Representations of chronic migraine and therapy through new electronic music composition
Date of Award
Bachelor of Music Honours
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)
This thesis explores compositional techniques in electronic music that depict and explore chronic migraine and the therapies that manage the condition. Migraines are typically described as a destructive, violent force or a hopeless ailment, but research shows that this perception is damaging for new patients learning to manage migraine. Furthermore, evidence suggests that better understanding of how pain works can be instrumental in reducing pain (a process called Therapeutic Neuroscience Education). Drawing from this literature and my experience as an electronic musician suffering from chronic migraine, I utilise a practice-led research methodology to explore current scientific understandings of migraine and pain management, resulting in the creation of the original audio work Migraine Therapy, the creative component of this thesis. The compositional techniques developed in this thesis focus specifically on appropriating eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and bi-lateral alternating auditory stimulation (BAAS) as a musical form, sonifying quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) data, and exploratory methods of invoking phonophobia as a psychological and musical effect. This research represents my personal experience of chronic migraine management in a realistic, nuanced way, re-approached as a positive inspiration for my compositional practice.
Mcavan, P. (2021). Representations of chronic migraine and therapy through new electronic music composition. https://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses_hons/1587