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HOT: Sounds out there, sounds in here…by Nigel Brown and Alice Hui-Sheng Chang, Artplay, Birrarung Marr, Melbourne


Did you know that sound is an unborn baby’s major source of stimulation, and after the sixth month sound becomes a baby’s major information channel. By the end of the second trimester, an unborn baby can hear.

As part of Melbourne Music Week sound artists  Nigel Brown and Alice Hui-Sheng Chang explored the way babies could interact with sound in their interactive production ‘Sounds out there, sounds in here…’

The session started off with some wooden boxes filled with some mysterious vibrating objects (electric toothbrushes), creating a little echo chamber of buzzing. The babies were fascinated by the ‘instruments’ and the sounds created by them, particularly when the toothbrushes were brushed against the outside of the boxes or able to be tapped and rapped against the sides.



Next it was onto a ‘sound mat’ with crinkly objects hidden under a mat and lots of different objects dangled overhead by the artists to create different sounds. The voices of the artists and the adults with the children were also incorporated into this soundscape.


Then a curtain was lifted to reveal a space with ‘stations’ each with a different sound created by household objects used in a creative way.


It was interesting watching how every baby interacted differently – some wanted to touch the objects, some were content to lie back and listen to their surroundings, some cried. Baby 2.0 didn’t like the toothbrushes or the rustling of foil against a rotating fan but loved the gentle rain sticks and the tinkling bells tied to netting.


Artplay’s first season of events in 2014 is now open for bookings. There’s lots of great programs for every age group, read the full program here.


Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned entrepreneur. She combines her love for kids, food, travel and bikes into several passion projects.

She owns an online bike store; develops and produces bike-related creative experiences for families via; and writes another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne with (non-kid related) reviews about things to do and places to go in Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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