June 26, 2017

P1060483

Today’s song is entitled Changes and is by American singer songwriter, Sean Scolnick, who goes by the stage name Langhorne Slim. It’s a folksy track from his album The Spirit Moves.

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Current chain of writing days: 41

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I’ve written before about my love on the interconnectedness that the internet provides us with. Not just the obvious examples of social media or the ability to video chat with friends and family pretty much anywhere in the world (although that does amaze and will continue to amaze me until the day I die), but also the connections with strangers in the weird maze that is the world wide web. Due to just about every website coming with a comments sections these days the chances of bumping into a stranger with similar interests as you has increased dramatically. Obviously there are the opposite examples of that, namely the hate filled comments spewing out of just about any mainstream message board, whether it be under a youtube video or whatever popular image on facebook is currently doing the rounds; but in other corners of the net, particularly on websites that aren’t as popular or that cater to more niche interests, there are people reaching across the globe with fingers of fiber optic cables and finding welcoming fingers reaching back.

Let me explain. I use an app on my phone to generate rain sounds while I sleep. I started using it a while back as I’m not a great sleeper and The Lady Holly isn’t the quietest. Originally, I had it on for about an hour to put me off to sleep, as it comes with the option to set it to run as long as you want. However, overtime I’ve increased it to play the whole night. This is due to the aforementioned shitness of my sleeping capability and the high likelihood I would wake up at some point during the night only to fixate on the sound of my girl’s heavy breathing. I really love using this app, it even helps me with waking up. I set it to turn off half an hour before my alarm goes so if I wake up and hear quiet I know I have to start thinking about getting up soon, but if I hear rain I can go back to sleep. Another option the app provides – and it’s called White Noise Free by the way, the free insinuating my cheapness at having not purchased the full version – is that it comes preloaded with around twenty sounds to ensure the user can chose one to their liking. Like I said, I’m a rain sounds kind of guy, but the other options include things like a general white noise – as well as a brown noise, and a pink noise, apparently there are other shades of noise – waves crashing, jungle sounds, campfire, fan sounds, as well as oddly a dripping tap and a clock ticking; so it’s also useful if you want to torture someone.

Maybe, though, you flip through the options and decide none of them are quite right. Yes, there are wave sounds, but you want a different kind of wave sound. Well, you’re covered there too because the app also has a download option, which when clicked takes you to a catalogue of hundreds of sounds. This is where the internet connectedness kicks in because this catalogue is provided from people all over the world, using yet another feature of the app, to record their own sounds and upload them to the website for everybody else to use. This is, to me, just the coolest thing. Want wave sounds? There are hundreds of them, from all over the globe. Want to hear some from Lake Michigan? Lucky you because Andy has uploaded one for you. Maybe you want to listen to the running water of the Gorge Basin in Launceston, Tasmania while you drift off. Good, because Pamela has supplied a recording of just that to the database. Scrolling through the many many options it seems like there isn’t a sound in the world that hasn’t been recorded and stored somewhere on there. It blows my mind, and is such a great thing, not just to fall asleep to, but simply that a catalogue of sounds from this era of life exists. I find the hopeful prosperity of that catalogue existing extremely uplifting for some reason.

For myself I stumbled across all this when I decided I wanted a different kind of rain sound to fall asleep to. As a kid my family and I drove up and back from our home in Traralgon in rural Victoria to Melbourne city quite frequently. We had a lot of extended family we would visit there and the trips would take roughly two hours each time. Due to my parents generally being the last to leave any party, as well as attempting to make the most of any weekend, quite often the return trip home would happen at night, and occasionally in the rain. There was something so safe and secure and comforting about falling asleep in the back of the car on those trips home. Something about the movement of the car, the sound of the rain, being warm and surrounded by my family, and knowing that if I did fall asleep there was a pretty good chance someone would carry me to bed once we did arrive home. It was probably the closest I’ll ever get to being back in the womb; especially because my twin brother, Jonathan, was usually fast asleep beside me.

That sound, rain on a car roof, is what I looked for. I found it, multiple versions, in fact, but it was Dave that provided the one that sounded most right. Dave, who lives in Los Alamitos in California, and who recorded the sound while driving around in his volvo on new year’s eve in 2016. To me there is something magical about the fact that Dave can share this sound with me, that I can fall asleep to rain from a city I’ve never been to, to know that it was recorded in a volvo, and that thanks to the comments section I can even reach out and thank Dave for making the recording. What’s more I’m not the only connection here, far from. One thousand and seventeen other people have downloaded the recording, and three hundred and sixty thousand other people have listened to the sound of rain on Dave’s volvo, and of all of those five have left a positive comment and a thank you in the comments section. Six now.

And to add one more link to this chain l can also share the sound with you, whoever you are. Thanks for connecting.

(You can also find the site here)

Talk soon,

Damian

 

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