Just let’s think if one day, after waking up, instead of words we would emit notes and disordered sounds, not properly music. To us, as human beings, animals seem to radiate weird and funny sounds, or that at least our brain associates them to a verbal interchange with a specific sound, such as dog’s woof or cat’s meow.

Definitely it occurs pretty much the same the other way round. That’s an issue that always fascinated me, but I never had the chance to study it very much. Now let’s think more concretely and let’s imagine that we could express our emotions via a wide range of sounds, whenever words are not enough for this purpose. How many times did we experience that? Personally I did it a lot of times. I have been searching for words in my deep, but probably the most simple thing to do would have been to describe a particular moment with a little sound. What if all of this would be possible? Maybe not as I figured it out, but scrolling on the App Store I came across with Cove.

“Cove is purposefully designed to de-stigmatise emotional health problems, and is unlike a traditional music-maker”

Cove is a project by Ivor Williams and Alex Rothera, whom didn’t manage to find the words to describe the sense of void and loss provoked by some suffering situations that they shared. That’s why they started a reflection on themselves that eventually led to Cove. This project is just a slight part of the long path that they underwent in this sensible field.

Indeed, thanks to their designing and engineering background, they had already founded since some years Human Engineering, a company that works with the objective to improve people’s daily life. Their last work has been an application that helps people to express and articulate their feelings and emotions whenever they can’t .

So Cove is a musical journal that allows adolescents to create musical loops based on different moods that they can save to a journal or share with others. “Cove is purposefully designed to de-stigmatise emotional health problems, and is unlike a traditional music-maker”, the team said in a statement.

“A water and stone visual language is used instead of instrumental keys or musical notations. Relating feelings and mood to music is less imposing than writing notes or talking”. This could be the starting point of a revolution. Not only kids, whom are universally more keen to suffer these communication problems, but even adults might benefit from such an app: although more experienced and aware, often adults are quite eager at stumbling over emotional hurdles that many times are hard to explain.

Here’s how Cove works. Choose from six different emotions to set the tone of the song: playful, calm, longing, clouded, gentle and struggling. Form musical patterns, like the base and melody, by dropping stones into the water. You can then change the overall sound with filters. Once you’re done, you can save it to your journal where you can type in any thoughts you want to add.

Available for now only for IOS, Cove is a very simple app that everyone may use, even those that have no musical background, and this is the very innovating point, i.e. that everyone can express his or her self without necessarily using words, while just conveying his or her emotions through some sound or music. Free, without filters. Suddenly you might find yourself within what might be seen as the very first emotions music/bookstore.

Is that he future? No, it is right here, right now. Is it something worrisome or reassuring? It’s not me to decide that. But you can share your ideas in the comments below and I will be very glad to participate to the discussion.

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Lorenzo Salmi

Contributor at sounDesign
Lorenzo Salmi is a freelance communication and cultural marketing operator. A relentless enthusiastic of electronic music, Lorenzo is Editor and Co-Founder of the music workgroup Collettivo HMCF and promoter of roBOt Festival in South America. With a Master Degree in Marketing, Communication and Media at the Bologna Business School, Lorenzo loves to say he lives amassing LP and singles, writing travel journals and getting lost at dawn with a swim at the seaside.