Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Medicine Cabinet #1

Music Is My Medicine
by Nayt Housman

The Candy Shop is dead, did you know? I killed it, buried it, and said goodbye. 2013 was all about me expressing what I love, hate, and believe about music and my discoveries new and old. 2014 is about YOU. I want to know what makes you tick, twitch, jive, writhe and unravel.

What is music? In the most literal sense it is a collage of sound, creatively pieced together in order to stimulate a response from listeners and satisfy some needs of the creators. In a non-literal sense music is a time, a place, a person, it’s memories and new discoveries but best of all it’s therapy. Music is my medicine. Some music is soothing, some induces pleasurable movements, some allows a release of pent up emotion, some causes unease, some communicates specific messages but all music in one way or another is therapeutic to someone.

Medicinal sound or sound therapy is no new concept, but are most people really aware of how the music they choose affects their who, what, when, where, why and how? In 2014 I will ask six magic questions to random people. Some might be acquaintances, some strangers and some friends or family. This will be my social experiment as I endeavor to find what type of music medicine people put in their ears.

I cornered my first patient and bombarded him with my carefully crafted questions, which I created to get into the deepest crevices of the musical mind (or skim the surface if that’s all they want to give me).

This is Josh, a 25yo from Brisbane whose life passion is singing...

Art by Nayt Housman

“As Whoopi once said 'If you wake up in the mornin' and you can't think of anything but singin' first...then you're supposed to be a singer.'”

Who flicks your switch and turns the volume up (this can be anyone or anything that inspires you to listen to music)?

Josh: At the moment I'm listening to a lot of Banks and Kelela.... But I found myself always going back to the albums I listened to when I was 17. 

Why are these the pills that cure your ills? 

Because much like the music I listened to when I was 17, Banks and Kelela both put out rather depressing music... But it's truthful and honest music, and that speaks to me. They write their own and their main instrument is their voice, which I have a lot of respect for. 

What kind of high do they give you? 

Music is one of the only things that really calms me down. I have a lot of anxiety issues, and music is one of the only ways I can help reduce that (without turning to valium). The music I listen to also inspires me creatively, it puts me in a relaxed yet creative space head space wise.

When do you crave music relief? 

I always crave music relief. I listen to music for the better part of each waking day. It's constantly playing at work. I listen to music while on the train, while I'm working on assignments, as I'm reading. The only time I don't listen to music is when I'm asleep. 

Where does music take you? 


Outside of my own head. Which is nice, because inside my head is a crazy fucking place. It never stops in there. 

How do you share your love? 


Josh: In terms of my love for music, books etc. I tend to cram my love down the throat of anyone stupid enough to ask or listen. 


I feel very much the same; I certainly use music as an anti-anxiety aid. I find it calms me down and distracts me from situations that are less than ideal for my sanity, like working retail. You know if you find me listening to Fiona Apple or Radiohead that something is getting to me. What would I do without earphones?

I’ll call this ‘The Valium Effect’, music to numb and relax.

Doctor Nayt’s prescription this week is, always listen to the wise words of Whoopi and when feeling agitated take one dose each of Banks and Kelela daily until symptoms subside.


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