I've been thinking about trends in music lately. In 1994, when I made the decision to start distributing the slow music that had helped me to cope with debilitating anxiety, I submitted a 30 minute tape of the piece Zero Degrees Zero (subsequently released on the album Ambience Minimus) to several record labels. As I was working for Michael Jackson at the time, every door was open to me, and folks were curious about my “Liquid Mind.” However, the response was always the same: “We don't know what to do with your music”, or my favorite (lol) “Why don't you add some electric guitar leads and drums?.” It was clear that, in spite of my explanations and best intentions, no one could tolerate music without rhythm, and they didn't understand the potential of therapeutic music. I tried explaining repeatedly to no avail, that I wanted to slow the pace of my life, not stimulate it, that this music could be healing for some folks (including me!). After the first two albums (Ambience Minimus and Slow World), Liquid Mind® started selling in quantities enough to justify my continuing the series. Though it was (and is) a labor of love, bills and employee payrolls must be met. In 1996, Suzanne Doucet, a wonderful artist/consultant and pioneer of the New Age movement, suggested I might want to do a mailing to certified music therapists. That suggestion sowed the seeds for what would lead to more widespread acceptance of my music in healthcare settings. I did send out a mailing, and as I got to know some therapists, I learned that there are two broad categories: (1) Stimulative Music and (2) Sedative Music (which is the category for Liquid Mind). Music therapists have a wonderful advocacy organization, the American Music Therapy Association (www.musictherapy.org), and to my delight, over the years the AMTA and their member therapists have embraced my unusual slow music with open arms. Music therapy is an established healthcare profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages. In my opinion, music therapists are angels, and music therapy is increasingly serving an important function in healthcare as the baby boom generation grows older. Especially when someone is bedridden, hospitalized, or in rehab (e.g. from stroke), I strongly encourage you to involve a certified music therapist. As well, the use of music to relax, can (with the agreement of your healthcare provider) allow some patients to reduce the amount of sedating medication they take. A CD of music is a “free RX” which never needs to be refilled, and may be used in perpetuity.
Wishing you all the best of health! —Chuck Wild