Musicians matter mental health – the restorative power of music explores what music may mean to us on many a varied level. How much does one need to say about the title when everyone knows the truth of this statement? No doubt everyone will tell you a different, yet universal story about how some song, some artist, carried them through a troublesome time in their life. I guess we can talk about it from a few perspectives, that of the listener or fan and that of the artist who may write and bring through the work.
I would like to share your views; I invite you to join me in commentary. My blog is always open to the voice of other musicians’, creatives and those who support artists, who would like to share thoughts on theme. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to contribute. Link below.
What is it that has this restorative function? Is it the musical elements such as the rhythm, melody, lyric, instrumentation, tempo or key or is it the magic production of the analog or digital aesthetic? Is it about the artists consciousness and what they stand for, or is it that they are producing a resonance within you? Think about the first time you heard that song or songs, was it purely only what you heard? Or was it part of an audio-visual (i.e. film clip) experience or a concert? Is it this more comprehensive story form that allows artists to communicate through combining sound with image with storytelling and physical presentation? All of the above in my opinion, yet primarily it is consciousness, that spark of the creator within form, the unique essence.
So, what is restorative in the broadest sense? That which brings balance, renewal, harmony and a sense of peace. If we think in terms of physical things we could talk about the restoration of a piece of antique furniture, or on a relational level, of a long-lost relationship with a loved one, that of two ships adrift on the seas destined to meet again.
In terms of music, I would say it’s all about heart and energy and feeling good. So, music that brings out these qualities on inner levels that makes us feel good, think positively and contribute a level of intention and higher intelligence and awareness to life, self and the lived experience.
For me personally when I want to use music for restoration, I will go to a wide variety of sources such as classical or movie soundtrack music to journal to or to calm my nerves sometimes. I use it to inspire me, get me pumped, like banging rock music. Electronic and orchestral music to lift my energy and send me on trips round the universe. Middle Eastern music to dance a sensuous feminine dance and shift gears to or to inspire new tonal or timbre/ choices to broaden my musical pallet and ear. I often go back to the music of my childhood for the familiar for the sense of emotional relating, in the reinforcing of memory.
Music is known to be key doorway into the soul for people with dementia, it aids people to learn gait regulation and walk again, for all life is governed by cycles. We know music to be one of the most effective agents in assisting persons to also regain speech capacity and physical capacity post stroke or serious brain injury. Music is restorative and therapeutic by nature, and serves both soul and soma. Music can be used as a resource on so many levels.
When it comes to writing music, there are many reasons we do it. For me it has always been my saving grace, my release, my sanctuary, by way of processing deep pain and trauma through poetic metaphor and musical mythology. I was blessed with a love of music and a seed of knowing in primary school life where my first school performances took place. Since a little child I always saw movies via sound, and sound as geometry unfolding like precious petals from the cosmos, life eternally born a new radiating in all spheres, powerful primordial, messenger supreme. Many years later that love still compels me and I invest in making and sharing the best work that I can and in sharing studies and perspectives on music. I share one souls journey over their life time with what sound and music has been for them, and for us all. You can refer to 7 years of blogging and documentation of artistic practice over multiple albums and releases right here and hopefully find some inspiration.
If you are a musician seeking mentoring on any level, please reach out and inquire how I can help you, or book in with me today. Availability, on the bookings page or click on this link below, various services to facilitate music in all its facets and creators in all their beauty.
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If you are interested in being a contributing writer, please contact me by the contact form below. 2022 continues the theme of Musicians Matter Mental Health.
Expect other musical contributors, as well as events via zoom and in person and artist day retreats, all coming soon. Say attuned and resonant, always surf the sonic seas.
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by Catherine Meeson January 2022
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