Nature - Relaxation Music

Relaxation using Nature Sounds

Many elements of nature sounds lead to relaxation. The prime elements that induce and aid relaxation are those that are constant in rhythm, and tempo, or are drone-like. These sounds could be crickets, lake or ocean waves, brook trickles, breezes, etc. as well as repetitive bird calls. The best nature sounds for relaxation are lean in the bass frequencies. Those sounds speak with less power. Also, ideally, the listener should associate these sounds with past pleasant experiences. However it should be noted that the listener's past experiences, especially childhood experiences, will play a predominant and pre-emptive role in personal nature sound interpretation.

When recording in the wilderness or listening to wilderness sounds, one finds that there is a musicality of place. Different environmental aspects such as topography, vegetation, water, atmosphere and animals all add together to produce a unique combination of sounds that we can identify as "music". It is a music that is constantly evolving and changing, because the sounds of each moment never precisely repeat in the same way.

Cricket Noises and Relaxation

Repetition helps sleep. I think there is something in our souls... something that reaches back and draws on the habits of the generations before us. I am speaking of those roots of ours that have been created by repetition since the early days of humanity's creation. Habits such as sleeping in the night, and having that sleep associated time and again with the sounds of crickets, grasshoppers, and similar insects.

Over time, it becomes an ancient human ritual. The simple act of closing one's eyes to the sound of crickets is an act we share with those ancestors of ours who lived before the dawn of human history. The "Crickets Calming" CD is exactly what this concept is all about and more.

Link to the Crickets Calming CD page with previews and more information, in the CD store.

Bird Songs for Relaxation

Listening to birdcalls helps to connect oneself to a basic and less hurried and hectic existence. Birdcalls enable us to take a break and visit a different environment that is separate from our stressful everyday life. Individual bird song repetition has a slower tempo, but with different species and in the mix, the effect is a rich evolving texture of sound. Listening causes the listener to slow down, and the mind is distracted from everyday things.

It is generally recognized that bird song has an inherent musicality. Admittedly, some birds sound more “musical” than others to the human ear. Even in classical music, instruments have been scored to imitate bird song. In nature each bird has it’s own part to sing, and all the parts add up to a symphony of the whole.

Link to a page to compare different Bird Sounds in the downloads section.

YouTube Relaxation Video

Relaxation and Water

There is something about the presence of water - whether it is a river, ocean shore, lake, pond, or stream - that we find relaxing. The constant, endless movement of water in the form of waves or bubbling current helps to give us a point of view that is "seeing the big picture". The endless flow of water reminds us that our current stress or circumstance is only a moment in time, which will become more manageable.

The nature song "Relaxation Brook" uses two relaxation strategies at once. The constant brook sounds recorded in stereo "surround-sound", washes stress away while the mind is kept occupied by a variety of bird calls. Another way to look at it is, the bird calls are there to keep the active mind distracted from stressful thoughts, and the water is there to work on the subconscious. It is these two components - running water, and a timed variety of bird songs - that reinforce the effect of each other.

The length of the song is another factor. I find that 9 minutes is about the right length of time to change gears, relax and finish feeling refreshed.

Link to preview and read more about the "Relaxation Brook".

Humor can be the Key to Relaxation

Sometimes relaxation can be hard to achieve using what could be called "passive" methods. An alternative method is humor. Laughter relieves tension, lowers blood pressure, and gives us an instant break from anxiety. A number of nature sounds are humorous in themselves. For example the wild turkey gobble will put an instant smile on the most cynical person! Another way of generating humor is to know the circumstances or story behind the sound, such as the Blue Jay Cheer described and featured in the download section of this website.

Link to the Wild Turkey Gobble MP3 in the download section.

Link to the Blue Jay Cheer MP3 in the download section.

The Goals when Creating Relaxation Music

There are a number of goals to achieve when using nature sounds to create relaxation music:

  • First is to create a less stressful environment for the listener with sounds that are different from the listener's usual environment.
  • Second is to include sounds that attract and hold the listener's attention. This aids in taking their mind away from brooding on concerns.
  • And finally, to attempt to use the elements of surprise and humor to create immediate relief from stress.

Link to compare all the MP3s of relaxation sounds in the download section.

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Revision date: July 17, 2012.

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