I’m launching a new artist project Sonotopia and the first release with the rather schwungy name “Lost Places Ambiences And Post Apocalyptic Soundscapes” is out today. Peaceful visuals and sounds of ruins with zero humans, released as a 10 hour long Youtube video, and for audio listening in Spotify, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud.
You know the feeling, after having a friends over for a party? Everyone has left, and you’re exhausted, but in a happy, satisfied way? The imprint of our friends always linger after they’ve gone. It’s the same with these sounds. The landscapes are taking a deep, happy breath after the humans have left. Now is a time to regenerate and focus inwards.
Maybe it’s just me finding solace in these tranquil sounds, and I did actually make and publish this only for me to keep myself sane and having it available to listen everywhere 😄 Quite by coincidence I’ve discovered that my own library of sound recordings from abandoned places is extremely effetive as a soundscape when I need to focus and concentrate.
Like probably many of you, I live in an apartment, in a city centre, in a noisy street. There is massive construction going on around the corner, regular traffic all day, there is a restaurant downstairs taking deliveries or shouting orders, there is a neighbour upstairs AND another across the hall both having toddlers randomly laughing, screaming and jumping around, its all part of life and sometimes a bit too much, and everyone is AT HOME all the time now. It is dire for everyone, we’re all in the same cramped, claustrophobic boat. I can’t escape to the library or another planet because of travel restrictions.
Then, to my great relief, I stumbled upon this virtual sonic solution.
For several years before the pandemic hit I was travelling Europe and Asia exploring, filming and recording lost places. These shots are from Germany, Italy, Portugal, Norway and Japan. I tried to find truly forgotten locations, remote edgelands where I was the only visitor for ages and I could spend hours sitting completely still, recording small plants just existing. This is soooo contemplative (and introvertedly geeky).
Back in the studio, when reviewing and preproducing the material for upcoming art projects, I had it playing in the background for a few hours while doing admin work, and I found it calmed me down SO MUCH. My anxiety eased, and my focus was laser sharp. All I could hear was the sound of places where all the humans were gone. The sounds transported my “presence” off to landscapes that where taking a deep, relaxing post-party breath. So I just I kept listening to these sounds… all the time. Every time I’m not working on sound or music, this is playing in the background. It’s playing right now!
Maybe this works for you too.
PS top secret post-apocalyptic deluxe bonus trick! I’ve made the Spotify release of these sounds designed as a construction kit. By sorting the tracks on Spotify by name, they appear in order from quiet to loud. That way you can sort and construct your own preferred dynamic, like if you want a landscape that goes quieter over time for sleeping. I’ve included a few playlists to demonstrate on the Sonotopia artist profile.