Elk Island is a large and beautiful park about a 1 hour drive from where Bryson and Pete currently live. We grew up a 1 hour drive from Waterton National Park, which is a small town situated in a gorgeous part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, with plenty of hiking and lake activities available. While the mountains hold a special place in our heart, Elk Island has its own generous share of interesting landscapes and animals to explore and appreciate. Filled with plenty of lakes, marshes, and woodland, Elk Island is home to a ton of different animals like white tail deer, wood bison, woodpeckers, warblers, wood frogs, boreal chorus frogs, and, of course, elk! We actually didn't see much for wildlife, but we certainly heard plenty of birds. We also got to hear small patches of frogs and toads croaking, but weren't able to capture good recordings of them unfortunately.
As our first field recording excursion, it was equal parts content creation and learning experience. We were able to find some nice secluded areas in the park with lots of birds and water sounds, get our mic's set up in discrete locations and wander off for periods of time. What you hear throughout this album is an amalgamation of the recorded material that came through exactly as we hoped, and we are very excited about our finished product. It marks the beginning of Little Symphony's travels across the world to record as much of the beauty in nature as we can.
On the learning experience side of things, we flubbed a few recordings through various errors. We actually forgot to bring any headphones so that made it difficult to check levels, and some recordings suffered from misadjusted mic settings. We also realized the benefit of buying a handheld recorder mic, since our laptop batteries ended up being the limiting factor on how much we could record throughout the day. Pete specifically suffered a bad heart break at the end of the night when his best recording of the day, some haunting bird calls and frogs singing in the twilight, didn't end up saving properly to his laptop. With our new Zoom H4N hopefully these issues won't be a problem in the future!
We're looking forward to heading back to Elk Island next spring to catch some more frogs in their mating season, and revisit the lake where we lost Pete's recording, to hopefully relive the beauty of that night and be able to bring it back for our listeners. If not, that's okay too; one of the things that can make nature so beautiful is it's ephemerality (that's a fancy word for temporary or fleeting!) That's why it's so precious when we can capture those moments once in a while.
To join our email list and receive updates when new music is released, you can sign up in the form below. You can find all of our music on Spotify, Apple Music or right here on our website. We hope as you listen to this album you can feel the same excitement we felt about making it. But don't forget to go on your own adventures through nature as well!
My Upcoming Trip to South America
On October 30th, in about a month and a half, I will be embarking on my obligatory, post-graduation, rite of passage, finding myself travel journey. I will be staying just outside of Cuenca, Ecuador for a couple weeks and then bussing/flying my way towards Iquitos, Peru. Iquitos is a city surrounded by the Amazon. In fact, you cannot access Iquitos by road and you must either fly there or trek through the forest on foot with a local guide. I will be opting for the flight on the way there, but may get more adventurous on the way home!
I picked Iquitos partly because it will provide a nice secluded area for me to hang out away from society, meditate and remain as quiet as possible for a couple months. I’m also interested in meeting some locals who want to help me learn Spanish in exchange for me helping them learn English. They say immersion is the best way to learn a language and I can’t think of a better place to immerse myself in Spanish than a completely isolated town in Peru.
The other reason I picked Iquitos is because I’ve fallen in love with recording in the field. It’s peaceful and fulfilling. I can’t think of something more incredible to be doing than finding sounds I love and bringing them back for people to listen to. One of my fondest memories of this so far has been capturing birds sounds in Elk Island National Park with Bryson. Being in Iquitos will allow for a ton of opportunity to work on Little Symphony. Hopefully putting this work in right now will allow Little Symphony to become a more significant part of my life, in terms of allowing me to earn some passive income. I want to do this, not so that I have lots of money to spend, but so that I can keep myself alive while I work on more projects that I care about. I will talk more about those in future blog posts.
Amazon Rainforest and Other Music
One of Little Symphony’s long term goals is to gather field recordings from as many different countries and habitats as we can. Part of the beauty of the internet is that the immense amount of content that gets created means you can search for and find lots of things you want. We are hoping that when people search for things like “What does the Sahara sound like at night?” or “Prairie chickadees singing in the morning”, we can provide the content these people are looking for.
Listener Feedback and Suggestions
To that end, if you are a Little Symphony fan, please contact us and let us know what kinds of recordings you would love for us to produce. These can range from nature recordings to ambient cooking sounds (think popcorn popping, soup boiling, stir fry simmering), more sound healing noises like those found in A Moment Alone, maybe some ASMR, maybe rain on top of different kinds of rooftops, the sky is the limit! Make a request and we will see if it is within our means to fulfill.
