I just put together and released Session 65: Alocasia, and I thought it might be a good time to sit down, write, and maybe reflect on some things that Carolyn and I have discovered along our journey thus far. Carolyn and I have recorded all of the sounds in our sessions, I think we’re definitely at 400+ sound clips at this point. I can remember the first day clearly when I took a portable recorder, a Zoom H5 that I was using for one of my other projects Worm Island, out into the bustling streets of Suzhou, China. You can hear that recording in our first EB Session: Beaches. That is truly the first EB Session. Carolyn and I decided on the format, tried it out, and well a lot is the same and a lot has changed since then.
So what about the recordings and sessions have changed over these past few years?
We found relatively early on that objects recorded in a vacuum for just of the sake of recording that object tended to make things sterile and not promote as much creativity. These recordings definitely still have their place, but they also need to be woven in with the other more dynamic recordings. We found that it is better to capture maybe one focused object or scene, but to also capture all of the other things happening around it. We tend to get a lot more of those dynamic scenes these days because we bring the recorders out with us more often. We’re also a lot better at not looking like threatening weirdos with strange mechanical devices from space. We’re using smaller recorders and cases to minimize side eye and actively try to make people feel comfortable in the public space.
We use a lot more audio clips in sessions today than we did a year ago.
This last session had 13 clips, and I believe the two before that had 14 each. That’s a lot of audio to sort through. Especially considering each clip is a different soundscape where we were recording. If you’ve been following the Endless Beautiful Podcast, you have probably noticed that we’ve backed off from having guest interviews and workshops every week. Don’t worry, we’re not done doing interviews, but the time that was allocated to getting guests lined up, recording, editing, and solving any other problems that arose is now spent on going out and getting more field recordings and compiling and mixing them. I used to be much more frugal with the use of our recordings in the sessions. For a while there we would max out at about 7 per session. I’m not saying that less clips was a bad thing, those sessions were certainly less frantic, but it feels pretty damn good to cut 3 minute clips down to 10 seconds if I feel like it will serve the purpose of enhancing the session.
Predictions for future sessions?
I think I’d like to try a continuous recording someday. It would have to be truly dynamic (get chased by dogs on a bicycle, jump on a zipline, play a tambourine) maybe not that dynamic, but I would want the recording to really take the listener on an adventure. Carolyn and I have recorded a few powerful scenes from some recent political rallies lately. I want to record those important moments more. We’re not the news. We’re not going to record the whole thing or necessarily provide a platform, but I think it’s important for us to capture these moments in our art. I want newbies to EB to tune in 20 years from now to a session like HQ Session 64: New York City and for them to hear the Free Syria Rally that we captured in Times Square. These are the sounds around us in 2018. They make us who we are. Our sessions can provide important context for future generations.
Carolyn and I plan on writing more articles like this help give more perspective on what we’re doing with Endless Beautiful. I think it will be helpful for both users of EB and for us to jot our thoughts down and talk about this stuff. So here’s to the future of EB and your creativity!
The contest that we’ve been running with our friends over at Literative has come to a close!
Here are the winners!
1st Place: “My Rebel Brother Adam” by Sarah Hodges
2nd Place: “November Waves” by Sarah Anderson
3rd Place: “Percussive” by Cherie Butler
You can read the winning entries and a little blurb about the creative process of the winners on Literative’s contest page HERE.
Amazing job guys! There were a lot of strong entries in this contest, and it was tough to whittle it down to the top three! Look for another contest in a few months. In the meantime, take advantage of the deals that we have on our sessions in the store and keep writing!
The people of the Blackstone River Valley and beyond are catching the Endless Beautiful fever! The word of our latest contest is getting out thanks to the fine folks over at the Woonsocket Call! This latest contest with our partners over at Literative is turning out to be even more of a smash hit than the last one! Join the fun and get your entries in! Give it a shot with your family over the holidays!
Here are the details:
The contest will use Session 51: Arcade. There is a 1000 word limit. Entries must use the session for inspiration. First place will be awarded a $30 Amazon Gift Card. Second place gets a $15 card. You can submit your entry on Literative by clicking HERE. The contest ends January 11, 2018. Winners will be announced January 26, 2018.
We’re kicking off another contest with our friends over at Literative beginning December 11, 2017! The contest will use Session 51: Arcade. There is a 1000 word limit. Entries must use the session for inspiration. First place will be awarded a $30 Amazon Gift Card. Second place gets a $15 card. You can submit your entry on Literative by clicking HERE. The contest ends January 11, 2018. Winners will be announced January 26, 2018.
We look forward to seeing what you can come up with! Good luck!
The Endless Beautiful Method is an extremely versatile framework that can be used for sparking creativity, building artistic skills, meditation, therapy, and so much more! At the core of Endless Beautiful are the custom 15-minute Audio Sessions. Each Session is comprised of original audio that the method’s creators, Lucas Pralle and Carolyn Decker, have recorded and mixed to maximize that Session’s effectiveness.
