I’ve noticed that certain sounds somehow seem to produce an oddly soothing or calming effect. This effect is more pronounced through a medium, e.g. in a video or a recording rather than in real life. For example, the typing sounds of keyboards sound much more satisfying on screen than in real life. I recently discovered that there is a term for this – ASMR or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. The term itself sounds hokey (and probably is), but serves as a useful search term. E.g. searching for “Keyboard ASMR” on YouTube brings up ,well, hour long videos of typing. There is “Food ASMR” i.e. eating sounds and all kinds of other stuff. (This article does a good job of covering ASMR on YouTube). Interestingly, I think, “ASMR” can also be experienced through books. I’ve found Haruki Murakami’s writing to be a great example of this. There is something about the descriptions of cooking in the kitchen while listening to jazz that is so weirdly calming. On a similar note, Umami is a taste sensation which I’ve experienced but only recently found the term for. Perhaps ASMR is the Umami of feelings ?

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