© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KTXI 90.1 FM is currently on low power after equipment at our transmitter site suffered winter storm damage.

Luca Yupanqui's 'Sounds Of The Unborn' Was Recorded Before She Was Even Born

Elizabeth Hart during the recording of "Sounds of the Unborn." (Naomi Fisher)
Elizabeth Hart during the recording of "Sounds of the Unborn." (Naomi Fisher)

Luca Yupanqui will soon release her debut album that her parents recorded before she was even born.

“Sounds of the Unborn” was created by Yupanqui’s parents, Elizabeth Hart and Iván Diaz Mathé, while their daughter was still in the womb.

Hart and Diaz Mathé both come from musical backgrounds. Hart plays the bass for experimental psychedelic rock band Psychic Ills and Diaz Mathé is a producer who worked with recording plant music using MIDI biosonic technology. But during Hart’s third trimester, they turned to their unborn child for their next project.

To record Yupanqui’s sound, they used both synthesizers and biosonic devices. Diaz Mathé likened the technology to a polygraph.

The connected electrodes are used to measure electromagnetic impulses and can pick up changes in the body. The impulses can then be translated into MIDI notation which is essentially a musical language that holds information about the nodes. Diaz Mathé says the information from both Hart and Yupanqui were fed into synthesizers at Diaz Mathé’s hands.

“It’s like if they were the musicians choosing what to play, and the synthesizers are the sounds that I choose to apply to that information that is being picked up,” Diaz Mathé says.

Watch on YouTube.

Each session took some time, about five hours for each. During their sessions, Hart would sit in front of the speakers in their studio while music was blasted. The idea was to get Luca as immersed as possible with the music, which she was also producing at the same time.

“The first session was kind of like dipping our feet in the ocean, trying to understand what we could get from this experiment,” Diaz Mathé says.

Compared to sounds that one would choose to play on a bass or guitar, Hart says Yupanqui’s music isn’t intellectual but instead created by impulses. For Diaz Mathé, the beautiful part of working on the project was the lack of intention behind it compared to other musical projects.

Their daughter is 15 months now, and Hart says that she seems to recognize the work she helped to create while in her mother’s womb.

“One time we had something else playing and then switched to this music,” Hart says. “She kind of looked at both of us like, ‘I know what that is.’ ”

Yupanqui’s album, “Sounds of the Unborn,” will officially release in April.


Alexander Tuerk produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Todd Mundt. Jeannette Jones adapted it for the web.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.