Listening to classical and classical-crossover music is one of my favourite interests. When I’ve had a manic day and all I want to do is chill out and forget the world, the soothing sounds of an instrumental piece or the enchanting vocals of a mezzo-soprano are hard to beat. Add a bubbly bath and a few candles into the mix and I’m in 7th heaven! New Zealand’s Hayley Westenra is by far my favourite classical artist whose repertoire, which sees her covering 80s pop classics to operatic arias, came into a world of it’s own when she collaborated with world renowned composer Ennio Morricone two years ago. (If you’ve not listened to the Paradisoalbum, I absolutely urge you to.) She has the most delicate and pure voice and is so sweet and down to earth both when she chats away on stage and when you meet her.
Even though her vocal abilities seem to know no boundaries I was still fairly surprised to hear Hayley was working on an album of lullabies. I thought it was quite a bizarre route to take and I was keen to hear what she’d been working on. Over the last few weeks Hayley has been sharing newly arranged sound clips and videos of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’ and ‘Hushabye Mountain’, finally exposing the fruits of her labour. On that note, the reason for the nursery serenades came clear: the album, entitled Hushabye, is dedicated to all the babies born in the year of the royal birth, with ‘Sleep On’ being her official gift to William and Kate‘s soon to be born baby! I don’t know about you, but awwww! How cute?! In this respect, the album of lullabies is a lovely tribute and quite a fantastic publicity move too.
Obviously lullabies are intended to send babies off to sleep but really, this collection of relaxing songs could benefit many an insomniac. If you struggle to shake off the day and get a decent night’s shut eye, it could be for you, and it may be my new chill out music too. The album’s UK release date is today (you can order it here) so I’m going to have to grab my copy when I head out into town tomorrow. Here’s a few videos of the pretty lullabies:
Edit: As a huuuge fan of Hayley, it made my day when I saw she’d retweeted my Twitter message and blog post. 🙂