Life Lines

Jay Weissman Issue: Section:
I'm very lucky when it comes to family. I have two great parents, I love my brothers and I love the folks I work with.
When my first son was born I felt I had all the support in the world. When my second son was born, the same.
The birth was relatively normal but a few hours in it was detected he has a congenital heart defect and it got very intense very quickly.
He turned blue in my wife's arms and was all too quickly whisked away into intensive care.
The first year was very intense and there was a looming open heart surgery and always tons of monitoring and tests.
There was doctors and a blurring sea of technology, computers and probes.
Echocardiogram exams looking into his heart; measuring, collecting images, and recording rhythms.
Each electronic sound became all to familiar and the cacophony began to kaleidoscope into patterns and organized themselves into what felt like beats.
I started inconspicuously recording the sounds at each test on my phone and stored them into my computer.
As the anxious first year passed the experience weighed on us heavily but our lives of course continued in its day to day activities.
My wife was choreographing a piece and began to incorporate shapes based on the heart's quadrants. I slowly wrote music over that year creating layered cords with floating harmonics on my fretless bass.

Once Rebecca's dance was finished I assembled the heart sounds trying to emphasize their musicality. The natural rhythms were assembled with the library of sounds I had amassed from the tests over the year. I brought in one of my closest friends to play cello and a friend engineered the track in his studio.

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