Bunyi : The Sounds of a Landscape

A stunning landscape of eternal beauty that relies on sound as much as visual imagery awaits you at Bunyi.

Whenever we visit a photogenic region, most people focus upon the scenic imagery, the surreal colors and the cute-looking cuddle spots. What we often tend to ignore is the important role sounds play in making the landscape what it is. Without the crashing of waves or the squawking of seagulls, a beach is not complete. The chirping of birds, the burbling sound of the stream, the pattering of rain – this is what truly completes a scene and allows us to experience the feeling of actually being transported to the scene.

Bunyi is the well-known store by Electric Monday which focuses upon the sounds of a landscape. While you might know Ele as the owner and curator of The Sim Quarterly, which was one of my favorite places to explore in Second Life till its closure a couple of months ago, what you might not be aware of is that she has created the atmospheric sounds for a number of regions, some of which I have featured here on this very blog. The atmosphere she builds up with her sounds is simply incredible and thus, when she announced that she had a new build up for her store Bunyi, I knew I had to go there and experience it for myself!

Normally, I don’t feature any stores on my blog; however, Bunyi is so much more than just a store. It is an experience like no other; a testament to the power of sounds in Second Life and what can be achieved by utilizing them in just the right spots and in the right amounts. As soon as we land next to a swimming pool in front of a store set in the midst of nature, the greeter informs us of two ways in which we can explore the sounds of this region. The conventional way is, of course, through the store building; but the other way you can do this (which is obviously the more fun way) is by walking around the entire region and using the small wooden boards located in certain places to buy the sounds you hear.

Before you start exploring, it is extremely important to get your settings right for this region. For the best experience, a trip to Bunyi requires that you use Shared Environment and Advanced Lighting. Of course, don’t forget to have your sounds turned up or else you end up missing most of the experience.

Even if you are not planning to buy anything, Bunyi will not disappoint you. The serene walks through the forest, the tranquil island perfect for meditation, the house on a hilltop that offers incredible views of the region and the flowery meadows that cover the south eastern part of the region are all picturesque spots which make this an ideal destination for photographers as well.

The first sound we hear in this landscape also happens to be the first sound Ele created for Bunyi. It is the beautiful sound of a Spring Robin, which is usually heard around the arrival of spring. As we continue down the forested path, more bird sounds can be heard; from the melodious, resonant Golden Oriole to the familiar sound of the Chickadee. Soon, the path leads us to a small wooden bridge, crossing which will take us onto an extremely peaceful island dotted with elements of Buddhism, which makes this a perfect place for someone who wishes to get away from the rush and enjoy the Zen sounds that can be heard all around here. This is the place to relax and simply enjoy the sound atmosphere Ele has created. It immediately induces a sense of calmness and peace into you.

In the southern part of the region is a small, pretty cottage that can be accessed by climbing a series of wooden stairways. The sound of waves crashing against the huge rocks below is prominent here as we proceed to climb up to the house. A little more than halfway up through the climb, Ele has created a small platform with some seating to enjoy the beautiful views of the entire region that can be seen from here. This is where your draw distance needs to be at least 300 to enjoy a fascinating view of the entire region in a single frame. If you are visiting with friends, this might also be the perfect place to have a small picnic or get some group pics.

While Electric Monday herself is responsible for the sounds and a part of the build itself, a mojr part of the landscaping has been done by Elizabeth Jewell (who was also the designer of the final build in The Sim Quarterly – Krak Bak Caye). Using her immense experience of sim design and an artistic eye, she has created a diverse landscape that doubles as a perfect playground for Ele to use and demonstrate a plethora of sounds from her repertoire.

Along with being a region of incredible beauty, Bunyi is also an incredible soundscape that takes you on a sensory journey, bringing along a sense of peace, calm and tranquility as you get fully immersed in the natural surroundings. It is a perfect example which showcases how large a difference the sound atmosphere in a region can make to the visitors’ experience. Whether it is for the picture-perfect landscape or for the immersive sound atmosphere, a visit to this stunning region will be a unique experience for all visitors. And of course, make sure you have your ears on as you journey the world of Bunyi.

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Tip : Don’t forget to have your sounds turned up!