We enlisted one of the UK's best known electronic music producers, Erol Alkan, to create Suzy Snooze's sleep inducing sound and music sequences. We talked to Erol about the challenges of composing music for bedtime and asked him what it takes to make sleepy sounds...
Go ahead and introduce yourself, Erol.
My name is Erol Alkan. I am a musician, producer and DJ from London. I also set up a record label named Phantasy which has released music by Daniel Avery, Beyond The Wizards Sleeve, Connan Mockasin and Tom Rowlands from The Chemical Brothers.
Wow! So - how did you come to work with BleepBleeps?
Tom and I have kids at the same school. We met initially because our sons are good friends. We have a similar taste in music and culture and through talking about music it came about that working together on something could yield something interesting.
You're used to producing music that keeps grown-ups awake and dancing all night. How did it feel to produce music to keep babies asleep and in bed all night?
I've always been fascinated by the other end of the musical spectrum. When I released my first official mix CD back in 2005, I insisted that I could program a mix which was the inverse to the club side, a mix which you could fall asleep to or use to unwind. That mix was named 'Bugged In' and it's one of the best I've put together.
Tell us about the challenges of composing 'sleepy' music...
You need to focus on textures and keep it simple. Melodically it should be playful but not too invigorating. Just enough to lure the listener in and relax them.
What kinds of qualities does a good bedtime soundtrack have?
Warm timbres, lush reverbs, a sense of space... I have more but don't want to give the game away!
Did you ever find yourself yawning or feeling super-relaxed when you were creating Suzy Snooze's sleepy sounds in the studio?
Ha. Well, I tend to find that if you get tired in the studio, it's time to call it a day. Not much of any note is achieved if your brain disengages. When producing music, you need to keep one foot out of what you are doing so you can make the right decisions. I managed to create enough distance to stay alert and focussed on my work!
You can hear the results of Erol's musical adventures in the relaxed, sleepy world of Suzy Snooze.
Also Erol’s just launched his debut album as part of the electronic duo Beyond The Wizards Sleeve. You can have a little listen to 'The Soft Bounce', Erol's debut album as part of the electronic duo Beyond The Wizards Sleeve on the Phantasy website.