Readers will be aware of the importance that I attach to story telling, usually in the context of a patient being given the opportunity to fully relay their experience. This means that the individual is given the time and freedom to express himself or herself in an environment that holds no judgement but listens and absorbs the narrative. This is the first person perspective that contains unique language and metaphors that illustrate the pain experience. Both of these constructs emerge from the individual and require validation and explanation, tying together the subjective with the objective observations (investigations, clinical examination).
Unsurprisingly, I am fascinated by the great story tellers, both in literature and music. A recent band illustrates that latter, Walking Papers.
Walking Papers: This grungy, blues-rock supergroup from Seattle is made up of Jeff Angell (Missionary Position), Duff MacKagan (Guns n Roses, Velvet Revolver), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees), Benjamin Anderson (Missionary Position) and the occasional visit by Mike McCready from Pearl Jam. Striking about this band is not only the immense force behind the sound but the lyrics, the story telling by Jeff Angell. Each song is individual but together the track list emerges as a narrative about ‘the wandering soles, the collisions of will, and the dark beauty of the American heart’ (Jason Price – see the full article here).
Music can have a deep effect upon us. We can associate a song with a place and a time, evoking realtime memories with such potency that the experience is truly multisensory. Most of us can think of a track that evokes emotion and feeling, reminding us of being somewhere, re-living that experience with whomever we shared that time. There are songs that bring a good feel and those that bring a sense of darkness. We can chose a piece that matches our mood or seeks to change our mood.