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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

A Meta-Excursion into Ambient Audio-Video

Which is to say, chill


This isn’t a scene from Cyberpunk 2077, apparently. It’s an original audio-video environment posted from the Cozy Dreams account on YouTube. It depicts a rainy night in a post-Blade Runner noir city, the small crowd lingering outside a cafe for an unlikely two and a half hours (the length of the cut, purpose-built for studying or otherwise chilling), but the urban street noise, filtered through the pitter-patter of rain (note that as viewers, we’re on the other side of the glass, which serves as both a window and as our own screen’s surface at once), and the welcome absence of what we learn in film-class to call non-diegetic sound (which is to say, there’s no score, no music, no sound not believably emanating from the other side of the glass), lends it all a solid sense of scenic coherence.

As a longtime listener to ambient music and, more broadly, ambient sound, I welcome the audio-visual equivalent as a form of cultural production and self-expression. YouTube is filled with this sort of material, and exploring the accounts and videos, as well as the threaded conversations on such posts, is itself an excursion, a meta-excursion into these myriad fictional excursions.

Video originally posted at YouTube. Cozy Dreams’ YouTube account lists Belgium as its place of origin.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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