A musician from Scotland has made an album with ‘happy’ sounds sent to him by friends from all over the world during the confinement. Now, he’s giving it away in exchange for happy messages.
In September 2020, Tommy Perman (above) contacted 50 friends from around the world and asked them to send him a sound that would make them happy. Audio files began to flow into his inbox from Australia, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Scotland, and the United States.
The sounds he received were as diverse as the people who sent them, but Perman noted some common themes: birdsong; the squeals, purrs, snorts, and barks of people’s pets; environmental sounds of nature, such as water pulling pebbles on a beach; strange sounds from the house, such as squeaking doors and dishwasher beeps; and the sounds made in people’s favorite activities, including drawing and making cider.
With them, Perman, an artist and musician living in Kinross, Scotland, put together a 20-track album, roughly 80 minutes of what he describes as smooth electronic and ambient music. Now he’s giving the album Positive interactions, away in exchange for happy messages, which you plan to use in a future version of the project.
“Like many people, I felt very isolated and lonely during the coronavirus crisis and have relied on social media to stay connected,” Perman told Positive News. But social media can be quite a negative space. I came up with the idea for the project as an excuse to reach out to many of my friends and focus on happy things. “
I came up with the idea for the project as an excuse to reach out to many of my friends and focus on happy things.
Taxpayers range from young children to older adults. “Through their sounds and messages, I was reminded of the different things that sound and music can mean to us: a child intensely exploring the sounds of a xylophone with their dad, ‘adults’ who delight in getting lost while making music” Perman explained.
“I would often work on the music late into the night, finding peace once I had finally gotten my kids to sleep. I loved creating my own sonic worlds to explore, just like the little boy did, and I sat for hours wrapped in comforting layers of sound, warmed up with reverb blankets. “
You can ‘buy’ the album by sending an email message about something that makes you happy firstname.lastname@example.org You will then receive a download link.
The positive interactions album cover
The stories behind the sounds
Perman has also compiled the stories behind the sounds into a website. Below is a selection.
“This is the recording that came to mind when I read your email. It’s my daughter playing my xylophone, this time last year. So, she was 13 months old. It’s funny to listen to her without speaking […] he rarely stops chatting at this point. “
– Jonnie, Stirling, Scotland
“The cow is a sacred animal for some Hindu communities in India (and also the cause of many riots and polarization). This is a man who sings while bringing a richly decorated cow that begs for alms (food and money often). He came to our studio often and this was a very familiar sound before the pandemic. It’s a sound I miss hearing these days. “
– Babitha, Bangalore, India
“I was walking at dusk the other night and heard something that I thought it would send for your positive interactions […] standing under a tree in the dark, listening to owls chatter and ringing bells, made me very happy. “
– Rose, Boroughbridge, England
For more information visit Positiveinteractions.space