Berlin based sound artist Florian T M Zeisig is no stranger to the therapeutic power of bass. After his folks picked up a vibroacoustic mattress in hopes of improving their sleep, Florian spent years researching and creating sonic environments specifically designed with wellness in mind as well as a message of empathy in his latest release Music for Parents.
We got to ask Florian a bit about his therapeutic experiences with sound, his inspiration behind this incredibly soothing album and more:
What is your first pronounced memory of music?
Florian: Listening to Madonna on my discman.
Was there a specific stand-out experience that made you want to explore the therapeutic/relaxing properties of sound?
Florian: Experiencing a lack of appreciation of ‘therapeutic’ sounds in the sound art world was something I noticed while studying. I started to engage with it as it didn’t make sense to me to write off these kinds of properties. Like if they were not valuable in the art world. I don’t agree with that at all. So I guess the stand-out experience was the lack of appreciation for health in the art world I experienced.
Is there a relaxing sound that you enjoy the most?
Florian: I recently moved to the alps and for about two weeks I thought there was a hedgehog sleeping outside under the tree and I loved it and thought it was super relaxing and peaceful, the other day I found out it was the car that was parked next to that tree which made those sounds.
When was the first time you FELT bass/vibroacoustic sound?
Florian: I guess in a club, but then in a different context on a vibroacoustic mattress.
Can you tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind Music for Parents and what impact you hope it will have on its listeners?
Florian: My inspiration behind it was empathy, and to open up about feelings and to be honest about them. I felt that the relationships with one's parents are often weirdly taboo and that everyone is always trying to change the other person. I wanted to topify that dilemma and focus on the positive aspects of empathy instead. People like Bunny Michael have impacted this album as much as reading about mourning and living. My idea of health is that it is crucial to be good to oneself - out of that I have found I can open up a conversation. I hope this music has an impact on people in that regard, to just feel at peace for a brief moment without judgement.
Aside from music, what other ways do you take care of your own mental health and well-being?
Florian: I try to meditate in my own way and to be aware of my feelings as much as possible. I have found it to be very important to listen to my own body and to be loving. It’s been a real challenge to drink enough water for example which I’m trying to change; do basic back exercises, setting boundaries with people etc. Just to be aware of what my body and mind needs has been extremely helpful in keeping up with my mental health and lets me experience each situation in a more positive way. Moving to the countryside has been huge for me as well. I didn’t realize how much I miss being in nature until I moved away from the city.
You can grab your copy of Music for Parents here, read more about Florian in his latest feature on Pitchfork here, and you can also check out some of his favorite low-frequency fueled tracks in his SUBPAC playlist below.