Some of us spend a lifetime trying to finish a debut album, but young Luca Yupanquai managed to create hers while she was still in the womb.
The US toddler is set to release her record, Sounds of the Unborn, on 2 April (not 1 April, we should say...). It was created with the help of her parents, Psychic Ills bassist Elizabeth Hart and Lee "Scratch" Perry collaborator Iván Diaz Mathé, who hooked up a biosonic MIDI device to Hart’s stomach and used data collected by it to trigger Iván’s synthesizers.
The album is based on five hour-long “freeform meditations,” which were allowed to “flow without much interference, just falling deeper into trance and feeling the unity”. The results of these sessions were then edited and mixed by Hart and Mathé with as little intervention as possible so that Luca’s message “exists in its raw form”.
The MIDI Biodata Sonication Device used to make the album is now available for pre-order (opens in new tab). Once attached to the skin, it measures fluctuations in galvanic conductance to produce up to five MIDI notes at a time, which can be transmitted on a configurable MIDI channel. It costs $200.
Sounds of the Unborn was mixed in 2020, after Luca had been born. This meant that she was able to join her parents in the studio where, according to Sacred Bones Records (opens in new tab), she was fully aware of what was happening.
“She would open her eyes wide and stare at her parents, seemingly recognising her own sounds from the womb, knowing that they were revisiting those rituals that made them come together as one. Those mixing sessions were technically the first time Luca had heard her own music, but her reaction made it clear that that wasn’t really the case - she had already lived it.”
You can pre-order Sounds of the Unborn now via the Sacred Bones Records (opens in new tab) website.