Could ‘green noise’ be your secret weapon to reading – and writing – more?

Could ‘green noise’ be your secret weapon to reading – and writing – more?

For more than nine years, a YouTube user named Dale has wandered through various wildernesses clutching microphones. For one video in particular – called “Ten Hours of Green Noise Version 2 – Earth’s Average Noise Blend” – the American personally captured the sound of rain, wind, surf, creeks, rivers and thunder to compose a “collage” of noise, with anything created by birds, insects or man painstakingly cut out. The result is a gentle, fuzzy stream of nature sounds that has prompted comments such as, “Thank you. I found some relief… finally” and “It’s a real life saver!”.

Dale’s “noises and sounds” channel, which draws on his 30 year career as a sound engineer, has accumulated a grand total of 18,924,897 views in 15 years. But in a sense, it’s nothing new. Since the late 1960s, people have been sold the sound of the sea or the rainforest to help them concentrate or relax. You’ve also undoubtedly heard of “white noise” – the ambient fuzz created when you combine all of the different frequencies of sound that humans can hear – most commonly associated with TV static. But there is actually a whole rainbow of sound, and for readers and writers in particular, their effects on the brain can be revolutionary.

Speaking with The Penguin Podcast host Nihal Arthanayake in late April, author Zadie Smith revealed how she regularly listens to “brown noise” – short for “Brownian noise” – white noise’s deeper counterpart. While the high frequencies in white noise may be irritating to some, brown noise offers something more akin to a rumble.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *