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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hansen

Ear Bliss #4

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

Relax and take a well-deserved aural vacation listening to these four specially chosen selections that will help you escape a dreary or hectic week.

Here’s the BEST sound effect to audibly punctuate all of your best jokes, asides, bon mots, and witticisms! Keep it on hand to use at the dinner table, at the bar, at staff meetings, etc.! Even if you find yourself without an audience, it’s great for underscoring your self-esteem.

2. The Psychologically Ultimate Seashore

Irv Teibel was a graphic artist and photographer who created the first environmental sound recording for use as “white noise” to help listeners relax. It's called “The Psychologically Ultimate Seashore” and was recorded at Brighton Beach in Brooklyn in 1969. This unusual recording of the sound of waves crashing on the sand became an immediate hit with the cool crowd and was the most popular release in Teibel’s subsequent “Environments: The Music of the Future” series.

The “Environments” albums included, among other things, city sounds from an apartment balcony, sounds of a day in Central Park, sounds of people chanting Om, sounds in a summer cornfield, sounds of a heartbeat, etc. Sales of the albums made Teibel a rich man.

3. Late Night Cafe Winter Jazz

Here’s the feels: It’s bone-chillingly cold outside and starting to snow. You’re in a corner booth at your favorite cozy hideaway nursing a double Manhattan or a cinnamon hot toddy. It’s late but you’ve had a long day today and don’t have to be anywhere tomorrow. They leave you alone here. So, you sit back and savor the night for what it is, letting the smooth jazz grooves drift by, thinking about your life so far. There will be lots of bright times ahead, but for now it’s just this sweet pause.... Like a gift you slowly open.

4. Street Vendor Cries

From medieval times through the mid-20th century, many vendors hawked their wares and services roaming the streets of towns and villages – fruit and vegetable sellers, knife sharpening men, fish mongers, and rag pickers. Each trader developed his own special melodic street cry to let the residents know he was outside. These peddler’s calls added color to the general audio commotion of the streets. A few recordings have been made over the years to archive these unique sales pitches.

Performed by Rev. Harden W. (H. W.) Stuckey at Federal Music Project Office, Jacksonville, Florida, on June 18, 1939.

Performed by Ellabell Singleton at Federal Music Project Office, Jacksonville, Florida, on June 18, 1939.

Recorded in London, 193?.

Recorded in Charleston, South Carolina, 1953.

Recorded in London, 1955.

Recorded in London, 1956.

Photos: Record player photo Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels; drum photo by cottonbro from Pexels; New York City pushcart vendor (1943) photo by Gordon Parks, Library of Congress.

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