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Slow Sound Movement

A prompt to encourage your practice of creativity this week from Riversider and local author Larry Burns.

Photo by Nubelson Fernandes / Unsplash

Do you need a low stress way to include seven minutes of creative contemplation into your week? Consider this your helpful nudge towards a slightly more creative life. If it helps, come back every week for a quick hit of creative contemplation. Each week I’ll share a new nudge. It will include a Thing (T), a Place (P), and a Sense(S) for your focus, a TPS creative nudge.

If you played along with last week's nudge, welcome back from the other side! Did letting your other hand take the lead put you on a more creative path? Embracing the unfamiliar can often lead to unexpected insights. Whatever you tried, you probably did it slower and with more thoughtfulness.

This week, we'll nudge ourselves into thinking about how we use our seemingly shrinking free minutes in the day. Time is a feeling and you likely feel like you have lots less than before. This week, it’s likely you ate fast food, wore fast fashion, or listened to a podcast at 1.5x speed. Maybe you did all three while you took a Zoom meeting.

Your creative nudge this week: Slow your roll, podfaster and get down with your favorite podcast by slowing down…to .8x speed. In our fast-paced, duck-duck-goose world, we often consume information and entertainment in gulps, missing out on the subtleties and nuances within. By slowing down the speed at which you listen to podcasts, you open yourself up to a world of auditory details and a deeper appreciation of the spoken word. And. The. Hu-man. Pause.

As you listen, pay close attention to the changes in tempo, tone, and emphasis. Notice how slowing down the speed alters your perception and understanding of the material. In this creative exercise, you are seeking an understanding that goes deeper than the words, or even the larger point they are making.

As you embark on this auditory journey, consider the following creative activities to enhance your experience:

  1. Reflective Journaling: Take a few minutes to jot down your thoughts and observations. How does slowing down the pace affect your comprehension? Are there particular moments or phrases that stand out?
  2. Soundscapes: take this practice into other media such as your music. If you have a record player you can do this old school by playing a 45 at 33 rpm. Ask Siri or your grandmother what that last sentence means.
  3. Mindful Listening: Practice slow listening and fully immerse yourself in the sounds, words, and emotions going on around you. You’re not eavesdropping! This is curating a creative headspace filled with the nuances and subtleties of voice, comforting background sounds, and pauses. Allow yourself to be fully present.

Notice how slowing down in one part of your life impacts your overall perception and connection to the world around you. Creativity thrives when we engage with the world through different senses and perspectives. Embrace the opportunity to dwell within the conversational refuge of the spoken word; you invite a renewed sense of awareness and a deeper appreciation for the art of listening.

Note: portions of this prompt created using the tool ChatGPT.