to be able to capture the sound just right. As a producer, it was one of the most interesting moments in putting together the project."
Included with the CD is a 32-page booklet featuring lush illustrations by Sylvie Bourbonnière. Each sang has its own illustration which can be downloaded and printed.
Dodo La Planète Do - Dream songs Night Songs is now available in music stores. (More information ...)