Image shown: George Higgs

Music to Small Ears, an early years, arts and health music project with composer and musician, George Higgs, has received 2015 Project Award funding from the Arts Council. George, supported by Helium Arts and Waterford Healing Arts Trust, will bring 12 musical interactions to babies and their families in The Waterford Local Health Centre during BCG and Developmental Clinics, behaving as a quasi-participant in the waiting areas.

Over these sessions, George will gradually design a performance apparatus – a unique baby stroller endowed with a range of musical instruments – and compose a 15-minute interactive musical performance. This performance will reflect the natural musical dialogue between parent and baby (instinctual rhythmic exchanges, repetition and mirroring of sounds) and incorporate an aleatoric element, allowing for interactions between the audience and performer. George will put on four performances in the Health Centre in December 2015, with a view to bringing the piece on a tour of Irish primary health care facilities in 2016.

Music to Small Ears developed from a research phase in Mullingar Health Centre and Caraphort Family Resource Centre in Westmeath in 2014, with the support of Helium Arts, exploring new approaches to musical collaboration in BCG clinic waiting areas with two to four-week old babies, their siblings and parents. More information on the aims of the research phase can be found here and on the outcomes here.


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