“In an eon or two, a maelstrom of self-gravitating interstellar matter gathers up solitary atoms, and those bonded with their fellows, and plunges them into a forming planetary system. Four and a half billion years ago, that is what happened in our neck of the galactic woods. Our warm and well-illuminated little world is one result. All the atoms of earth (hydrogen and helium still excepted) derive from these distant and ancient interstellar events — the silicon in the rocks, the nitrogen in the air, the oxygen atoms in a mountain stream; the calcium in our bones, the potassium in our nerves, and the carbon and other atoms that in exquisite detail encode our genetic instructions and job orders for making a human being. We too are made of starstuff.” – Carl Sagan

The vastness of the galaxy is often used as a reference point, or an allegory, to life’s purpose. Many of us turn to art to convey our own interpretation of seeking that meaning, that purpose and how it relates to our own experiences and influences our choices. That art then is meant to maintain the continuity between experience and engagement. 

The effect of beatmaker and producer BABYBLUE’s (née Leone Requilman) full-length album, BWTTLO, an acronym for “Before We Turn the Lights Out,” is both isolated and intimate. It is a collection of sounds within sounds, centered within the self. BABYBLUE explains in the liner notes, “All of these were made to stabilize the emotion of the curator instead of spreading bad energy.” 

That the producer’s explicit recommendation that we listen to his work before lights out carries in it an instruction to be participants, not mere spectators, allowing the dark to illuminate what is not visible during the day, during a time of bustling activity that permits many things to go unnoticed. 

One of the world’s greatest thinkers and scientific minds, Carl Sagan, said that the Earth is an anomaly—that it hosts and grows life is unique in the entire cosmos. He said, “The significance of our lives and our fragile realm derives from our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning.” BWTTLO sounds like a capsular evidence of a life fiercely challenged, but nevertheless lived.