Meet the musicians creating seasonal soundscapes from color swatches, in partnership with lifestyle brand Toast.
Leon Jean-Marie and Christin Rauter see their decade-long collaboration as proof that good things happen when musicians step outside their comfort zones. Jean-Marie’s background is as a recording artist, producer and sound engineer, while Rauter is a classically-trained pianist and sound designer. But the “kindred spirits” (their description) share a fascination with using music as a tool for wellbeing.
Over the last year, Jean-Marie and Rauter have been collaborating with Toast to create Slow Sound: a series of seasonal soundscapes designed to calm, reset and enliven the mind, and chime with Toast’s philosophy of pursuing a slower, more thoughtful way of life.
What was the creative starting point for Slow Sound?
LJM: Christin and I studied the fabric and color swatches from Toast’s upcoming collections. Colors have frequencies similar to sounds—that’s how our brains can process them. So we married the color frequencies from the swatches with sound frequencies, creating a scale or a key that we composed within. We also incorporated how the collection’s clothes and fabrics themselves sounded, by ruffling or scratching them. We made five compositions: Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer and Earth, which is an amalgamation of the four seasons.
CR: To make the Earth composition we used the Schumann resonance which is the natural frequency of the earth’s electromagnetic field. It’s very calming.
Do you see music as a calming force in general?
CK: I experience it myself. Playing the piano is like healing or mediation for me: I feel the sound, I connect with the instrument. But not everyone is a pianist or has a piano, so you need to find different ways. I also work with Himalayan singing bowls, which Leon and I recorded for the Toast tracks. You can feel their vibrations so strongly when you listen to them. It goes through your body; it frees the energy.