“Sounds of the Unborn”, the musical album recorded by a fetus

Luca Yupanqui is the youngest musician in history, even if she doesn't know it yet. " Sounds of the Unborn" is her first album, recorded when she was still a fetus and out next April. A one-of-a-kind record, free from influences and speculations, conceived even before life itself, recorded and mixed in 2020.

Helping the then unborn were parents Elizabeth Hart, Psychic Hill bassist, and Iván Diaz Mathé, collaborator of the record producer Lee Perry. Thanks to the "biosonic MIDI" technology, the couple wanted to capture the essence of the baby still in the womb and give it a "voice", transforming it into music. In short, it is appropriate to say that A star is (un) born .

“Sounds of the Unborn”: the first album of a fetus

Technology and inventiveness continue to go beyond our imagination , always giving us new ideas for reflection and discussion. The latest news is that of the very young artist Luca Yupanqui, who “recorded” her first album when she was still a fetus . “Sound of the Unborn” is the debut of a genre-less and unprecedented music, obtained from the vibrations of the baby's movements in the mother's belly. The album took shape through MIDI-compatible electrodes attached to Elizabeth Hart's womb, which captured the intrauterine movements of the fetus and transformed into sound.

The recording sessions (or, better, "capture") all lasted 5 hours, in order to collect as many different sounds as possible. Dad Mathé then, through his synthesizers, adjusted and mixed the tracks composing the final collection. The sessions, according to the two artists, were real meditative rituals, with the aim of getting closer to "a single entity", allowing the movements of the child to express their will.

Luca Yupanqui with his parents. The little girl "recorded" the "Sounds of the Unborn" album when she was still a fetus. Credits: NME
Luca Yupanqui with his parents. The little girl "recorded" the album "Sounds of the Unborn" when she was still a fetus. Credits: NME

The album will be released on April 2nd and many are already in a state of excitement. The curiosity to listen to the album is great, since it is a different music from any genre known so far. Sacred Bones, the record label that produced the album, calls it “ The expression of life in its pre-mind, pre-speculation, pre-influence and pre-human cosmic state . (…) A message that comes from a different realm, a sub-level of our existence ”. For those curious to find out what kind of music a fetus can create, “V4.3 pt.2”, the first single from “Sounds of the Unborn”, is already available on YouTube.

The first single from the album "Sounds of the Unborn".

Biosonic MIDI technology

Sacred Bones Records has put up for sale the device used to "record" Luca's album. MIDI biodata sonification is an instrument that uses electrodes to detect electrodermal activity , also known as “galvanic conductivity”, recording the fluctuations and transforming them into MIDI notes. The notes produced by the fluctuations are sent to a MIDI channel that allows a polyphony of up to 5 notes. This protocol is the standard for the interaction of electronic musical instruments, and being low cost, it can be used by anyone independently. However, in order to compose something with the notes produced, it is necessary to have a synthesizer, so as to recognize and modulate the sounds.

Elizabeth Hart, Luca's mother, during one of the "recording" sessions of the album "Sounds of the Unborn". Credits: lifegate
Elizabeth Hart, Luca's mother, during one of the “recording” sessions of the album “Sounds of the Unborn”. Credits: lifegate

The device is based on "data sonification" or "sonification" , that is the process of transforming data of any type into acoustic elements. This conversion takes place through various types of synthesizers in which the dataset to be transformed is directed; then, through a digital-analog converter, the sounds to be heard are produced . Sonification is used in various fields, including geoscience and astronomy. Among the projects carried out by this union of science and music is the creation of a music track starting from data on the smog of Beijing.

In the case of the sonification of biodata the starting information are the fluctuations of the microcurrent of surfaces of living beings . Even before Luca Yupanqui with “Sounds of the Unborn” it was the plants that created “organic” music. Sam Cusumano, the man behind the device, began by measuring the fluctuations in the microcurrent of a plant's leaves. Whenever the device senses a change in conductivity it generates a note. Fluctuations are captured via the electrodes and identified using mean and standard deviance calculations.

A "concert" of plants through the MIDI biodata sonification device. Credits: Statistics2015 (Reddit)
A “concert” of plants through the MIDI biodata sonification device. Credits: Statistics2015 (Reddit)

The system itself is not difficult to build, and Cusumano has made the development and construction details available for anyone who wants to build it independently. The use of the device has remained confined to a niche of enthusiasts in the sector, but after the album by Luca Yupanqui the interest could expand, as well as the fields of use.

The article "Sounds of the Unborn", the musical album recorded by a fetus comes from Tech CuE .