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Sizzer Brings Calmness to One of Amsterdam's Busiest Hotels with Bespoke Composition

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The sound installation aims to reverse the negative impacts that technology has on our lives
Sizzer Brings Calmness to One of Amsterdam's Busiest Hotels with Bespoke Composition

Music agency Sizzer worked with conceptual creatives Marthe Biezen and Justine Kontou on shaping a sensorial experience at Amsterdam’s Conservatorium Hotel. Inspired by the restorative effects of nature, Sizzer’s sound installation aims to reverse the negative impacts that technology has on our lives by using it for the better. Using the brain entrainment theory of ‘binaural beats’, visitors will be guided into a calmer and more contemplative state of mind.

The installation, named 'x-Ordinary Phenomena' is designed for the monumental buildings’ entrance situated at the Paulus Potterstraat. Using natural elements, soundwaves, scent, and mindful design, guests entering the Conservatorium Hotel will be encouraged to reset and leave the outside world behind before setting foot in the hotel’s lobby. The installation features three phases, each with its own composition and subtle references to nature’s restorative qualities. 

For thousands of years, people have used sound in practices for meditation and healing. Thanks to modern neuroscience, there’s also a renewed interest in the effects of sound on the brain. Sizzer continued to build on previous research conducted by students at the University of Amsterdam (where we asked: “What makes music relaxing?”) as well as new research conducted in 2018 titled “Music for the Design of Spatial Well-Being.”

The bespoke composition “Tidal Waves” by Amy Root is based on the brain entrainment theory of “binaural beats”.

The idea behind binaural beat is that by playing two notes with slightly different frequencies (one into the left and one into the right) our brain is tricked into perceiving a third note. Through a biophysical phenomena known as entrainment, our brainwaves actually start to try and sync to this third note.

The composition controls the frequency of this third note to encourage what is known as ‘Alpha Brain Activity’. The general range of all brainwave activity is measured in hertz, from around 4 Hz up to 12 Hz and above. These brain waves are at the root of all our thoughts, emotions and behaviours. 

Over the course of a day, we produce all kinds of brain waves within this range depending on whether we are sleeping (< 4 Hz) or if we are alert and busy (12 Hz and higher).

Increasing ‘Alpha’ activity in the brain (between 8-12 Hz) is said to relax the mind after complex thinking into a mode of relaxation. When the brain is encouraged to produce more Alpha brain waves through binaural beats, we experience greater peace of mind, being able to focus inwards and away from outside distraction; an experience much like meditation.

In order to improve well-being, existing studies on environmental psychology and Biophilic Design were explored to serve as a steady platform for Biezen & Kontou’s approach.Cooperating with scientists and experts in all disciplines involved substantiated this way of working. 

Sizzer worked with musicians Amy Root, and was supported by Genelec, Universal Audio and MSV. Menno Kroon enhanced the aesthetic installation with fresh flowers and plants. Iscent provide a custom made scent experience for an instant feeling of calmness to complete the experience design lighting by Steven Banken, studio Thier & van Daalen and VANTOT for Hollands Licht are integrated.

x-Ordinary Phenomena is on show from April 1 - June 30, 2019 at the Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam. 

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Genres: Music & Sound Design

Categories: Hotels, Travel

Sizzer Amsterdam, Mon, 01 Apr 2019 13:08:13 GMT