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Sounds can trigger many reactions. Music can help you relax, influence your mood, and some sounds evoke much deeper physical reactions. This week’s Sound Sunday will let you find out whether you are sensitive to ASMR – a pleasant, physical reaction some people have to certain sounds. But even if you’re not sensitive, you can simply enjoy some relaxing music.
What Is ASMR?
Autonomous sensory meridian response, or short ASMR, “is a neologism for a perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, olfactory, and/or cognitive stimuli.” This sensation is experienced only by a lucky few. Are you one of them?
Kick back, relax, and listen to the material below to find out whether and how you respond. For best results, use your headphones. And in case you are not sensitive to these triggers, the music and sounds are still enjoyable.
Test Your Chill Response
Genre: ambient, binaural, chill, relaxation, meditation, hypnosis
I hope this first ASMR album will trigger the pleasurable tingly feeling we all enjoy or simply help you falling asleep faster and easier. You can enjoy it for free as much as you want or download it for only 5 bucks. By downloading it you will have access to the best audio quality and in the same time you encourage me to continue :) Every sounds are recorded with professionals binaural condenser microphones.
A Deeply Relaxing Record
Genre: ambient, electronic, indie, rock, post-rock
We Are Adventure is a project intended to evoke imagery as a soundtrack to an imaginary indie game, just because sometimes that’s how inspiration strikes.
Some Rock For Good Measure
Genre: acoustic, ambient, rock, post rock, trip hop
This album, not containing the structure and triggers of a typical ASMR soundbite, may or may not trigger a reaction. The artist, Alex Lynch, thought it might work as ASMR inducing material. You be the judge.
Enter A Colorful Soundscape
Genre: ambient, electronic, chilled, drone
Empyreal Pass offers 51 minutes of beautiful soundscape. This could be the soundtrack for exploring a strange new world of magic and wonder. The piece tagged as ASMR is Maze, the 12 minute long third track of this album.
Layering Sounds To Form Art
Genre: experimental, dark, ambient, electronic, anamorphic
This work uses as a launching point advanced theories of artistic perspective- namely by the French mathematician and painter Jean Francois Niceron, who wrote about the anamorphic distortion of images in the 17th century. Anamorphosis is the art of geometrically distorting a painting, drawing, etc., to the point at which it becomes unrecognizable. The distorted image can then only be seen correctly by viewing it from an unusual vantage point, such as from an extremely narrow angle of vision. The use of mirrors to both distort images and correct image distortions is key to many anamorphic works. This music is both an homage to Niceron and an exploration of mirror-image dualities and distortions, geometric deviations, and altered perspectives both artistic and psychological.
Genre: experimental, dark, ambient, electronic, gothic
ASMR On SoundCloud
Genre: story telling
ASMR Classics has a whispered version of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land for your relaxation and potential ASMR triggering.
Genre: sound collection
ASMR Audio is a SoundCould group for hosting audio sounds and recordings that induce an ASMR response. Some of the sounds can be downloaded, others can only be streamed.
Wafflewhispers has created a wonderful Microphone Brushing recording, which is available to download from SoundCloud. Unfortunately, I can’t embed it here.
If you discovered that you respond to the ASMR triggers, you’ll want to dig deeper and go through some of the following resources:
- Gizmag has a great article on ASMR, with lots of information and resources.
- ASMR.FM collects ASMR triggering videos from YouTube and offers its ASMR’tists additional services.
- ASMR Sounds Free is an iOS app that lets you mix your own triggers.
- Tingle, an Android app, offers a collection of trigger sounds, sourced from YouTube.
- To experience more ASMR triggering material, read our article on videos that will give you ASMR shivers.
Before You Move On
Some readers of the article mentioned above were ecstatic to learn about this phenomenon; and others disappointed they could not experience it. Can you? What are the triggers that work and how does it feel?