Healing with Music
Updated: Jun 4, 2018
In early 2015, I received an email from Bjorn Wennerwald, the lead designer of Wavecare, a healthcare company based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Wavecare works with hospitals around the world, designing and building immersive recovery rooms and patient care rooms that are clinically proven to reduce stress for patients and aid in the healing process. Bjorn had heard my album “The Day I Met Myself”, and because of the organic quality of that music, he was interested in commissioning original music for the Wavecare “ambient healthcare applications”.
Prior to contacting me, Wavecare had been licensing library tracks in the “New Age” genre, and they had become unhappy with the results, since most of the music sounded very synthetic and cold. Bjorn felt that they would get better results if they used custom-composed music with a more organic feel. We had a video call on Skype and talked about his desire to stay away from the “New Age” genre, and to instead go in a more cinematic, neo-classical direction. I suggested that we use all acoustic instruments like piano, strings, guitar, and flute.
Just before we began our first project together, Bjorn and I were able to meet for brunch while I was on holiday in Warsaw. Once we had met in person, it was clear that we were very much in synch and that this collaboration was going to go smoothly.
Our first project was called “Sleep”, in which we collaborated on 30 minutes of music designed to gently bring the listener into a deeply relaxed state. Bjorn uploaded video that he had shot in truly beautiful locations in Norway and Denmark, mostly in the pre-dawn hours. He also provided me with a narrative description of the flow of the program.
Working closely together, we created three 10-minute tracks of music using strings, piano, guitar, and flute. Throughout the process, Bjorn and I remained in close contact, by phone, email, and video call, and we regularly discussed the way the music and visuals should flow with one another. The end result was a very successful program that was then installed in hospitals in Denmark. The hospitals reported that patients were very relaxed when listening to the music, which was played in synchronization with Bjorn’s video, and ambient lighting changes.
Later in 2017, we created another 30-minute program called “Optimism”, and again, the results were extremely positive when installed in hospitals. Our most recent successful collaboration is a program called “Dawn”, which is intended as a mirror image of “Sleep” – the music and images are designed to gently awaken patients and bring them into their day with positive feelings.
Do you have a favorite piece of music that has been healing to you in your life?
Please share in the comments below. Thanks for sharing!