Psychedelics and Music Heal Depression?

Psychedelic drugs are poised to be the next major breakthrough in mental health care. — Scientific American, August 2014

Dutch postdoctoral neuroscientist Mendel Kaelen is presenting his research in a talk called The Psychological and Neurophysiological Effects of Music in Combination with Psychedelics at Psychedelic Science 2017, a six-day international gathering in Oakland, California.

One of the most common artists on his playlists is British producer, composer and artist Brian Eno.

In an email, Eno said that when he started creating his ambient songs in the 1970s, he was “very consciously making a music which didn’t carry a ‘personality’ with it.”

“I wanted to make a kind of music which didn’t make you think of another human doing something—but instead made you think of something like a landscape or a climate or a place,” he said. “My thinking was that by leaving the human out of the music I would invite people to enjoy a freer ‘ramble’ through the musical space, because it comes without somebody else’s emotional baggage.”

Eno said he has “very little experience of psychedelic drugs,” but was fascinated to learn about Kaelen’s research. The two plan to work together on projects tracking the interactions between art, music and the brain, he said.

More information: Music helps hallucinogens heal minds, scientist finds By April M. Short, April 19, 2017, sfchronicle.com

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