If the Plants Could Speak: A Brief Listen into the Jackpine Studio Soundscape

Liam Mooney - February 12, 2016

Much of what Jackpine produces is dominated by strong visual components. We create and deliver so many photos, drawings, and graphics into the world every day which makes it very easy to visualize exactly who we are as a company. Unfortunately, the aural part of our identity sometimes gets forgotten in the process. The sonic exercise of a sound diary helps to remind us of and expand our aural awareness, it helps us remember the audio component of the jackpine story. The following is sound diary of a day in the Jackpine studio soundscape.   

The slight creak of a metal door, the small thud of your foot hitting the cinderblock keeping said door open (if it’s your first time), and finally the muffled thumps of nineteen carpeted steps. Welcome to Jackpine. You have arrived.

A “Hey, hi” from CEO, Liam Mooney is usually the first friendly voice you hear walking into the entrance before the rest of the team voice their “hellos” and “good mornings”. The hum of the air vents running, the gurgling sound of the coffee maker brewing the team’s fuel, the clicking of mice and the tapping of keyboards are just some of the background noises one hears after settling in and letting your ears move past the autotuned voice of Kanye West singing through the speaker booth. The recurrent sounds of the Chinatown neighbourhood also fill the studio space; the irregular rumble of passing cars driving down Somerset Street, the chatting of locals, tourists, and weirdos walking by on the sidewalk below.


Suddenly it’s noon and the tone of the studio changes entirely. Someone asks the magic words “Lunch question mark?” “ouuus” are exclaimed, chairs, bags and coats are shuffled around, and the debating of where to dine begins. “Koreana!” “Pressed!” “Dumplings!” are among the many names thrown out into the studio air above our round table of computers. Koreana is usually the winner.

The moments of quiet are rare and few but when they are present it is either because the studio is empty or the deadlines are tight. Afternoons can be full of voices debating, planning, laughing (Liam’s booming one in particular), joking, and questioning. This last sound is abundant in this space. The team questions everything around them, it is an important thread in the fabric of Jackpine.

The sounds of the studio seem trivial, but they are actually quite important. They influence our thinking. They connect us as a family, to a community and to our social and physical environment.They co-determine our behavior; they influence our concentration; they seep into and take hold of our ideas as they move from background to foreground. Through the big, ridiculous laugh of our leader, our spirits lift; through the sound of our fingers tapping the keyboards and mice, we take comfort in our place as creators; the sounds of the ink pen gliding across paper and tablets remind us that we are artists. The questions we vocalize set us apart as creative counsellors.