This is the second volume of work created from the research into music and sound’s role in healthcare that I conducted as part of an NHS Music Fellowship in 2018.

Again, the focus is largely on ambient and beat-less music, that helps induce a state of calm or reflection. One of the few universally measurable effects of music in a healthcare context is the reduction of the stress response, so important in improving the body’s ability to heal itself. Many other facets of music obviously affect people in widely different ways, and what one person may find cathartic, another may find deeply depressing.

There are some commonalities amongst traditional cultures however, with certain scales associated with feelings of calm and passivity, and I have used some of these here.

The album will be on Bandcamp only for the first few months to raise money for NHS charities. Once it goes to streaming it essentially makes no money, but that’s another conversation. For today (1st May) it is also worth much more as Bandcamp are waiving their fees, so I’d encourage anyone who was interested to buy it today especially.

And finally, you can hear it here:

Finally available as a digital download, after being on cassette only. Now released under my Alex Smoke moniker, as Alex Menzies will now just be used for commercial work.

It’s a combination of ideas from various cultures, from my work on music and health, and from experimenting with acoustic sources and physical modelling.

I think of it as night music.

Available in all the usual places but buying it directly from my Bandcamp is by far the most helpful to me personally.

The first official result of my last year’s music fellowship with the NHS, exploring the links between health and sound.

Of the many fascinating avenues that I explored, this album encapsulates ideas from just a few of them, and is particularly focussed on the use of music as a way of reducing stress.

I will be writing up a more complete overview of my year’s research at some point, and there will be a further album later in the year exploring other ideas from it.