Flo has his Master’s Degree in German and currently teaches German at a college in Paris.
He also creates ASMR videos for his YouTube channel, Paris ASMR.
Flo became inspired to create a video which merged together relaxing music, tingly French whispers, scenes of Paris, and hypnotic street dancing.
He created the music, selected the historical locations, shot the video of the dancers, recorded himself whispering philosophical text, and then synchronized it all together into a moving piece of visual art – literally and figuratively.
It is one of the most beautiful, emotionally evocative, deeply relaxing, and well produced videos I have ever seen.
In my interview with Flo he shares his inspiration and goals for the project, the challenges of his directorial debut, advice to new ASMR artists, his next ASMR projects, and his vision for the future of ASMR.
Below are my questions in bold, his replies in italics, a link to the video, and more links related to Flo.
What inspired you to merge ASMR and street dancing together?
Flo, “ASMR is for me a new kind of narration that allows a wide range of artistic expressions. Just the way Richard Wagner wanted a total work of art (“Gesamtkunstwerk”), I have the intuition that I can use ASMR in many fields to make something global and strong. A whisper combined with a poetical gesture may increase the artistic power of a message.
I didn’t know street dancing very well until Julien and Nathan (known as “the Brow Dancers”), two subscribers to my Youtube channel, sent me a message and explained to me their way of dancing and their way to express themselves. I immediately was inspired by the poetic way they were moving. They were ready to have a try, so they came to Paris and… we did it!”
How did you coordinate/choreograph the dancers, the music, and ASMR?
Flo, “My purpose was to capture “moments” of their way of being. I wanted them to be just as they are when they dance in the streets on urban rhythms and melodies. The French school of this kind of street dance is called “New Style” and doesn’t require to learn any choreography. They move the way they feel the music, the way they feel the space.
That was perfect because ASMR can be a type of natural expression. I made the original music after having checked all the footage we had. I had about 4 hours of hand movements, body expressions. I had the impression I had enough material to make the cut and the music. The music was like the glue to synchronise all the gestures of the dancers.
I’d say this way of working is in two step: first capture the moment where you feel the humanity and poetry. Then let your intuition work to find the way you want to show it. This way, I wanted to get a relaxing ensemble of harmonious gestures as if the air had become water, as if time had suddenly lost its consistent tempo and adopted variations and accelerations.”
What challenges did you have during the production of the video?
Flo, “I had a few locations in mind where I wanted to shoot hoping that there wouldn’t be too many tourists in the middle of the summer. I wanted to start with the beautiful building of the Opera Garnier. It was important to me to show that dance, music and ASMR are located in a kind of a universal tradition from the past that remains unchanged. I wanted this way to show respect to the past.
This is my very first video as a director. I shot everything without any steady cam or even a tripod. I only used my experience as a musician and video clip creator – I had the chance to learn a lot on spot.”
Was the final video exactly how you envisioned it before starting, or did you evolve the concept during production?
Flo, “I knew that I would add whispers and I knew that there would be some of my favourite places in Paris. But I was even more surprised after shooting as I discovered the hand movements in slow motion and the way the dancers are looking to the sky or are really feeling the “here and now”.
That was exactly what I wanted to express: two dancers playing with the air and the time, being completely dedicated to the present moment. I wasn’t expecting so much emotion during the shooting. Nathan and Julien attracted onlookers until the moment where we got surrounded by about 100 people in the middle of the Champs Elysées.
I was really impressed how dancing is a universal language, just like ASMR which doesn’t necessarily need to be understood but much more to be experienced.”
What feedback have you received about this video?
Flo, “The feedback is really positive. Many people on Youtube are not used to watching “cinematographic” ASMR videos. Many cried while watching it, many had tingles, many felt relaxed, many felt “somewhere else”.
Many non-French speakers understood that the video was about time. I think that we can have a chance to feel with the dancers and the text that I am saying (with a whispered voice) is an excerpt from “Cosmos”, a philosophical essay by Michel Onfray. I chose a few quotes dealing with time, the relativity of time, the way we find a second to be so eternal but also a day so short. This is a very nice text that invites us to be “in” the present moment but not in the instant of a tweet or a post on facebook, but in the “real” flow of time, the one of a symphony for instance.
I really like the work of Michel Onfray which consists in rehabilitating materialist and sensualist thinking and use it to re-examine our relationship to the world. Approaching philosophy as a reflection of each individual’s personal experience, Onfray inquires into the capabilities of the body and its senses and calls on us to celebrate them through music, painting and fine cuisine.
ASMR is also part of this kind of celebration of the body, of the senses, of the present moment to feel in harmony with the cosmos. That’s actually why I called my video “Cosmos” too.”
You also have an ASMR YouTube channel, how would you describe the type of ASMR videos you create?
Flo, “There are different ASMR videos on my channel, very basic ones with tingly sounds (crinkles, tapping, foam sounds). I also make a lot of unboxing videos with products that my subscribers send to me from all over the world and this way, “we” discover new products, new cultures. I also love making some “reiki videos” with panned bass sounds and caring friend role-plays.
My purpose is to express myself but also to give these famous tingly sensations and help people to relax. ASMR is not only an ensemble of sounds but a real intention.”
Do you receive any feedback from viewers of your ASMR videos that the videos are helpful to them in any way?
Flo, “Yes. Many enjoy the tingles, some others appreciate listening to a foreign language and learn it the same way. I often speak in French but also in German in my videos. Some others watch my videos to find some optimism, some positive thoughts or to discover my country and the city where I live: Paris.
I get messages from young mothers whom send me pictures of their baby watching my videos. I get messages from people in hospitals and from others fighting against depression.”
What advice would you give to new ASMR artists?
Flo, “Try to make something that suits to you. Find your own way to give tingles, be yourself and spread love.”
Are you involved in any other music and/or video projects?
Flo, “I am part of a French pop duet called “Cassandre”. We already released our first album which is distributed by Warner music. It’s a very important project also dealing with sounds.”
Do you have plans to create any more ASMR-related projects?
Flo, “I do! I recently worked with the famous New York-based collective DIS for an exhibition at the modern art museum of Paris for a great exhibition called “co-workers”.
Currently, I am working on an exhibition based on the voice for the Opera of Montpellier with Tal Isaac Haddad. I do believe that ASMR has its place in museums. “
How would you like to see ASMR integrated into society and/or media in 10 years from now?
Flo, “I dream of ASMR centers and more immersive applications on smartphones. I believe strongly in virtual reality technologies. I also collaborated for the “Time in Space” app on android and try to make my subscribers familiar with VR-headsets just like the Freefly.
The future of ASMR will still be virtual and will have a big space on Youtube but I hope that it will become more “mainstream” since it really helps plenty of people to get rid of their stress.”
Click HERE to view Flo’s amazing video of ASMR and street dancing
Click HERE to explore Flo’s music site
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