Enter the bizarre world where magic comes from darkness.
Enter the bizarre world where magic comes from darkness. This is Wolfgang Fasser’s “In the Garden of Sounds,” a workshop in a Swiss village where one’s eyes need not be open to grasp life in all of its sublimity and grandeur. Blindfolds are encouraged, musical instruments and household noisemakers are embraced here. Fears are abandoned as acoustic images act as beautiful postcards, which whisk away insecurity and anxiety in all of their harmony.
A former physical therapist, Fasser awaited his blindness from young age after a diagnosis with a degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. At the age of 22, Fasser lost all sight. Yet, he did not stop his work of healing after his eyes stopped seeing. Instead, Fasser took an all-embracing outlook on his new world, finding “it really fascinating to look at my surroundings with my ears.” He abandoned the city and moved to a cabin in the outskirts of the wilderness. As his environment drastically changed, so did his work. He continued healing, but of a more specialized sort. Ability grew from disability as Fasser began relieving children with disabilities from anxiety through music therapy, where “sounds became a comforting bridge to reality,” something he knew more about than anyone.
The story is so incredible that it scrapes the edges of fiction. What seems impossible is irrefutably achieved with a tranquil energy that is mesmeric. The transformations of all of Fasser’s patients are gradual yet pivotal, and the subtlety with which Fasser works amplifies the scantiness of our breadth of perception and appreciation. The film puts viewers in a complete spell of serenity and inspiration as it shows the magnitude of good, which can be achieved through the smallest of details. Frasser fits the murmurs and attempted vocals of his clients into a musical context, giving the children whom he helps a place in the rhythm of life. Following each child’s story individually is as heart wrenching as it is inspiring, revolutionizing and empowering.
Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award Contender “In the Garden of Sounds” (Nel Giardino dei Suoni) is truly a masterpiece that cannot be expressed in words. Fasser’s calmness and embrace of life makes him a wonderful protagonist in a plot that could have easily steered Hollywood’s next fictional box office hit. Yet its sincerity is unsurpassed, natural and raw; it is incomparable, priceless and beyond any fictional inspiration attempted. The cymbals, gongs and songbird chirps coupled with camera pans of the Swiss wilderness invoke a trance of wellbeing which may take minutes, if not hours, to shake off after the movie’s ending. Of course, you won’t want it to.
“In the Garden of Sounds” awes both the eye and ear with nature’s magic, while Frasser’s healing abilities bend all expectations. In turn, viewers are given an opportunity to meditate on the potential of humankind, the power of perception, and the enlightenment of nature’s offerings. Viewers are encouraged to acknowledge the overlooked details of the world, whether visual, tactile or audile. Director Nicola Bellucci’s work of art dissipates routine and with its vivacious and magnetic outlook on the world, reminds us that we are alive. ?