Inspiration behind ‘Lullaby’

Background to the project by Artistic Director Supriya Nagarajan

I was visiting a remote part of the South Indian countryside two years ago, the kind of place where villages have no electricity in the evening and everything goes dark. I was on my way back from a temple one evening and I walked past some paddy fields. It was planting season and the women were at work. Children played while infants slept in makeshift cradles tied on trees as slings.

It was getting towards dusk and the women continued to work but as the children began to get restless, I noticed that the women would take it in turns to sing lullabies.

I watched and listened for almost two hours. I was captivated by the way the women used their voices in soothing, repetitive rhythms to keep control of their children. The children were calmed and comforted by simply hearing the sounds. The women could continue to work whilst keeping contact with their children from a distance through voice and lullaby.

This triggered the thought, what is it about lullabies that creates this bond?

Is it the sound of the mother’s voice?

Is it the rhythm?

I believe that Lullabies have the power to calm and soothe, reaching into the deepest emotional areas of the human brain and I plan to explore that belief over the next few years.

Supriya Nagarajan, Manasamitra Artistic Director