A Florida Botanic Garden Released 'Earth Unplugged,' an Album of Immersive Nature Sounds
Sick of chilling out to lofi beats during quarantine? Dying for a stroll through exotic green gardens, or down dusky desert trails, with birdsong floating on the breeze?
If so, you might enjoy Earth Unplugged, a project from Republica Havas for the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Fla. An agency team recorded the 40-minute album at the venue's lush environs using ambisonic technology—a surround-sound experience best enjoyed through headphones or earbuds.
Mother Nature provides all the vibes and visual accompaniment on tracks such as "The Creek's Chorus," "Royal Palm Reflections" and "Cascade of Clarity."
Here's the suitably tranquil album cover:
Like other attractions around the world, Fairchild's 83 acres, home to wildlife from across the globe, closed a few weeks ago. So, the agency devised a way for folks who are sheltering at home to experience the gardens.
"We didn't want to simply post a livestream. We wanted to make sure that people could feel like they were actually there," say agency executive creative directors Danny Alvarez and Jason Wolske. "We wanted people to lose themselves in the experience and truly disconnect."
Creatives fitted with protective gear made early-April visits to Fairchild one day at around 6 a.m., just as crickets bedded down and birds chirpily rose for the day. Using an ambisonic rig that records input from four distinct directions, they captured 10 minutes of content at various sites around the gardens, trimming the tracks to about 5 minutes each.
"Science has proven that listening to the sounds of nature can physically alter connections in our brains and lead to less worry and even a slower, more relaxed heart rate," maintain Alvarez and Wolske. "Using ambisonic technology, when you listen with headphones, it is easy to transport yourself to the middle of your favorite parts of their tropical ecosystems. The sounds of nature surround you, and you're able to sort of switch off the rest of the world."
At any rate, it feels tres trippy, with the streams and waterfalls rushing all around you thanks to ambisonics.
Earth Unplugged is reminiscent of Will Cohen's binaural recordings of London under lockdown. It also follows the pre-virus trend of innovative branded playlists. Examples in a similar vein include Conoco's collection of car sounds, sleepy-time offerings from Lincoln and Casper, and Travel Michigan's ambient tracks that celebrate the Wolverine State.
Jorge A. Plasencia, Co-founder, Chairman & CEO
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Jason Wolske, Executive Creative Director
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