A walk in fog

The Sound of Panic

I wanted to recreate the sensation of a panic attack through sound. The voices represent the incomprehension of the world around us, the sensation of feeling alone even when we are surrounded by people and friends. And the voices in our own head that at times overwhelm us and cripple us.

They slowly slowly surround the listener, panning left or right, making him feel trapped, the way we can feel trapped by our own thought.

Normal every day noise shift and transform into industrial, stormy noises which become distorted near the climax. It creates an uncomfortable atmosphere for the listener, making them wish they could shut it down.

As soon as it reaches that unbearable point, it stops and let us breathe, there is a way forward.

Representing this crippling feeling was a challenge I wanted to take. Mental health illness is an issue that is close to my heart. I have lost friends who felt that they were trap and there was no way out of it. I wanted to show those who feel this way that there is a way forward.

Out of ten people committing suicide in Ireland, eight are men and two are women. I wanted to represent them, give them a voice, make them real.

Most of us are not able to understand what they are saying, which is an important part of the work. But while we can’t understand them their message, the voices carry the feelings. Each of them reflect on their personal experience of mental health and open up on this serious topic.

The final message, “It’s OK not to be OK” has been used by mental health organisation to try and bring down the walls around this illness. The piece is a message of hope and an appeal to people who are feeling trapped that what they feel is OK and they should talk about it.

Works best with headphones (but just be aware that this won’t be a “pleasant” experience).

Sound Design project 2014 (Master in Multimedia)


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