Endless Beautiful Sessions feature audio recorded from a vast range of sources – trains speeding by, jumping in puddles, lighting matches, dolphins feeding along a sea wall, factory machines, woodland songbirds, bustling cafes… The diversity of sound is where the true magic of the EB Method comes in. Every audio clip is unique and each recording is used only once! We want to supply you with as many dynamic sources of inspiration as possible.
Our audio clips capture the entire context of any given recording setting, rather than a single sound in isolation. This recording style maintains the many-layered effect of the sounds, allowing you to tune in to the varying auditory elements and their influence on your creativity! When you listen to the session, you should attempt to be as open as possible to exploring those layers. The easiest way to do this is to keep creating during the entire 15-minute duration of the session. If you manage to do this simple task of open and concentrated creativity for 15 minutes, you will come up with some surprising results!
Remember that the act of creating is just as important (if not more!) than the resulting piece, so don’t censor your creative flow. Allow yourself to access memories cued by the sounds and write them down. You can also express them through drawing, painting, or any medium of your choice! Let the sounds evoke details of an imaginary scene and give life to a story, poem, or song. Pay close attention to your emotional reaction to the sounds. Challenge yourself to move beyond identifying the sounds and note how you respond. Are you soothed? Irritated? Excited? Use those reactions and sensory responses to inform your creative expressions.
The Endless Beautiful Method works for everyone, no matter your level of artistic experience. It is not just for people that identify themselves as creatives. Taking the time to use an EB session can provide a much-needed moment of mindfulness in your busy life. It can be used to come up with new ideas or reflect on subconscious feelings. Endless Beautiful can be used for language training. It can be used for therapy sessions. The more you use Endless Beautiful, the better you get at it! We recommend trying an Endless Beautiful Session with a partner, friend, or family members. Share your creations aloud with one another after the session and reflect on what each of you has just made! Sharing is an important part of engaging with the Endless Beautiful method because it lends new perspective to your creative process. We often discover surprises in each other’s work, deepening each participant’s experience of creating!
When you are ready to listen and create with your Endless Beautiful Sessions, find a quiet place and get your notebook, laptop, and imagination ready for a work-out. We recommend listening using headphones to hear the full range of the high-quality audio. Do what works best for you! Every Endless Beautiful Session begins with a chime and ends with a chime, signaling that it is time to put distractions aside, and create! Taking this time to engage your creative spirit will benefit you mentally and physically, in addition to adding a fun but disciplined exercise in your life as a creative person. (Believe us, you are more creative than you realize.)
If you’re still not sure how to use your first Endless Beautiful Session, take a look and listen at our podcast page. Listen and create along with Lucas and Carolyn during each podcast episode! We feature guests from around the world every week that have incredibly diverse backgrounds – doctors, writers, painters, teachers, musicians, event planners, scientists, communication trainers – they all use the Endless Beautiful Method and come up with amazing results!
Lucas & Carolyn
Our contest with Literative was a smashing success! We had over 70 amazing entries. Thank you all who participated!
You can read the winning entries and even a little behind the scenes look at how the Endless Beautiful session was used on Literative’s announcement page.
Here were the top 3:
NINE WAYS TO DECONSTRUCT A WHITE WHALE
BY T. HAVEN MORSE
BY JASMINE SINGH
BY NATASHA LAYCOCK
The superhuman that is also known as Carolyn Decker was recently featured in the Wheaton Magazine and on their website. The article talks about Carolyn’s time traveling the world as a Watson Fellow, working as a Wetland Biologist, and of course, Endless Beautiful!
You can read the full article here!
Endless Beautiful is providing the writing prompt with Literative’s monthly writing contest. 1st place wins a $30 Amazon gift card. 2nd place gets a $15 card. There is no cost for entry. You just need to write while listening to the session and submit what you come up with here! The contest runs from September 4 – October 4, 2017. There is a 1000 word limit on entries.
Don’t think about it too much.
Just do it and win some money!
Here’s the episode with the session for the contest featuring Rachel Richey from Literative:
Here’s the session by itself:
Carolyn and I recently did an interview with the folks over at Literative. In the piece, we share a bit about the really funny and weird origins of Endless Beautiful. We also delve into our philosophy regarding the method, what we’re thinking when we put a session together, and other tidbits that you might not pick up anywhere else.
Here’s a little sample:
I met Carolyn in a writing workshop in Suzhou, China. She was a poet travelling through on a Watson Fellowship, and I was teaching English there. Carolyn brought a poem about a country cemetery in Australia. I brought a chapter about a guy wanking it in the bathroom stall of a Secret Soviet Psychotechnology Lab. I made Carolyn laugh, and she agreed to an interview on the podcast that I was working on in China at the time, Worm Island.
You can read the full Literative interview here!
Endless Beautiful is the writing prompt for Literative this month. 1st place gets a $30 Amazon gift card. 2nd place gets a $15 card. There is no cost for entry. Just do the session and submit what you came up with here!