Friday, November 9, 2012


I just came across this story on "Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response" and want to put up a link because it fits into something I've been thinking about a lot lately. It's my feeling that people are communicating in more ways than we are aware of, and in ways science has yet to adequately describe.

Several years ago I had a go around with frequent commenter Jonathan West over how to talk about the way we sometimes feel so fully engaged with other music makers, particularly during "flow" experiences, and that that feeling can extend to and include audiences as well. I came up with the phrase "enhanced awareness" so as to avoid the negative baggage of ESP.

According to people who feel they can have this experience, ASMR can be triggered by a whole series of videos with boring content delivered in a whispering voice. One of the makers of these videos, which have an established internet audience, says, 

“I think it has to do with childhood,” she said. “Whenever your mother would treat you delicately, or your doctor or teacher would talk to you gently… The caring touch is the biggest trigger.”

The physical response in susceptible people is said to be:

a tingle in your brain, a kind of pleasurable headache that can creep down your spine. It’s a shortcut to a blissed-out meditative state that allows you to watch long videos that for someone who doesn’t have ASMR are mind-meltingly dull.

Wikipedia has kicked off pages trying to talk about this, so it's definitely fringe territory. Should there be something to it, though, I can't imagine there's not some kind of an overlap with some kinds of music.

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