The Space of Sound
Hannah, Product Manager at Kokoon
As an athlete and self confessed tech geek, Hannah is obsessed with how technology can be a force for good. When she's not racing her Garmin or blitzing her Nutribullet, she's pouring her energy into crafting award-winning products in the health space, from fitness apps to prescription sunnies. She's found her latest challenge in Kokoon, working closely with our team of sleep scientists to bring to life a sleep aid that our customers simply cannot live without.
August, 1952. The renowned pianist David Tudor walks onto the stage at Maverick Concert Hall in New York. He sits at the piano, ready to perform...and closes the lid.
This was the premiere of 4’33” by John Cage, in which not a single note is played. But 4’33” is far from just ‘silence’. In the words of John Cage himself:
“There's no such thing as silence. What they thought was silence, because they didn't know how to listen, was full of accidental sounds. You could hear the wind stirring outside during the first movement. During the second, raindrops began pattering the roof, and during the third the people themselves made all kinds of interesting sounds as they talked or walked out.”
That’s the beauty of 4’33”. The outside world is a sonic masterpiece that takes centre stage in 4’33”, deciding which notes are played. A moment of quiet isn’t found by removing sound; it’s found when we allow ourselves to pause and listen to the world around us.
4’33” has soared in popularity amidst the fast pace of 21st Century living. Except now, rather than being performed in recital, we have harnessed the sonic environments of 4’33” into Soundscapes, which allow us to recreate specific moments, moods, cultures and reconnect with the natural world.
In soundscapes we can capture the vibrant, energising sounds of the Costa Rican rainforest, or the cozy ambience of a cabin in the Norweigan forest. In the Kokoon app, soundscapes provide a backdrop to our audio to enable members to find their own moment of relaxation, shutting out the noise of the external world. Try it now - close your eyes (...okay, you can keep one eye a teeny bit open to read this text). In your mind’s eye, picture your space of ultimate relaxation. Where are you?
Ok, imagine how great it would be to really go there. To not just shut out the noise of your day-to-day, but to truly escape. Pretty cool right?
Enter ‘your Kokoon’, a new concept for the Kokoon app. Rather than a soundscape that you hear, your Kokoon is a space that you go to. We’ve been recording new soundscapes using 4D binaural sound techniques to create a more immersive sound experience for our members. Using 4D, we’re able to create more vivid, encompassing environments by distorting the way in which we perceive space. Sounds are not only around, above, beneath you, but they can move closer or further away, creating a sensation of the virtual world of your mind’s eye. Simply put, rather than hearing the sounds, you can feel within that space.
We are excited to bring you a richer, more complete relaxation experience via the Kokoon app. John Cage’s 4’33” encouraged a mindful experience of sound. Through using 4D scapes, we hope to access a deeper awareness of both sound and space, focusing a racing mind on calming sounds and inner workings of our perception.
Keep an eye out for the first of the Kokoon Spaces in the app this Autumn.