‘Music is Medicine’
Johnny Jewel, Chromatics
‘Music has always submitted its forms and motifs to temporal transformations, augmentations or diminution, slowdowns or accelerations, which do not occur solely according to laws of organization or even of development’
Deleuze and Guattari (A Thousand Plateaus, 1987, p. 270)
Chris Bailey writes: Music has always been important to me. I share my workspace at home with one of my two record players and my vinyl collection, although I’m more regularly drawn to the convenience of streaming. My favourite way to listen to music is using headphones which block out any external noise. I never go anywhere without headphones. When I’m working, music can be a source of inspiration, focus, comfort, distraction, transformation or reward, depending on my mood or the task at hand. Music is tied up with my thinking processes. On multiple occasions, a song has set me off on a direction of thought that has made its way directly into my writing. I have issues with attention, sensory processing and focus. I am very alert to environmental soundscapes, so noise cancelling headphones are a welcome productivity tool, whether working in the office or at home. However, music is generally a better stimulus than silence.
I am a lecturer in education. Since the university campus closed in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have worked in my ‘home office’ - a small, otherwise liminal space at the end of the landing that leads up to our bedroom. I found the change that has occurred in this period unsettling, obviously on a national level, but also in a personal sense in relation to the changes in routine it has necessitated. Music has been a major source of comfort during this time, not to lighten my mood but to match it, to allow me to dwell in a productive, creative space that acknowledges, rather than escapes, some of the darkness of the current time. As such, this playlist was compiled from a section of my listening choices over the course of one day, during the pandemic. I rarely compile playlists, either choosing to listen to whole albums or a more spontaneous string of single songs, as the mood takes me. However, I think this mix captures something of my current (working) mood. I hope it brings someone else inspiration, distraction or comfort, depending on their need.
Dr Chris Bailey is a lecturer in education at Sheffield Hallam University