Junto Project 0515: Talking Cure [repost]

Someone suggested that Suss Müsik repost our contributions to the weekly Disquiet Junto projects, because they enjoy reading the explanations of the tracks. While you’re reading the original post, make sure you check out the other contributors’ works as well.

In their excellent book Healing At The Speed Of Sound, Don Campbell and Alex Doman mention how hospitals are experimenting with “[hiring] trained professionals [who] know how to harmonize with the sonic environment, mask ambient noise, and otherwise shape the auditory environment.”

Although numerous studies have been done on the benefits of sound design in clinical settings, Suss Müsik decided to seek some expert opinions.

Suss Müsik consulted with two friends for this project: one a mental health professional, the other living with the after-effects of a traumatic brain injury suffered a few years ago.

Both agreed that music is preferable to silence when sitting in the waiting area of a therapist’s office. Although neither had any interest in pop or rock music, there wasn’t much support for strictly ambient, shapeless, Enoesque soundscapes either. “I need something that rewards my attention if I choose to actively listen to it,” insisted the friend with a TBI, “I’m also fine if it recedes pleasantly into the background.”

The therapist friend echoed this sentiment, equating the music in a waiting room to the sonic equivalent of a fishtank. “There’s movement, light, shadow, and depth, but nothing that distracts or causes anxiety. The last thing we want is the environment causing mental or emotional friction. Something that functions well with natural light.”

For this short piece, Suss Müsik sought to create an actively calm, pleasantly busy soundscape. Something that rewards limited attention, settles into ambience when necessary, and serves as the auditory fishtank we all need from time to time.

The piece is titled Plume and named after Jenny Plume, a Nashville songwriter who created a music therapy program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and in 2013 released a CD of their works.

This work is licensed under Creative Commons BY 4.0, which allows any remix, adaptation or derivative works from the original. If you like it, have at it.

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