Liquid Sound is an exciting development in therapy from Micky Remann, the man who å‘talked to whaleså’. Sound passing through water has different acoustic properties from sound in air and at Bad Sulza in Germany, the science of mind and body therapy has been elevated to an art form in a specifically designed theatre of Liquid Sound. Lie weightless in the water and you become the sensual gentle transmitter…
The Spas Research Fellowship recently revisited Germany, continuing its programme of study tours to both modern and historic spa resorts. Dr Bruce Osborne reports on the discoveryå...
Bad Sulza is one of the old saline spas of what was formerly East Germany. It is about one hour’s car drive from Leipzig, in an area where there are numerous historic salt spas. The town contains many picturesque traditional buildings and has a long history of involvement with the salt industry, now largely defunct. When unification came about in Germany at Bad Sulza there was a relatively modern State Health Clinic and a hotel block, built in the 1970s; these were functional rather than elaborate. It was Marion Schneider and her husband who saw the opportunity of reinstating the spa ethos to the town by developing a modern spa resort.
The Toskana Therme, a visionary architectural masterpiece, was completed in time for the Millennium. Utilising the local thermal salt springs heated to body temperature, this pool complex and therapy centre has become the centrepiece of a vast complex of spa related buildings and activities. There is a therapy training school with a capacity for 200 full time pupils. The State Clinic is now a magnificent superbly equipped Medical Centre, capable of a wide range of non-surgical treatments. The Hotel an der Therme provides accommodation for 350 guests visiting the resort. A further substantial hotel provides accommodation for those visiting the Medical Centre. There is a Conference Centre with a similar capacity of up to 350 delegates. A short distance away there is the Gradierwerk or Salines, a restored heritage brine evaporation facility that continues to act as an inhalatorium. In fact Bad Sulza has the only surviving traditional salt works in Germany, now being restored as part of an Industrial Archaeology Park. Skirting the Toskana Therme, this links via a riverside walk with the Kur Park, the old spa centre, where the Pump Room or Trinkhalle is now awaiting restoration.
Not only is the architecture of the Toskana Therme visionary, so also are the therapies. As well as an interested array of indoor, outdoor and hydro pools there is Liquid Sound. In the late 1980s, pioneering research with whales resulted in techniques being developed for understanding and communicating with Orca whales in the Canadian Pacific. Sound through water has distinctly different acoustic properties compared with sound through air. Water is a faster transmitter and there is no echo, distortion or reverberation.
Micky Remann adapted his work with whales to develop the idea of a concert hall where sound comes through water. This involved the careful redesigning of space and sound content. The inspirational result was Liquid Sound at Bad Sulza. Contained in a substantial dome, you float in a pool and because the body is largely water, you become integral with the transmitting medium. This fusion is an amazing experience and because of the careful orchestration by its artist creator, is much more than just piped music under water with coloured lights. It is a symphony of sensory input orchestrated by the maestro.
Liquid Sound has been taken up by the Medical Centre at Bad Sulza as a precursor to more demanding therapies. A combination of sound and light, it promotes deep relaxation and psychological calming, thereby making the body and mind more receptive to regular therapies. Pregnant mothers, because of the unique transmitting and communication qualities, find the embryo responds to Liquid Sound. Deafness can be seen in a new light because with Liquid Sound the bone structure in the head becomes the receptor. Up to one hour is spent floating in the saline pool and enjoying the effect, which promotes alternative states of consciousness. Special concerts are held at Toskana Therme, where the entire baths become the auditorium. Further developments of the idea include video projection.
A second facility has been opened in Berlin and it is anticipated that further applications of the technology and artistry will result in Liquid Sound appearing in spa resorts throughout the world. Bad Sulza is interested in exporting its masterpiece and Liquid Sound is seen as an open stage on which a range of sensory themes can be played, customised to specific target markets and tastes. Future developments in this aquatic area can be found on The Spas Directory.