I love the relaxing music we’ve been producing so far. Rain, soft bird calls, waves, they make for really nice background music in a lot of situations. I personally listen to our music while I read, sleep and work. My roommate listens while he studies, Bryson listens all the time. But I want to start getting creative and branching out from that relaxing vibe. What other vibes are important to you guys? When throughout your day could you imagine some ambient noises making for good background noise, and what kind of noise do you want it to be? Everyone has different preferences and tastes for music, and I’m sure our ambient music is the same. We don’t want to just produce content we enjoy, we want to make something for everybody.
Learning Instruments and Other Ramblings
Another way we are hoping to branch out is with different instruments and synth textures. We often stick with a trusty sound that we have used for many of our current albums. It is very peaceful and non-intrusive, which makes it a good choice for many situations. However, albums like Melancholy and A Moment Alone have branched out from this and those are some of my favourite. I myself am relatively new to playing music, so I have a lot of options open in terms of instruments I could learn next. Currently I play bass guitar, piano and synth, and I’m thinking about learning ukulele next. I am also very interested in cello and alto saxophone down the road. Bryson is currently the powerhouse behind our actual music creation, but I’m hoping to become an integral part of it as well. I’m actually taking a ukulele to South America with me!
That seems like a nice way to round out this blog post. It has been a lot of fun writing this first one, and I hope to write more in the future. Thank you to anybody who read this and is interested in our work. In the mean time, keep on relaxing!
Little Symphony is excited to announce that as of now our music will be appearing on Apple Music. Since our inception, we have had our music on Spotify, Google Play, and a smattering of smaller streaming services. Our album, Athabasca, marks the first of our music on Apple Music.
We wish to thank our listeners who have accompanied us on our journey so far. As our audience continues to grow and our reach continues to expand, our motivation to capture sounds from all over the globe rises as well. Our discography will continue to grow at a rate of ~2 albums per month, all of which will be uploaded to Apple Music as well.
Apple Music's Big Dark Downside
The one major downside of Apple Music is the current lack of a publicly accessible user-created playlist database. If you are an Apple Music user and wish to listen to our specifically curated playlists for work, sleep, or meditation, please find your way to our playlist section that can be played directly from your web browser.
For more regarding Little Symphony, we now have a mailing list in which we will share with you only our biggest news and our most significant album releases. As always, thank you for taking the time to read our blog and happy listening!
This ocean waves relaxation album has a special place in my heart as everytime I hear the peaceful waves I am transported back to Noordwijk.
Ocean waves have a certain therapeutic quality due to their rhythmic and consistent nature. The crescendo and decrescendo is similar to deep and steady breaths, creating a space that is peaceful and comforting. Pete and I hope that The North Sea will transport you to the same state of calm that it did for us that night.
For more from Little Symphony, check out our full discography, which includes waves, streams, rain, bugs, birds and many other sounds recorded all over the globe.
As always, happy listening and thank you for reading our little blog!
My parents used to tell me stories of putting me to bed when I was 4 year olds. These stories are rather frightening or rather comedic depending on if you were my parent. They would tuck me in to bed at 8 pm, only to come in at 9 pm to find all of the books from my shelf strewn about on the floor, drawers opened, sheets crumpled in a heap at the foot of the bed, etc etc. Sometimes I would lay by the door and kick wildly until my chubby legs were too tired to keep it up. It got to the point that my parents installed a lock on the outside of my room to make sure I stayed in there and tried to get some sleep! Even as a little 4 year old, I was a true terror and menace to society.
Why is Relaxing Sleep Music for Kids so effective?
It is well known that music can help kids sleep. In a study of background music played for elementary aged children, "Results showed that subjects who received background music at nap-time everyday and bedtime each night for 3 consecutive weeks had significant improvement in global sleep quality over time". Music can heal, calm and provide all sorts of benefits for our body and mind, especially for children. Little Symphony has taken this one step further and made a blend of nature infused music that is specially formulated to help kids get a deep and restful sleep.
The reason Little Symphony's Relaxing Sleep music for kids playlist is so effective comes down to a few main factors:
For these reasons, this playlist is the perfect choice to play for your children while they sleep. We regularly add and remove albums from the playlist as we create new music to ensure that the playlist will be replay-able forever without ever losing it's luster.
More from Little Symphony
If you have any input as to what kinds of sounds you would like us to include on this playlist, please visit our Suggestions page and submit a comment. We are happy to do our best to ensure your children get the best possible sleep that they can. For more from Little Symphony, please follow us on Spotify to never miss a new album upload. For more of our playlists, you can see our most popular on our Playlist page.
As always, thank you for reading our blog. We appreciate your time and hope that our music can bring some joy to your life. Let us know in the comments below how our relaxing sleep music for kids playlist has worked for you! Have a great day, and sleep well tonight.