Is it possible to reduce anxiety with a musical experience?
Our team sought to answer this question by designing a song and accompanying headphones that aim to reduce anxiety. We researched types of music that reduces anxiety as well as situations that might cause anxiety to help guide our design process. The final work, as described below, sparked the interet of the manager of ODESZA. Co-created with Cindy Niu, Alex Hassan, and Greg Foster.
Close your eyes. Imagine you are in the middle of a city. Cars are honking, people push past you on the way to meetings, children yell in the park across the street, a biker swerves to avoid pedestrians on the road.
The natural flow of life around us can be hectic at times. We often don’t take the time to go inward and retreat from the chaos of urban life. We are constantly bombarded with information on screens, billboards, and signs that influence how we think and process information. Sometimes it can be hard to feel calm when there is so much on your mind. It can be difficult to know which way to go or how to deal with the little stressors that occur day to day.
This song seeks to take the listener out of that chaotic space and into a more meditative and motivational space. It first starts with the city and then eases the listener slowly out of that environment. The new sounds are added in in a wave-like pattern to create a sense of calm that then builds up to deliver the listener back into the chaotic space by the end, but with a newfound sense of self and determination that renders the initial stressful environment almost irrelevant.
It’s about taking a moment.
It’s about breathing.
It’s about you.