Working on music and health

Here is a video documenting the work I have been doing on my Music and Health project collaborating with Rehana Browne.

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Hall of Mirrors, revised

 

I have now edited my “Hall of Mirrors” project by shortening its duration, selecting which scenes I liked to be included and creating an ambient noise soundtrack. The finished result is above.

I used many machine sounds for the soundtrack, this being because it reflects the body which is in some ways a very complex machine. I feel that this also links to Cage’s experience in the anechoic chamber in 1951 since it is here where he attempted to explore silence but he could still hear his circulatory system in motion.

The quote from Salome Voeglin in her book: “Listening to Noise and Silence: Toward a Philosophy of Sound Art ” is apt:

Silence is not the absence of sound but the beginning of listening. This is listening as a generative process not of noises external to me, but from inside, from the body, where my subjectivity is at the centre of the sound production, audible to myself. Silence reveals to me my own sounds: my head, my stomach, my body becomes their conductor.”
– Salomé Voegelin

 

 

 

 

Yoga Laughter

The inspiration behind my Music and Health project stems from the film “Patch Adams” about a physician who used laughter to cure sicknesses. This concept fuelled my interest into how sounds can affect the body and mind, therefore leading to my investigation into music and health.

Before, I wanted to use laughter in my creative pieces to reflect the ethos of Patch Adams. However, in the end I simply used heartbeats. I feel that it may have been a good idea to have stuck to my original idea of incorporating laughter as this would make my music more innovative. Nevertheless, since I was led to go down the path of meditation, were I to use laughter in my work the sounds would not mesh and would not help the listener reach a meditative state.

I came across the concept of “Yoga Laughter” which bridges my meditation tracks with the concept of laughter.  This exercise form entails people to voluntarily laugh, and thereby improve their wellbeing since laughter increases the amount of oxygen to the body and brain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listening to Silence

silence (1)I have become aware of a bridge between my two projects, this being the concept of “Silence” which takes part in John Cage’s work as an artistic form and also plays a role in influencing our health.  By embracing silence we become aware to background noise such as a bird song or the sound of wind. By following Cage’s philosophy by “letting sounds be themselves”, arising at random occurrences  enables us to find a peaceful stillness within ourselves.

Although Cage saw silence as  encompassing environmental noise, if we were to look at silence in the more generic format  we realise that  interestingly silence can be just as powerful as any other noise since between noises we hear pocket-holes of silence, fleeting as they may be. Every noise is followed by silence and we cannot filter it out. They therefore become part and parcel with the sounds around us. We can find acceptance with our surroundings by realising this, realising that silence is ever present and that it can mesh with the natural soundscapes around us and if we embrace this soundscape we can  find oneness with ourselves, and therefore embark towards wellbeing.