Saturday, March 27, 2010

Melody Gardot and Music Therapy

I had read about and heard Melody Gardot's beautiful voice on another blog (please forgive me, I don't remember which because my memory is still not so great).  I instantly liked her music. Smooth contemporary jazzy smokey classic voice. Incredible, I thought.  At that time, I was going to write a post about her and how much I liked her music.


Life happened. A few weeks later, I stumble upon her again (which was great because I was looking for her music today but couldn't remember her name, it was a very Melody Gardot day here at the homestead).  Only this time, I happened to be searching "brain injury" on Flickr groups. And there she was, like a feather on a breeze that dropped into my hand.  I didn't know why she was in those results. I thought it odd until I did a bit of reading.

from Wikipedia:
"While cycling in Philadelphia in November 2003 she was hit by a Jeep Cherokee whose driver had ignored a red traffic light.

In the accident she suffered serious head and spinal injuries and her pelvis was shattered in two places. Because of these severe injuries she was confined to her hospital bed for a year and had to remain lying on her back. As a further consequence of her injuries she had to re-learn simple tasks such as brushing her teeth and walking. The most noticeable effect of the neural injuries she suffered is that she was left hyper-sensitive to both light and sound, therefore requiring her to wear dark sunglasses at nearly all times to shield her eyes. The accident also resulted in both long and short term memory problems and difficulty with her sense of time. Gardot has described coping with this as like "climbing Mount Everest every day" as she often wakes with no memory of what she has to do that day.

After her accident Gardot began writing music and since then often speaks and advocates in favour of using music for therapy. The accident had damaged the neural pathways between the brain's two cortexes which control perception and higher mental function, and made Gardot (in her own words) "a bit of a vegetable." As well as making it very hard for her to speak or communicate properly, she found it difficult to recall the right words to express her feelings. "

from a NPR interview:
"To be honest with you, being on stage and performing is the 30, 40, 50 minutes of the most pleasurable experience that I have," Gardot says. "Because it's during that time that I don't really feel any pain. I think it's transcendental, and I also think it's kind of like when you have a headache, and someone punches you in the stomach, you forget all about your head."

 (emphasis mine- I can definitely relate)

I also highly recommend this interview with Melody:
Watch a CBS Interview with Melody Gardot

Buy Melody's  highly acclaimed CD:

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