Sounds of Tranquility

As a musician, I have experienced firsthand how sound affects our lives. From a young age, I’ve been very much in touch with the sounds around me. I grew up learning the piano and violin, and I studied not just what sound was at its core, but also how it made us feel and what it made us imagine via the art of music performance. As a performer, I sought to discover how to produce musical nuances and variations in sound that would make music seem brighter in color, or perhaps dark and foreboding. Quite a few years later I began exploring sound from the perspective of not just the interpreter, but also the creator with music composition. At that point, my job was no longer to become the narrator of the story, but rather the author of complex storylines, using various combinations of sound to evoke images and colors in the minds of my audience.

However, for this project, I wanted to approach it from a less “musical” perspective. I felt that my musical experience, although very in-depth and analytical, did not really resonate with what our lecture this week was conveying. Instead of referring to the act of producing and creating sound like I had been studying, it was about how sound affected our lives. In this sense, I needed to become a listener, an unassuming individual subject to the many diverse sounds surrounding us all.

I decided to go outside and record a slice of the ambient life around me. It was a peaceful spring day, with nothing going on except the rustle of the leaves, birds chirping, and the occasional wind chime motivated by the gentle eddying breeze. You can listen to a clip below:

In the clip, you can hear the birds chirping in the background, followed by the tinkling sounds of the wind chime. It was such a tranquil moment to be able to feel at peace with myself and my surroundings—a feeling that I seldom discovered on my own.

I often catch myself forgetting to keep in touch with my surroundings and becoming too trapped in the computer screen. Although I often listen to music while studying and going about my daily life, nothing was as peaceful and calming as the sounds of nature around me. In a sense, this was the true form of organic sound that I had been searching for. It filled me with more tranquility than any of the calming music playlists that I regularly listen to could ever hope to evoke. A greater sound adventure would be to venture out to places I hardly ever visit, such as a forest or seashore, and record snippets of sound as well as take note of what they made me feel at the moment. It would be interesting to see how each of these different sounds affect my mental and emotional state, and experience the thoughts they would inspire in my mind. I believe doing this would help me become more in touch with my inner self and form a deeper appreciation for sound as a healing medium as a whole.