Interview with Joshua Sam Miller of Sounds of the Ocean.
Sounds of the Ocean is an award-winning UN Ocean Decade Activity produced by Embodied Sounds to help reconnect people back to the natural world. We stand for the ocean as something worth protecting and serve as a global platform to unite artists, musicians, scientists, designers and creators to collaborate for a healthier planet. Our approach is a balance of both science and spirituality to create immersive mindful experiences in support of our collective well-being.
What about the ocean speaks to your organization’s team, and how has that influenced your work?
The ocean is central to our work. Many of us are avid divers, surfers, marine biologists or just lovers of ocean life. For me personally, I grew up near the ocean frequently taking dive trips with my family and developing a deep appreciation for the underwater environment. This passion has kept us focused on building projects that raise awareness around the importance of protecting the ocean and building our connection with this incredible life force.
What is your view on the role of art in activism and how do you aim to create impact through your work?
I believe art contains an incredible power to move people like no other medium. Music, sound and imagery can touch the deepest part of our soul, unlock a memory and allow us to realize the truth, which can sometimes be hard to accept. In my opinion, Art can be one of the great agents of change, to shine light on difficult topics and, when used with the right intentions, be an incredible catalyst for action. With Sounds of the Ocean, we take a peaceful approach to inspire more people to make small changes in their lives and decide for themselves how to be engaged as a climate activist.
Can you tell us a bit about the Sounds of the Ocean feature film and what inspired you to create it?
Sounds of the Ocean started as a live concert designed to guide people on an underwater dive through sound, to feel the beauty and magic of ocean life. It was created to be a relaxing experience and to bring the Ocean to inland communities who are far from the coast. Our film takes this a BIG step further and combines award-winning footage with these soothing sounds to further support people to relax and build a connection back to the source of all life, the Ocean.
I was inspired to create this project after hearing the sound recordings first hand of humpback and blue whales from my friend Dr. John Ryan at the Monterey Bay Aquatic Research Institute. I remember this day like it was yesterday. I was completely blown away by what it sounds like underwater and to feel the powerful vibrations of whale song. When I met my co-director & fiancé, Elise Lein, together we transformed the live concert into a fully immersive experience, based on our joint backgrounds as filmmakers and visual storytellers.
Can you share a particular project or performance that you are most proud of or one currently underway that our audience might be able to support?
I am very proud that our show was featured as an official event at the Lisbon Planetarium as part of the 2022 UN Ocean Conference. We are now fundraising to produce an immersive experience and live show at COP28 this year with our Ocean impact partners. Please reach out if you’re interested to get involved and thank you for your support!
What is the one takeaway message you would like audiences to leave with after experiencing your work?
My main objective with this project is to help people relax. This is my priority because once we can slow down our minds, I believe we have the ability to think more about the needs of our planet and become better global citizens. I believe that from this place of peaceful activism, we can ignite great change and work together to clean up the ocean and stop polluting her waters. I like to leave people with the questions,
- What is ONE thing you can be doing to reduce your impact on climate change and
- What is stopping you from doing it?