Listening to Jamie
Bringing new life into the world is a unique, magical, and grueling experience, one that permanently alters the lives of those involved. Some of the obvious changes revolve around a lack of things—privacy, space, time, sleep, energy, money; but then there are the more subtle and often surprising changes, some of which are only perceivable when all is supposedly calm and quiet. The quiet, as one soon discovers, is a mirage quickly punctuated by the nocturnal gurgles, thumps, buzzing, whimpers, and other unclassifiable sounds emanating from a sleeping newborn. BBC Producer Hugh Levinson discovered these sporadic sound spasms of his new son on a cold winter night in London, and the strange juxtaposition inspired him to capture the sounds coming from his newborn, mixing the recorded outbursts with music, personal journal entries, and poetry by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Listening to Jamie was commissioned for the 2004 ShortDocs: Stories About Darkness at the Third Coast International Audio Festival.