Sonic Worlds: Floating with a 60-min ambient journey by Kin Leonn

When we are still, we can listen deeply—to ourselves, and to the world around us. Presenting Sonic Worlds: your chance to embark on a sound journey in the float pod. We invited ambient artist, Kin Leonn, to create a 60-min journey specially for the float pod.

To share why we started this project—over the years, we noticed that for some newbie floaters, the silence was hard for them to relax into. When alone in a quiet space, they weren’t sure how to deal with the monkey mind. At the same time, our float crew and some of our regulars were experimenting with various types of audio in the pod, ranging from binaural beats to podcasts.

"Meditation techniques often require a point of focus or an anchor. Music can serve this role. Our senses can be a pathway to the present moment, and listening can provide potent direct access to presence."
— via Open, a mindfulness studio

In the float pod, silence and stillness have always gone hand in hand. Floating is scientifically known as restricted environmental stimulation therapy, or sensory deprivation. By removing external stimulation, we get to focus inwards, and our mind enters a deeply restful state and helps our body to recover quickly. However, we recognise that there is value in tapping into the power of music to access a different kind of meditative state, and to practice deep listening.

For newbies, music can be an anchor for the monkey mind, and for regular floaters, a gateway to deeper presence.

We had a short chat with Kin Leonn to uncover his creative process and intention behind the two tracks that he created for us.

What was your inspiration behind Cocoon and Catharsis?

Both tracks are a drifting away into a vast spaciousness; the body dissolved and the world far below. Everything is distant and in slow-motion. Like watching the world from a plane window. For me personally, this is the exact thesis of a float tank. So it was important for me to recreate that feeling in the music – a colossal sonic space which leads one to feel like their mental space has been expanded, and they can glide freely around this new inhabitation in their minds.

What is the difference between Cocoon and Catharsis? Who do you think will most enjoy them?

As the name suggests, Cocoon is designed to feel like one is being enveloped, carried by a warm blanket of sound. It is less obtrusive, less angular. It employs long form droning, and avoids short-form melodies. I think people should listen to this if they’ve had a long day and need to switch their mind off for a bit, leaving worldly cares behind for a while.

Catharsis is more of an introspective journey. There is more movement, and one might feel like they are being led through a series of gentle valleys, deeper into themselves. If you’re someone whose mind is a little more active during floats, this track might help shepherd your thoughts into a more peaceful place.

Can you describe your creative process?

As cliche as it is, composition really is sort of like painting for me. Or cooking. I’m not the best cook. But I do have a good idea of the kinds of spaces I want to create with specific palettes of sound. Music for Float Tank is primarily electronic composition – there isn’t much field recording or organic instrumentation in the main body at all. Electronic tones, for me, have an element of purity, simplicity to them, and that subtlety is important so that I can draw attention to other things in the mix – such as the textural relativity between different layers, or the different reverbs which were used to stimulate the perception of spatiality.

Which ambient tracks would you recommend for:

1. Waking up in outer space - 36 / ROOM 4

2. A quiet night walk - YO LA TENGO / GREEN ARROW

3. Meditation - CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA / FERRUM

Lastly, how do you unwind after a hard day’s work?

I’m growing flowers. Maybe I can become a part-time florist in the future. But it’s going really really really slow. Check back in 5 years.

Try this ambient journey with your next float, for free

No advance notice needed, simply request it at our reception. Book a float now.

Find out more about Kin Leonn here.