Swim! A Designer’s Thoughts on Music & Water

…music is about as physical as it gets: your essential rhythm is your heartbeat; your essential sound, the breath. We’re walk- ing temples of noise, and when you add tender hearts to this mix, it somehow lets us meet in places we couldn’t get to any other way. ANNE LAMOTT Swim! After eight weeks of anxious digging into the mysteries of water and its relation to music, it suddenly became evident—one sunny morning at a public pool right in the middle of my weekly 1km routine—that swimming is the epitome of music’s love affair with water. 

Life, as we know it, is made up of memories, aspirations, experiences and the people around us. We live in an age where much of what is considered as socializing happens behind a screen—whether through a laptop or a mobile phone connected to the Internet. Rather than fighting technology in hopes of preserving the more traditional—or some would argue, human—mode of communication, this book sets out to embrace the inevitable culture of today’s Internet world.

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Music+Water 2

Music+Water is an independent research initiative that centers its investigation around the singularity of music and water, and how it affects our perception of the everyday. By stringing together the themes from these two broad topics, Music+Water hopes to uncover a hybrid of ideas that offer surprising insights into the familiar/unfamiliar. As such, we see this as a creative resource that challenges the conventional experience of information receiving and sharing—through the use of current technologies intertwined with design practices—increasing one’s awareness of self and his/her interactivity with others, potentially across a global platform.

1. Website

Apart from basic information about this book and the drum that contained it, the website also showcases a collection of video recordings contributed by anyone who has purchased Swim!. The purpose of this is to extend the physical limitations of a book into the online world. The website provides the opportunity for like minded people across the globe to share and interact.

SWIM! Website 2

SWIM! Website 2 (dragged) 1

SWIM! Website 2 (dragged) 2

SWIM! Website1

SWIM! Website 2

2. Book

I decided to use this book as a means to visualize my thoughts and meaningfully share the knowledge that I have acquired over the past nine weeks. Since I am not an expert in any of the subjects discussed, this book is by no means a conclusive report or a philosophical discourse. It is instead a physical manifestation of my thought processes, presented in a way that is hopefully meaningful and entertaining for anyone who picks it up—musician or non-musician, designer or non-designer. 1 edit-9989 edit-9991 edit-9994 swim!-cover for web by swim!-cover for webby2 swim!-cover for webby3

3. Book Packaging (Water Drum) The idea for the water drum packaging came not just as a means to market the book but to allow readers to be able to put in action what is read. After all, what is reading so much about music and living in the moment if in the end the message stops at text.

book pro

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The ability to “not to stop” doing something—designing, researching, questioning, listening, performing, composing, believing, enjoying—is the idea of persistence that is a character found in the quality of water. As a musician, I found this to be true when I had to keep practising the same ten bars over and over again. As a designer, I found this to be true in searching for that one idea that I feel strongly about. If anything, the process of being in the moment is often one that is meaningful and spiritual. Swim! is that escape into the “now”, to be in one with your senses, mind and spirit.

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