Often triggered by listening to particular sounds via headphones, ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is the name given to an experience of usually pleasurable tingling sensation on the skin, typically beginning on the scalp and moving down the back of the neck and upper spine. It is usually though of as an aural massage, particularly beneficial to issues affecting the nervous system, such as anxiety, irritability, sleep disorders, and stress.
Earscape Takeover is an acousmatic composition inspired by ASMR inducing sound techniques, but using unconventional sources, rhythms, manipulated vocals, and ambiances. It has been created specifically to be experienced via the close stereo field allowed by headphones.
As a companion piece to artist Anna Samsøe’s latest presentation of her Sound Is Matter documentary series, Earscape Takeover shares some of its themes, aesthetics, and approaches – such as the artistic reinterpretation of scientific research concerning the nature of sound; the use of collage methods, sampling, and archival material; the fascination with the video-essay genre, and its use of creative editing; and a subtle tongue-in-cheek humour concerning the different reading depths of a work, together with a haunting self-awareness that playfully flaunts its naiveté.
As a listening experiment aiming for an embodied effect, Earscape Takeover aims to activate proprioceptive awareness (the body’s sense of itself while embedded in its environment), and to engage the nervous system in a relaxing way (even amidst the soft chaos of public space), while nurturing the lively curiosity of the auditory imagination.