Jazz Composer Esperanza Spalding’s Three Song Suite of Music Therapy

Earlier this month, the New York Times spoke with Jazz composer / bassist / vocalist Esperanza Spalding about latest release, a three song suite created to elicit specific emotional responses. In part the article says:

“She started drafting sketches for songs, with sounds rooted in Sufism and South Indian Carnatic and Black American music, and sent them to would-be collaborators.

“The compositions — which were written in consultation with music therapists and neuroscientists — are supposed to elicit different emotions. The hypnotic ‘formwela 1,’ carried by Spalding’s looping falsetto, is meant to aid self-soothing during stressful times. “So you learn the song and then you can play it for yourself in your head when you are stuck in a home and there’s no way the dynamic in that moment is going to change,” Spalding said. The ethereal ‘formwela 2’ and soulful ‘formwela 3’ are designed to calm interpersonal aggression and re-center the listener once the anger has dissipated.”

Read the whole jawn:


Listen: https://open.spotify.com/album/0DQvP4wcoCoUL3MuhJruvc?si=SA3SIPsuTSeryWCpM5cW7Q

This is all connected with her https://songwrightsapothecarylab.com/.

Here’s some of the deets on the proj posted:

“The Lab:

“Songwrights Apothecary Lab (a.k.a. S.A.L.) seeks to respectfully dip into the healing seas of music/musicianship/song, and distill a few grains of piquancy which carry the life-renewing flavor of the unfathomable ocean of human resiliency, then work those grains into new musical formwelas, to enhance the healing flavors and intentions innate in all works of devoted creatorship.

“In this ongoing lab, we experiment with sprinkling the many distillations of S.A.L. into our song wrighting, and invite you to taste/hear these enhanced essences and flavors.

“(S.A.L. is also a lab esperanza curates at Harvard) 

“Half songwrighting workshop, and half guided-research practice, the Songwrights’ Apothecary Lab (S.A.L.), seeks to develop a structure for the collaborative development of new compositions designed to offer enhanced salutary benefit to listeners.

“The course is rooted in a transdisciplinary station, orienting itself towards archives and literature that study healing strategies drawn from a diverse range of music-based creative and therapeutic practices.

“Formwela 1, Formwela 2 and Formwela 3 were composed and developed while residing in Wasco County, OR. The feel and aesthetic of these songs were inspired and encouraged by esperanza’s nourishing encounters with the land and peoples of this arid and sage-drenched region of her home state.

“All Formwelas (songs) from the S.A.L. are created through our research, divination, intuition, musicianship, taste, inspiration, and collaborative effort to design songs that enhance a specific salutary affect.

“The formwelas offered here are not presented as potential “solutions”.  Rather, they are responses to the ongoing question guiding the beings collaborating within the Songwrights Apothecary Lab. ”

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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