In a list of favorite ASMR videos, it is almost an unwritten rule that Maria aka GentleWhispering be on it. For many (including myself) Maria was everyone's "ah ha!" moment in discovering the name of our tingles. It's like "The Neverending Story" when the empress pleads "Call my name!"---Maria says the name, and a whole new world is opened up to enjoy.
Maria (like all on my list) has a remarkable understanding of ASMR. She caters to tingle sensations: every gesture is calculated---but has an ease to it---so it looks soft, elegant, and concentrated. She has been blessed with a voice that is delicate, and an accent that is heart melting. She is the perfect storm for ASMR.
So how does one choose the perfect Maria video? When she posts a video, there's no question it's going to be good. She could be muttering to herself in a corner, and I'd still be drooling with my eyes half shut, with tingles like butterfly wings flying furiously around my spine. God gosh look what I just wrote there. I hope that makes sense to someone haha. The point is that she has an astounding amount of great videos to choose from. I think that's part of her charm---she is consistent in her ability to deliver the good stuff.
Yet there is one video that I hold in a higher esteem above all her others. It's not her longest. It's not her most popular. It doesn't have a lot of props. It's not filmed using her fantastical binaural microphone. At first glance there is nothing that would make this video beat out all her others...but for me it does.
The video is a soft spoken reading of a bed time story about animals hitting the hay. HA. See what I did there? Oh come on, that was funny! You can find the video here:
This video brings me back to my childhood, when I used to curl up in bed next to my mom while she'd read me a story. My mother read to me every night for years. We have three bookshelves filled with the stories from my childhood, ranging from "Bread and Honey" to "Watership Down." Seriously. My mom read all kinds of books to me, and it's because of her that I have a love of literature, metaphors, and words in general. ANYWAY, Maria creates the atmosphere that the viewer is tucked in (complete with feet all wrapped up in blankets), next to someone who cares for them. And this is just the setting. There's more that makes this video #4.
Maria's a smart cookie. She knows what's she's doing, and she selected a book that sounds perfect when touched. She uses slow hand movements and a light touch to follow the words on the pages, points out the illustrations, and also makes sure to caress the furry swatch on each page. She creates different sounds using the same medium. The authenticity of the video is enhanced by her hand movements because they emulate those a sleepy mother would make while reading to a sleepy child.
Additionally the book choice is perfect because of its simplicity. From the first pages, you can gather that the book follows the pattern of an animal playing during the day, and falling asleep at night. No one is going to be biting their nails for the epic conclusion of this piece---it's safe to fall asleep.
Of course I have to mention her voice. The way she reads the story feels so genuine. She sounds concerned with the viewer's comfort. She sounds like she's trying to lull the viewer to sleep. She seamlessly varies her soft spoken and whisper voices, and uses both frequently, without sounding artificial. Her accent also creates the most pleasant sounds when she pronounces words ending with the letters "s, t, d, y, l..." pretty much all the letters haha.
The mixture of comforting nostalgia caressing secondary sounds, and the voice of a Russian angel make this video my #4 favorite intentional ASMR video of all time.