As a teenager, Aaron Larget-Caplan used to play guitar selections for his dad, who promptly drifted off for a morning nap. Today, the Uphams Corner resident and Boston Conservatory of Music faculty member is using his Sandman-like classical guitar skills with his New Lullaby Project, which includes CDs and concerts including some local ones in December.
But please don’t confuse these compositions with what he diplomatically refers to as “Purple Dinosaur music.”
When an arrangement of a Cuban lullaby on his 2006 CD “Tracing a wheel on water” excited much favorable comment, Larget-Caplan wondered whether composer acquaintances could come up with new tunes – whether soothing bedtime ballads like the Gershwins’ “Summertime” (“Your daddy’s rich and your mamma’s good-lookin’”) or their scarier “better stay under the covers” cousins like “Rock-a-Bye, Baby” (“When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall”).
The Oklahoma-born New England Conservatory grad premiered the first New Lullaby in 2007 and has since premiered 30 more. He released a CD featuring 14 new melodies in 2010 called “New Lullaby,” which Classical Guitar Magazine dubbed “ideal late-night listening” and Fanfare Magazine characterized in this way: “This is not some god-awful Classics-for-Baby CD. Something new has been attempted here.”
On December 10 at 8 p.m., he’ll be strumming even more brand-new adult-friendly bedtime ballads during his latest New Lullaby Project Premiere Concert at the New School of Music, 25 Lowell Street, Cambridge. With many of the composers present he’ll roll out five new lullabies and give the Cambridge premieres to six others. Tickets are $15. Milk and cookies will be served in a meet-the-artist and composers reception. Details at brownpapertickets.com/event/212596 or call: 1-800-838-3006
Larget-Caplan has played many of these sleepy-time songs along with more grown-up Latin music on various occasions at the Uphams Corner Branch Library. He’s also busy with other projects he founded: ¡Con Fuego! – a classical Spanish music & flamenco dance ensemble, and Duo Diavolo, a duo for flute, Venezuelan cuatro and guitar with Orlando Cela
Along with Cela, the Dot guitar master has revived an old tradition with his Greater Boston House Concert series, often held in his Virginia Street home. According to the WGBH Concert Facebook page, it’s a “network of music and art lovers who open their house to performing artists for semi-private events. All arts are acoustic with the focus on classical music, unless otherwise noted. Events are ticketed for donation and all artists are paid.”
To enjoy a video of Larget-Caplan playing “Summertime” and discussing the New Lullaby Project, go to aaronlc.com.