Archive for March, 2010

“‘Bella the Baby Blue Whale’ Captures the Heart of a Child” by Ty Curtis

Friday, March 19th, 2010

She is the largest creature on the planet. At birth she is 25 feet in length, and she weighs more than 3 tons. This makes her the biggest baby in the history of life. This baby drinks 100 gallons of mother’s milk each day. She gains 200 pounds, and increases in length 1 and a half inches per day. When she is full-grown she will top 90 feet in length, and weigh more than 150 tons. When it comes to size, the blue whale is the largest animal to have ever lived. It is also the loudest. It has the ability to make sounds as loud as 188 decibels. That is louder than a jet engine, which can be as loud as 140 decibels. When it exhales, it blasts a spout of water 30 feet into the air!

What better character to captivate a child’s imagination. That is what Ty Curtis was thinking when he composed the song called “Bella the Baby Blue Whale.” This would be the most complex song on the “Sea Animal Adventures” CD, an album of children’s personalized music. This was one of those songs where fantasy meets a hearty dose of personification. In this song, the infant blue whale named Bella has that same basic driving, emotional force that all children have; the desire to play.

Bella is one of the main characters in the song, but the other main character is the child whose name is being sung in this song. The recipient of this personalized CD of children’s songs becomes the captain of a wooden ship with billowed sails, filled by the wind. The captain searches for Bella, and lets the seafaring crew of playmates spend time with the baby blue whale. Bella’s large size serves to emphasize her bigger-than-life love that she has for playing with her friends. When it is time to go back home the captain calls to the crew. As they leave to return home, Bella waves farewell with her giant blue tail.

Because of its slow, dreamy melody, “Bella the Baby Blue Whale” easily doubles as a lullaby. Also, since many children use “Sea Animal Adventures” for an easy-listening bedtime CD, it was not a coincidence that Curtis placed this song near the conclusion of the album. This song was intended to help children “calm down,” while still holding their attention with a musically interesting story.

The musical instruments chosen for this song further contribute to its dreamy attitude. A fretless bass guitar solo was used near the conclusion of this string-laden song to imply Bella’s large size. The instrument almost has a liquid quality to it, which makes it flow beautifully in this song. The soft, accurate vocals of Emily Curtis, Ty’s then 13-year-old daughter, were also incorporated in the song. Her velvety voice, singing rounds of overlapping melodies infuse yet another layer of peaceful intricacies to the musical arrangement.

Together, all of the pieces unite to create a calm, beautiful song. “Bella the Baby Blue Whale” is a melody that moves children beyond the cares of the day, and lets them relax and enjoy a gentle sea animal adventure.

Copyright 2010, Tyson A. Curtis