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Environmental sounds, Escape, Zoning out

Incredible music, rain, white noise and ASMR

'Me when I watch ASMR videos' by Elijah Dean (featured with kind permission of the artist).

‘Me when I watch ASMR videos’ by Elijah Dean (featured with kind permission of the artist).

My very close friend told me about it ASMR. He used to get it from films, from art, from music – a good piece that would make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up …

Q. How much has your belief in ASMR affected your experience?

R. I don’t believe in ASMR. It just IS. It’s rational, it happens to everyone.

There’s an amazing bit in Coltrane’s version of the Atlantic recording in 1961, the album ‘My Favourite Thing’ … Elvin Jones on drugs sounding amazing and Coltrane just soaring over the top …it was just the most uplifting thing …the autonomous sensory meridian response. I don’t think it’s scientific at the moment … For me, I don’t get it from anything but incredible music, rain sounds and massage. With powerful music – Ravel’s introduction and allegro, Hoagy Carmichael – it will come and go. With the rain sound it will be constant… it’s just a way of being incredibly relaxed and serene really.

I don’t go to bed listening to music … I go on YouTube and put on rain sounds and white noise, sounds of rain on … rain in a puddle, cars driving through the rain stuff like that, running water, stuff like that really helps me sleep – you don’t have to think about anything. Before, you’re just thinking a lot – thinking about stuff – reflective – there’s quite a lot of bizarre  things in my [mind]. Music is not going on in my mind but I’ll be thinking about something music related cos I can’t really escape that … it’s about blocking out thoughts

Q You couldn’t do without it?

R No I’d really struggle unless I was like drunk. If I’m not sober then it doesn’t really matter, but if I’m sober – and I’m usually sober – then it helps …

Q What’s the transition?

R Absolutely no idea … it can be very quick. Also, if I’m worried about things it can be very slow. If I’m worried about things I usually just don’t go to bed because it’s just wasting my time. It’s easy to say ‘ just don’t worry’ but it’s hard not to, so I might stay up for an entire night – just go and sit in the living room and play some guitar or read a book. Books are good cos they can make you fall asleep.

Q Are they the same as white noise then?

R No cos they’re more active. White noise is passive – as if something is happening to you than you doing something … I don’t sleep a lot – I sleep 4 hours … if I’m looking at this wall I’m now surveying the cracks in the wall and the cracks in the bricks, the different colours, the blue and red. I’m not – that’s still not passive. If you look at something there’s a tendency for it to be active whereas white noise is totally passive. It’s just occurring – you’re not listening out for the deviations, the tone or anything. It’s just a noise that is there for you to relax.

[James, 18] 

'ASMR' by Eradicate-Sanho (featured with kind permission of the artist). Found on DeviantArt

‘ASMR’ by Eradicate-Sanho (featured with kind permission of the artist). Found on DeviantArt



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