On July 16th 2022 I was invited by a local Indonesian association to introduce my recent compositions and work in music therapy in Indonesia. This occasion gave the opportunity to test the effectiveness of the material on the audience in a fresh cultural environment. I also had the chance to play with new bandmates and ask for their opinion about the new songs. Joko Tebon, the host musician, and Toni Praptono joined me on this event, the first on didgeridoo and ethnic percussions and the latter bringing on stage his original instrument: the guitarsitar, a hybrid scratch built lute made by Toni starting from the body of an old 12 strings guitar with the insert neck and the frets of a sitar. The selection we played is part of a larger project called Contemporary Ragas. The tunes in this repertoire combine modern music with the traditional concept of Indian raga. The purpose of this music is yet artistic, therapeutic, didactic and meditational. This means it fits different kinds of situations. The compositions are purposely easy: they consist of a simple melody, one or two scales for the improvisations and a few chords in the harmony. This elementary structure allows almost everybody to play the music with little study and preparation. Within such an essential form the musician can focus on expression and the subtleties of details, especially the dynamics and nuances. These all too often neglected aspects are the elements that make a difference between a correct execution and a real artistic statement infused with poetry. The approach to music is set into an original method inspired to yoga practices that can be used either to remove technical hindrances, improve creativity and develop imagination thus sparkling inspiration. The common form of a raga includes a tempoless introduction to the main body of the song before the theme and the inprovistations are exposed. There are many techniques and possibilities within this essential structure, the simplicity of the songs is meant to explore all these options individually in a condition of controlled comfort.


This music is created within a broader research project in music therapy in collaboration with the University of Malang and the Ministry of Research of Indonesia and has both therapeutic and artistic purposes. The first part of the research is a three years program to create a basic musical vocabulary associated with selected psychological and conceptual categories. It will be therefore possible to elicit a desired emotion or mental image by means of a certain sound or melody. So for instance I might choose to summon a dark and mysterious atmosphere by playing a series of minor seconds and thirds intervals, intended as the distance between two successive notes, or evoke an open space by use of fourths and fifths intervals. All these elements can be combined at will to guide the listeners through a positive dynamic experience.


The final goal of the second part of the research is an innovative form of music-sound therapy to treat and permanently resolve the most common psychological disorders, namely anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders. All these mental behaviors are caused by neurological circuits containing associated memories of emotions and ideas looping themselves automatically. The repeated listening of carefully selected sounds paired to appropriate visualization techniques can lead to the dismantling of these closed circuits, the cancellation of dysfunctional memory tracks and the subsequent substitution with more fitting ones. I am confident that in the completion stage I will achieve a highly efficient and innovative therapy, with a standard protocol to heal the most moderate psychological disorders and a good deal of the chronic ones 


While the first part aimed at the creation of a therapeutic music vocabulary and a number of compositions is almost complete, the second part for the creation of a therapy has yet to be started.


Popular posts from this blog