This Skincare Brand Extracted a Healing Soundtrack From the Indigo Plant

Tatcha streams 'Song of Indigo'

The Japanese indigo plant now has its own soundscape, courtesy of Unilever skincare brand Tatcha and Emmy-winning music company Syn.

Naturally, the eight-minute track slots into the lush and dreamy category, forming part of Tatcha's $198 Indigo Calming Ritual, which also includes cleanser infused with camellia oil, a rice-polish exfoliant and chamomile-peppermint tea.

Now streaming across Apple Music and Spotify, the "Song of Indigo," composed by Syn's Nick Wood, grew from recordings made on a farm in eastern Japan. The team used a device called PlantWave to "translate" the electrical impulses of indigo into music, adding the dulcet tones of a bass clarinet, snippets of birdsong and frequencies found in wind, rain and rustling leaves to weave an abiding sense of calm.

Indigo by Nick Wood

Brand superfan Megan Markel might put that one on a loop and zone out all night!

Tatcha says it used EEG monitors to track the eye movements and brainwaves of 50 participants as they performed the Calming Ritual, noting that after one 16-minute session, the subjects exhibited a marked reduction in stress, while their relaxation levels significantly increased.

So ... science!

Indigo's calming properties are well known, and the new-agey track wouldn't exactly rev you up (or set you on edge) like some musical marketing forays we've seen lately.

"What you hear, touch, taste, smell and see impacts your state of mind, which is reflected in your skin," says Tatcha founder and CEO Vicky Tsai. "That's why care for your skin must involve care for all of you, and sound is a form of energy that can be heard and felt through the skin and mind. It has long been incorporated into sound bathing healing practices."

She adds: "Our vision is to marry the sound healing practices of shirin-yoku with advanced research on acoustic therapy to create a soundscape for each collection to accompany Tatcha's skincare rituals."

In terms of making the track, "it was challenging in some respects," recalls Syn music director Alan Mawdsley. "While the PlantWave data provided certain tones and sounds as a guide, we also had to be mindful of tempo to keep the pace very relaxed and calming. Being able to record the sounds of these amazing plants in Japan brought the project full circle—as Tatcha is a Japanese-inspired brand, and that authenticity gave the project a profound sense of purpose."

The work feels in tune with Nurofen's recent efforts to formulate music that helps ease acute pain, and other innovative campaigns that take a holistic, musical approach to well-being.

"Music is immediate, it reaches the brain in 0.05 seconds, and—as science tells us—can help with everything from memory recall to improved motor functions," Wood says. "We are constantly exploring new ways for marketers to use music to more effectively leverage emotions and create impact. It feels like just the beginning of a very exciting new chapter in how people recognize the power of sound."

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