Music through your car’s speakers, YouTube videos scrolling through Facebook, short clips on Instagram, the same repetitive news on the television; we are constantly bombarded every day with sounds that we are hearing, but what happens when all the simulations are turned off and we simply listen? Is it something more than physical? Can it calm anxious noises in our minds to listen to the trees “speak” as the wind moves them? What if all the technology is put away for an entire dinner and we are forced to listen and stumble into those original emotional connections?
World Listening Day is an international holiday, but it’s also a conversation to be had with nature, friends, and community. Have that conversation while escaping to some seclusion in The Great Smoky Mountains with friends, family, or loved ones. Whether it’s on the back deck sitting in the rocking chairs while birds communicate among the trees or amid the swaying wildflowers on top of Andrews Bald surrounded by miles of rolling mountain peaks, a Pigeon Forge TN, Cabin allows you to celebrate World Listening Day to the fullest.
What Is World Listening Day?
Launched by the not-for-profit, World Listening Project, this global community event was created when the founders wanted to share their passions and inspirations that were born of their own studies with sound. The directors of the World Listening Project helped shape new studies of soundscape ecology, which to put it in the simplest terms possible: is the study of the harmonious (pun intended) relationship among sounds that are generated by nature, non-biological, and humans and how it contributes to our cultures. World Listening Day is how they celebrate certain sound “themes” each year and spark more conversation about the importance, influence, and positive effects of being more aware of sounds or more committed to thoughtful listening. So, what is this year’s theme?
It is centered around a particular sound artist, Annea Lockwood, who has captured unique compositions like, Water and Memory, which is a group of 12+ performers using vocal and humming from the Holon Scratch Orchestra. Her inspiration for this year’s theme is her composition: Listening With the neighborhood at midnight, and again at dawn. “Listening With…”, in terms of #WLD, is the act of listening with a group, whether it is with one other person, quietly sitting in nature or creating deep connections over coffee on the cabin’s deck, or a community, such as a live concert. While listening to the cicadas in late summer while cool mountain breezes move through the grassy valley in Cades Cove is beautiful, there is an added connection to the listening when you are cognizant of another person’s presence and you are indulging in the beauty, together.
Natural Sounds in The Great Smoky Mountains
We have already mentioned the grassy mountaintop plain of Andrews Bald and rolling valley of the majestic Cades Cove, but there are a ton of great hikes, short and more difficult. Pack your hammocks or light blankets and find your spot to listen with your kids, loved one, or group of friends:
- Summit of Mt. LeConte (Strenuous)
- Alum Cave Bluff (Moderate)
- Laurel Falls (Easy)
- Abrams Falls (Moderate)
- Rainbow Falls (Moderate)
- Cataract Falls (Easy)
- Cove Hardwood (Easy)
- Roaring Fork (Motor Trail)
You can also enjoy the sounds of nature in a secluded chalet or cabin on the river!
Other Fun Ways to Listen For #WLD2019
World Listening Day 2019 is all about listening with others, even if they’re strangers. There is something truly special about the concert and theater experience, and in Pigeon Forge there are quite a few ways to share in boisterous laughter or silent awe.
To share in joyful laughter, head to the Great Smoky Mountains Murder Mystery Show where you will hear the light clanks of forks digging into delicious plates of food, gasps of shock and mystery, and crowds filled with laughter when the truth of the hilarious mishaps come to light.
Sit forward in your seats in awe and wonder at the talented acts of Country Tonite Theater, consistently voted as one of the top shows in the area year after year. Smooth serenades and inspiring ballads are on full display on a state-of-the-art stage in an array of shows the whole family can enjoy.
The Smoky Mountains are rich with musical talent and there is a live show to experience “Listening With” every night during the summer. In the downtown streets of Gatlinburg, the Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales is in full swing starting at 6 p.m. every night, for free! Listen to storytellers, musicians, and singers from an era of simpler times in the Smokies as the sun is on its descent and the dreamy light of dusk washes over the city. Head to the rooftop of Margaritaville in The Island to be transported to the laid-back Caribbean while listening to live music by the outdoor firepit with a daiquiri in hand. Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery, also nestled into The Island, hosts a summer live music series throughout the week until October 4, Jars and Jams; just be sure to check their calendar because there is always something going on!
The Great Smoky Mountains are home to your future favorite memories, filled with sounds of cicadas in the trees, birds singing in the forests, the twang of banjos and guitars in the streets, and cherished moments “listening with” family and friends on deck while looking out over expansive skies and green mountain peaks.
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