We kick off our tour of some of sounds from our Well-Being Cities project in Lima, Peru, with this field recording of ambience recorded in a garden in a house (Inca Repac). When considering well-being in cities, it’s important not just to head to the most culturally or historically significant areas to judge its health – you can learn just as much from listening to everyday street sounds.
Recorded by David Menke.
The city garden field recording was reimagined by Steffen Ki into one of our favourite pieces from the Well-Being Cities project, “Welcome to Abundancia” – below Steffen explains his thoughts.
“Abundancia is the name of the imaginary city that has achieved a state of total balance, harmony, abundance and integration of nature. It serves as a playground and safe home for it citizens and provides all that is needed for its people and animals to thrive and (Abun)dance together. The track invites you to experience how it sounds and feels to spend a day in this magical sanctuary from sunrise to sunset.
“I chose this field recording for this project because intuitively I felt drawn to it and also because I was looking for a recording that contains birds and nature sounds because to me a city can only be healthy and offer well-being if it has found a way to embrace, honor and harmonize with nature. So I took this field recording and turned it into a drone sound by boosting harmonic frequencies (111 Hz, 222 Hz, 444 Hz, 888 Hz) with an EQ and processing it with effects. This drone served as the main inspiration, I also re-sampled the sounds of the field recording and created a more rhythmical texture. Based on that I started to play around with different elements and step by step the journey took shape.
“In Abundancia people have found a way to remove all stress and toxicity and to live in harmony and flow by getting rid of all distracting and unnecessary elements, by focusing on what brings joy and well-being and by living in community instead of isolation. The city has its name because the main goal is to offer and create abundance for all. It has huge community gardens that provide high quality organic food and medicine plants for everyone and many sources of pure clean and fresh water can be found in and around the city. There are also beautiful parks where people do spiritual practices like Yoga, Meditation, Qi-Gong etc. together.
“To reflect that in my music I used a lot of organic sounds for percussions and textures and you can hear water in many different elements, the main drum in the first part is a water drum for example. And I included additional field recordings of the jungle because I really wanted to emphasize the importance and healing effect of a city being a biotope. Abundancia is known for its biodiversity and measures success by the amount of different species that can be found in its environment.
“The citizens of Abundancia live in joy, happiness and a sense of fulfillment and purpose because all jobs and services are directly connected to support and serve the community. And everyone has the opportunity and is encouraged to follow their passion. They also understand that they create their reality individually and collectively based on their thoughts, beliefs and emotions and that there is no limitation to what they can create except for what they can’t imagine. People realized that fear and lack have been created in the past by limiting and negative beliefs but everyone in Abundancia is constantly reminded of the power they have as creator beings and that’s why fear no longer exists because people have realized that it does not serve them to focus on fearful and negative thoughts and instead they always ask themselves how they can create more beauty, love and abundance.
“The city is very colorful and a huge playground for all kinds of creative expressions and art forms. The people in Abundancia have understood and mastered the meta-physical principles of frequency, energy, vibration and resonance and therefore the architecture and design reflects and is based on sacred geometry and cosmic harmonics that help to create an energy field of coherence and harmony in and around the city. I reflected this idea in this piece as well by tuning all the elements and instruments to 444 Hz, a tuning that is based on the powerful 111 Hz harmonic (which is also included in the track) and that allows for a musical and harmonious integration of solfeggio frequencies.
“111Hz is found in ancient Neolithic chambers such as New Grange in Ireland and the Hypogeum in Malta. It has been used in Russia since the 1940s for insomnia (electrosleep treatment), and since the 1970s this 111 Hz has been used in Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulator (CES) treatment for anxiety, depression, insomnia, enhancing memory, brain function, anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure), and more…” In 2013, 111Hz was found by Dr. Vladimir Cherbak and astrobiologist Maxim Makukov in Kazakhstan to be the first number code in our DNA. Research by Dr. Ian Cook of UCLA in 2008 showed an unmistakeable effect on the brain by this frequency, such as causing a temporary shift to the right brain to bring more balance; stimulating the part of the brain that relates to empathy, cognitive behaviour, emotional processing and moderating correct social behaviour; and a de-activation of the speech centre to encourage a more internal focus.
“That’s why I included this frequency as a drone to support the listener to get into a meditative and peaceful state. I also included the solfeggio frequency of 396 Hz which is resonating the energy centre (chakra) that connects us with the earth and gives us a feeling of grounding, stability and safety. It has also be found to be supportive in calming down the nervous system and reducing stress and fear.
“Solfeggio Frequencies are a numerical representation of how energy flows in a torus field and can be seen as the blueprint of creation. In addition to the solfeggio tuning and healing frequencies I have set all the parameters in this piece (for example, volume settings, EQ settings, FX parameters) to represent multiples or equals of 3,6 and 9 which according to Nikola Tesla and Marko Rodin are master numbers in regards of manifestation and balance of creation. My intention for this is to create a stronger attunement and harmonic resonance with the universe.
Recent experiments by acoustics-physics scientist John Stuart Reid have shown that intention has a powerful and noticeable effect and can positively change and alter matter. That’s why this piece is created with the most loving intentions and it is my way of harnessing the power of frequency and sound to create a positive and uplifting effect that can result in raising the frequency within the listener and therefore
benefit everyone because all is connected.
“I am deeply grateful to be able to participate in this project and know deep in my heart that Abundancia is not just a fantasy but a memory from the not so distant future.”
Lima city garden reimagined by Steffen Ki.