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Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Nomadic Ambience YouTube Channel Takes You to Places Near and Far – /Film

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.)

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The Movie: Various short films from YouTube Channel Nomadic Ambience

Where You Can Stream It: YouTube

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The Pitch: A series of top quality videos which can be part ASMR, part haunting road trip.

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: Can’t break free right now? We’re all virtually in the exact same boat. But with Nomadic Ambience, you may get a glimpse at locations across the world. Stroll through a New York snowstorm; watch the sunset off the coast of Portland, Maine; start to see the waves crash near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It’s all available at the click of a button.

I usually search for ASMR-related videos while I’m writing. More usually than maybe not, I have trouble writing while music is playing – I tend to get distracted by the music and can’t concentrate on what I’m trying to create. So when I need something to fill the silence, ASMR or other mood-setting sounds will help. In my search for a new ASMR video one night I came across the Nomadic Ambience YouTube channel, and was impressed. These aren’t traditional ASMR videos. Instead, they’re top quality videos that take you all over the world – sometimes moving, sometimes sitting still. The video above, for instance, is initiated at Baker Beach in San Franciso. You can view the night slowly turn into day as the waves crash.

This video gets the cameraperson walking through New York City during a light snowstorm. The lighting bounces off the hazy snow drifting down as people on the road pass, clearly. It very nearly looks staged, like we’re glimpsing something created on a Hollywood backlot – but obviously, it’s all real.

There’s something about these videos that feel just like a memory. Like we’re reaching back in our past to recall some event that plays out just like a movie within our mind. I was caught in a rainstorm while walking in New York once, and while it looked and felt nothing like the video above, watching it somehow brings me right back there. It brings to mind the line from e.e. cummings: “somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond” and “nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals/the power of your intense fragility:whose texture/compels me with the colour of its countries,/rendering death and forever with each breathing”.

Things are shit at this time. We can’t really travel, and the places we are able to travel feel cold and bleak and uninviting. But with videos like this we are able to watch the sun’s rays go down in Portland, Maine, without ever leaving the home. It’s not similar, but that doesn’t allow it to be less lovely.

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