“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs
As artist paint a scene on canvas, so too do musicians create images, evoke feelings, and remind us of scenes we have witnessed or enjoy imagining. In many ways the music we listen to reminds us of what surrounds us in our daily lives. As we plug into our mobile devices to chase these “synthetic” pleasures, an entire symphony of the sounds of life surrounds us. Often times we do not take the time to appreciate it.
In a setting like a college campus, the majority of these sounds are a testament to the noise we as humans create. It is easy to forget the life around us as we attempt to live our own. The convenience of engines, electricity, and other technologies that we use daily can make us blind to our natural surroundings.
When we remove our headphones and actually pay attention to what goes on around us, we can both hear and see the life that surrounds us. The same ability to hear the music we appreciate has a much greater purpose in our survival, a fact that can easily be forgotten.
Our ability to hear is a phenomenal adaptation meant to make us aware of what surrounds us and alert us of potential danger. However, somewhere in the human mind came a moment where this means of survival also became an ability to experience joy, sadness, melancholy, terror, and nostalgia.
All of these emotions can be felt through the music we create, but can also be found in nature. The sound of wind in the trees, the gentle lapping of ocean against the shore, and birds softly chirping as you awake, can provide a wonderfully soothing effect. A crack of thunder, the splitting of a branch, and the rumble of an earthquake evoke terror. Our earth is just as alive as we are and it only takes tuning out the noise we create to appreciate it.
One artist in particular has found a way to fuse the sounds of nature into music.
Diego Stocco is an innovative composer, sound designer, and performer who has composed scores for notable features including the films “Immortals,” “Into the Blue,” “Crank,” and many more. While busy in Hollywood, he also finds time do do experimental work on the side, which involves fusing the sounds of nature with modern technology.
By recording the sounds of nature playing “instruments,” such as the tree, Stocco creates a unique, captivating sound while also providing a metaphor for the coexistence of nature and mankind.
Diego Stocco provides an interesting fusion of sounds that suggests that what the “human world” and nature are not necessarily separate entities, but rather all part of one system. All we have to do is listen. One mother, one earth.