Dark Moon Incubation Retreat Recommendation: Atmospheric Ambient Sounds at MyNoise.net
Black Stone Sanctuary recently received a couple of new requests for information about the atmospheric dark ambient soundscapes used at the mini-retreats. While the monthly Dark Moon Incubation Retreats are temporarily closed to visitors, I am still holding the space each lunar month as part of my commitment to build monastic habits that honor Holy Darkness from an animist perspective.
For this New Moon it seemed appropriate to make a written recommendation in the newsletter as an offering of sorts: MyNoise.
For those who are unfamiliar with the wonders of MyNoise, it’s a free customizable online generator for a wide variety of background ambient sounds. I rely on it to help me maintain focus during long hours of writing and editing. It also provides calming effects and a soporific lull that helps me nod off at naptime.
The creator and owner of the site, Dr. Stéphane Pigeon, is a Belgian engineer and sound designer. He originally started MyNoise in 2013 to help people sleep and cope with tinnitus. Later he expanded its offerings after hearing reports from many users that the ambient sounds boost creativity, filter out distractions, and maintain focus. Some MyNoise users report that they come home from work far less exhausted than usual on days when they’ve been using MyNoise.
While it isn’t difficult to find scores of playlists and sounds that claim to help increase “deep focus,” many listeners lose interest because the sounds strike them as too repetitive, too artificial-sounding, or too New-Age-saccharine. And listening to podcasts, audiobooks, or music with rhythmic structures and lyrics can occupy too much of one’s cognitive capacity, leaving little room for imagination to roam. MyNoise, by contrast, offers a surfeit of richly layered sounds that strike a perfect balance: they engage just enough of the brain’s capacity to avoid boredom, but not enough to induce excitement.
Black Stone Sanctuary maintains a paid subscription to MyNoise ($5/mo.) since I use these dronescapes daily. I also appreciate the design aesthetic of the site and Dr. Pigeon’s pay-it-forward philosophy. But the generators are available free of charge to everyone, and can be used as often as you like.
The library expands frequently. All new channels debut to paid supporters first, and are released later to the public.
One of the beauties of MyNoise is that it’s multi-layered and highly customizable, enabling listeners to calibrate the sounds to suit their own preferences. Listeners can adjust individual sliders for each component of the soundscape to target specific types of sounds to mask. I often use the slider bars to boost the low-frequency bass. Those who find the interface a little too complex for their tastes can also start by listening to some of the sounds on YouTube and Spotify. When you’re ready to customize and fine-tune, you can shift over to the main interface.
Thunderstorms, polar winds, footsteps, cats purring, birdsong, church bells…whatever sounds you find pleasing can probably be found on MyNoise, in beautifully executed form and in precisely the configuration you desire.
Here’s an excerpt from the (currently offline) information page for the Sanctuary’s Dark Moon Incubation Retreats.
“We cue up a custom playlist constructed to correspond to themes of the current moon cycle, including loops from the channels of drones and atmospheric soundscapes on MyNoise…we mix the channels and adjust the sliders until we have a loop of drones that strikes the right balance. We often use hour-long loops with monastic chimes or bells.”
A few of the Sanctuary’s most frequently used MyNoise channels:
Contemplation Cave (on the Pitch Black Lullaby slider setting)
Enjoy MyNoise! More details about the Dark Moon Incubation Retreats will be forthcoming when visitor hosting begins once again, and as a subscriber to this newsletter, you’ll be the first to receive updates.
In the meantime, blessings of the New Moon to you from Black Stone Sanctuary.
~ Danica Swanson, co-founder
P.S. The Sanctuary is not active on social media. Its online presence is limited to this newsletter only.