This week I was looking through a cardboard box of books and CDs which has remained undisturbed since I moved some years ago.
I have been feeling ok recently. The mid-February days in my village are a little brighter and I hear the beginnings of the year's birdsong. From now until May/June our british birds will be ramping up their chorus which is something to look forward to.
These sounds, when I am well and can hear them, make me happy. Sometimes I listen to spring birdsong recordings in the middle of December, a bit like using a daylight lamp to help with SAD.
As I flipped through the contents of this box I was thinking about noise associations or triggers. Sights, sounds and smells can all evoke emotionally charged memories, sometimes in the background, below the surface. I started to make a mental list of good noise and bad, of sounds to bottle or to avoid. For instance I love the descending scale of the chaffinch but hate the ring ring of the telephone. I have never been relaxed about telephones but that's another story.
I threw out most of the CDs but 'Sounds of the Rainforest' caught my eye, originally free with a weekend paper! I speed-listened through various macaws, howlers and horned screamers until I came upon track 26, the most beautiful unnamed exotic birdsong!
Now, smartphones have many uses... but shrill, jangling ringtones that break the peace, harbingers of unwanted calls or worse, hmm!
After a little research on the internet I managed to install this one track as... yes you guessed... a ringtone! Now when I get a call it starts with a whisper of dripping trees, the distant rumbles of a receding storm, frogs and the evening song of the amazonian mystery bird. For the time being I am happy to be contacted by phone.
Incidentally I looked into the ethical and permitted usage of this recording and that seems ok too.
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