An Audio Identity for Moments of Space
Moments of Space is a technology company on a mission to increase presence in our daily lives.
Moments of Space create an innovative and modern approach to mindfulness by combining ancient meditation methods with the latest technology. Their goal is to help people with building significant and positive daily habits, in order to reduce mental suffering and increase our sense of natural wellbeing.
Their app helps make meditation a habit by removing barriers that sometimes stand in the way. They do so with a unique combination of features: A beautiful and intuitive design, guided meditations and mindfulness exercises, as well as an intelligent algorithm to help you build your daily routine. The result is an accessible and easy-to-use tool for anyone who wants to improve their wellbeing, be it beginners or seasoned meditators.
Ahead of producing an audio identity for Moments of Space, we knew that we had to focus on mindfulness through meditative sounds and harmonic tones, to support their brand. Still, it had to stand out from other meditation apps.
A meditation app is no different from any other application on your phone – it needs to have an audio identity that uniquely identifies it. A unique sound can set an app apart from its competitors and give customers something memorable, which will make them feel more connected to your brand.
Throughout the design process, we discussed how modern or ancient the audio identity should be. We understood that our sound design needed to reflect both elements. Our aim was to create an audio identity that was rooted in ancient teachings but delivered through modern technology, and so we settled on a balance between the two, but focused primarily on modern and innovation. This meant aiming for a less spa, oriental and traditional sounding audio identity, and more like an app of the future, whilst retaining the humanity and ancient teachings upon which the app meditations are based.
The Moments of Space audio identity consists of the audio logo and sound effects for the Moments of Space app. The app sounds are unique sound effects that in their own way reflect and express Moments of Space’s brand and values.
Moments of Space’s audio logo is waft and gentle, designed from the perspective of not sounding generic in the world of meditation apps.
Instrumentally, the logo comprises various layers of organic and synthetic instruments and sounds, each representing a pillar and supporting the pillar’s movement through Gestalt Psychology Principles.
These four pillars are Body, Heart, Mind and Space.
When translating these into sound, our approach was very straightforward.
The first pillar, Body, symbolizes becoming embodied and dropping into the body. Its associated element is Earth.
We hear a descending melody representing the grounding of the body and soul, becoming one with nature. This downwards playing succession of notes also gives the listener a form of release, mimicking the experience of granting yourself a deep exhale, and allowing your body to fall into a meditative state.
Melodically speaking, the notes playing are stacks of fifths and fourths, which are characterised as non-gendered chords, sounding neither happy or sad. These intervals appeal to everyone, and don’t cause much contention.
This chord is traditionally called an open chord. It longs to be resolved, and readies the listener to open their body, mind & heart.
“Ground, release, relax.”
The second pillar, Heart, symbolizes being open-hearted. To open. Its associated element is Fire.
This layer of sound represents the act of acknowledging and feeling your past and present, allowing yourself to set aside those thoughts and grow from a place of healing.
You hear the sound opening up, signifying the act of observing your feelings. A quick reversed sound is played afterwards, which is a symbol for closing one’s previous wounds. This is then followed up by a rising synthetic fire sound. The fire, in this case, symbolises the growth into a stronger and more balanced self.
The almost propeller-like movement we see in the animation, combined with the element of fire, inspired us to use more sharp timbres that contrasted well with the more soft characteristics of the other pillars.
“Feel, heal and grow.”
Mind symbolises stepping out onto the river of thoughts while meditating, allowing yourself to have thoughts come and go without judgement, but simply observing them. Its associated element is Water.
To represent the river of thoughts, we used various sound design tricks to give associations to flowing waves and freedom. This is characterised by washed out sound playing on top of each other, with added reverbs and delays played in a rubato feeling, making it seem incidental and free flowing.
The movement and timing of the animation gave us associations to dolphins breaching, schools of fish moving through water and waves flowing, and this was a big inspiration in terms of the overall contour of the melody.
“Clear, calm and know your mind.”
Space symbolizes the ultimate nature of reality. Nothing is permanent, and just like the entire universe, everything eventually dissolves into space. Its associated element is Aether.
As you allow yourself a moment of space, you shut out the outside world, leaving you alone with your inner voice and your awareness. This is represented by the deep bassy sound design, a symbol of how you hear sounds from your own body in an environment where no other sound is present (e.g. space). An example of this is, how you can hear your own heartbeat and your blood streaming through your veins, represented by the first two notes being played.
Melodically speaking, the next couple of notes are played in an ascending motion, reaching to a space, where you are mindful.
Visually, we took a lot of inspiration from the ripples in the animation. As a living being, you are but a droplet of water in the ocean of the universe, but your impact is big and ripples throughout history.
“Find space within and all around.”
Finally, the audio logo ends with a sound designed bell, acting as a link to ancient Tibet, evoking feelings of being up high in the mountains, listening to a bell moving with the wind.
The audio logo is subtly mixed for spatial audio (3D), highlighting the characteristics of the four audio pillars, moving around the listener.
Together with the audio logo, we produced various app sounds for Moments of Space. The sounds are based upon the master audio logo.
These sounds signal various functionalities, such as meditation starting, ending, milestones reached, notification sounds and errors.
It was important that all of the sounds didn’t disrupt a meditation session or stress users outside of the app, with annoying notification sounds. Therefore, all app sounds were designed to be soft, somewhat slow in their buildup and most of all point back to the audio logo.
The milestone sound, specifically, also had to convey the same feeling you get when you achieve something in a video game. If you’re interested in learning more about sound design for video games, read our blog here.
Listen to some examples of the app sounds below.
Listen to an example of how the audio identity is embedded into Moments of Space’s meditations.
Words from Moments of Space
“Working with Sonic Minds was a fantastic experience! They are highly competent and have a sound knowledge of audio branding. They helped us define our identity and language through interactive sessions and managed to translate our vision into a beautiful set of sounds. Their guidance was invaluable, and the whole process was seamless and within a tight budget and deadline. Sonic Minds elevated us to a premium brand and delivered on its promise. We would recommend them to anyone looking to delve into sound branding, and we look forward to continuing our relationship as we grow.”
Romain Godard, Director of Operations