Talking You In, the "canta storia" that I wrote with composer/musician Brian Katz has travelled quite a bit this fall. It is the story of a father who tells "emergency" stories to his baby son in the neo-natal intensive care unit. It is a kind of Scheherazade story, where voice and story make an essential link for parents trying to humanize the terrifying environment of the NICU. We performed it at the Barbican in London, England, as part of their Performance Storytelling series (curated by Crick Crack Club). We also did it as a keynote at the National Perinatal Conference, in Washington, DC. And we were delighted to present it at the launch of It Was Midnight On The Ocean - the neo-natal intensive care unit book of rhymes and stories, edited by Celia Barker Lottridge. This booklet was commissioned by the Hospital for Sick Children, in Toronto, as a way to develop their family-centred care approach. It was inspired by the interest of staff and NICU parents in Talking You In, and I was honored to work with Celia, Dr. Jonathan Hellmann (Clinical Chief, NICU), and Jonathan Blumberg (whose Sasha Bella Fund, named in memory of his daughter, provided funding). The launch was a fundraiser for Parent-Child Mother Goose program, which was a partner in the booklet project.
Talking You In continues its journey through the critical care community. In Washington, a woman who works in an NICU and also had had a child born in one commented afterwards that the story allowed her to cry for the first time since her son was born. I asked how old he was, and she answered, "Twenty-one."
If you'd like to listen to a demo of Talking You In (recorded 2 1/2 years ago), please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send it to you as a zipped mp3 file.