It's been a tough week, with many of us now in need of some relaxation and more sleep. Canadian climber Chris Carter of Victoria BC has released a timely ASMR - Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response - parody video using the sounds generated by climbing equipment. ASMR is a relaxing, often sedatory tingling sensation that begins at the scalp and travels down the body, usually in response to a sound or other sensory stimuli. Since the term was coined in 2010, ASMR has become 'a YouTube phenomenon' with dedicated channels and millions of subscribers unwinding to the sounds of whispering, rustling crisp packets, hair-brushing and almost anything you can think of. The videos are used by many as a sleep aid, or for reaching a deep state of relaxation.
Upon learning about ASMR and being gobsmacked at its popularity, Chris saw an opportunity to make a climbing-themed parody, aimed at gear freaks. He told UKC:
'A few months ago one of my friends asked if I had ever heard of ASMR and I hadn't, so I Googled it and was in awe that people could make videos of themselves just making sounds and people would watch, sometimes by the millions. I love making videos and climbing and just decided it would be a fun video to make and maybe some people would like the sounds (the chalk being crushed was popular). The video did much better than I expected in the first day, but I'm really happy that people liked it.
Chris was working at a hotel, but was laid-off due to the pandemic and now works as a janitor at a hospital. He now has more time to spend on video creation. He explained:
'Times are definitely tough with COVID-19 and just everything going on in the world, so I like making videos to distract me and maybe distract others and give them a little release from reality. I just want to make videos that people like and can help distract them from life's problems, be it through beta videos, challenge videos or anything.'
He isn't 100% convinced by ASMR, but he admits to being partial to the sound of chalk-crushing. He said:
'I dont know if I find ASMR relaxing, but I do find certain sounds relaxing for sure. I personally don't like the soft speaking, I find it a little creepy at points, but that's just me. My favourite sound would also be the chalk being crushed for sure!'
This isn't the first climbing-related ASMR, however. Last year, digital design studio Tomorrow Bureau released a two-part film called Xtreme Scenario, in which climbing gear and outdoor equipment appear in computer generated graphics, with spine-tingling sound effects.
Warning: contains some sexual innuendo...
Everybody Wants To Be The First (VD)
Seemed like a good route name, especially one that's probably been climbed before :)