Ocean Music for the TV & Documentaries
Summer of 2022 was an interesting one. I've spent the summer learning about oceans - it’s movements, environment, code of conducts, state and being. Oddly fascinated by the connections it has with the world.
Focusing on its habitats alone, these pieces are made out of excerpts of environmental sounds collected in various locations - Reynisfjara (Iceland), Easedale Tarn (UK) and Lambir Hills (Malaysia), created to replicate the textures and environment of different corners of oceans around the world. The orchestra is used as a form of narration to each piece.
Separated into 3 different albums: Bioluminescence, Corals and Frost, each album captures a distinctive tone towards its own habitat. Bioluminescence touches the deepest parts of the ocean; Corals explore the liveliest parts of the ocean; Frost focuses on the freezing parts of the ocean.
I’ve decided to compile these musical works with the purpose of providing an empathy to the perspectives of ocean life. It is musically structured to be conveniently fitted towards moving images, documentaries and narratives - the works would only be ‘complete’ upon the provision of visual art and storytelling. Inspired greatly in the works of wildlife filmmakers through my monthly collections of National Geographic’s magazines.
When listening to environmental sounds, I like to map out connections and similarities within my head. It could be some kind of personal memory, or linking similarities between the crackling rain drops and vinyl record player. This draws out raw emotions within me, as I allow myself to feel the energy surrounding me, and within me.
It takes only your mindful presence to hear the music dancing around you - birds chirping, rain falls, tree branches hitting on one another… put a pause on all the other thoughts and simply listen to nature’s voice. Find the music within, replay the music in your head, rearrange the music in your head, reappreciate the sounds of creaking branches, and the different frequencies of flowing streams. The best thing you can do for your creativity and for your mind is to remember these sounds vividly.
‘To create a sort of landscape you could belong to.’’ - Brian Eno
I found the masterful musical works of Brian Eno, and my perspectives took a 180 degree turn.
What intrigued me greatly with his music is its quiet, repetitive and calm nature. Because of its discreteness, ironically it’s a presence that demands for more attention. The mystery of the sounds and what it will evolve into draws you in. My most prominent experience when listening to his music is that I’d only realise I’ve been actively listening to his music in a trance-like state an hour later. It’s the meditation I’ve been looking for all these while.
Ambient music has an ability to put a pause on our minds and draws more focus towards using our senses - to hear the surroundings, smell the air and feel our presence here and now. I like to play around with familiarity when it comes to writing ambient music, linking music with personal or collective experiences, feelings and memories. I found environmental sounds to be the most comforting as it is always still, such places makes me feel the safest to confide in and to roam free.
Ambient music slows time down, and makes every second more meaningful. The way it balances me mentally and emotionally is an experience I hope to share with you, and perhaps help you find your peace and balance at your own pace, at your own time.
Coming soon in 2023. Follow me on Instagram for the latest updates on the release!
My Reading List for This Project:
Kawasaki, T., Matsumura, Y. & Hasumi, H. Deep water pathways in the North Pacific Ocean revealed by Lagrangian particle tracking. Sci Rep12, 6238 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-10080-8
The Brilliant Abyss by Helen Scales
The Deep by Alex Rogers