The Power of Music

Date Added: May 15, 2023

Imagine the exquisite union of sounds made by a harpist and a violinist. Now imagine these traditionally classical melodies being lent to an Elvis Presley number. You might start to realise the diversity and celebration of music in the room that day.

The String Sisters are the talented duo who gave this incredible performance. The song requests landed from Disney to heavy metal and, quite honestly, there is nothing they cannot play together. As I reach the final months of my photographic project with Cyfannol Women’s Aid, I dedicate this final feature to the healing power of music and art, to talk about how the Horizon support team work closely with talent in arts communities to bring creative therapy to participants who have experienced trauma in their lives.

Horizon supports those of any gender who have experienced sexual violence at any point of their lives, regardless of whether this has been reported or not. Many have reached out to access specialist counselling and are currently on a waiting list.

Rachel is a participation and outreach worker for Horizon. She has the glorious job of combining her support work with the work of creative practitioners to offer a holistic experience to participants that draws on the therapeutic power of art and music alongside trauma-informed theory.

“While I’m not technically arty,” explains Rachel, “I have always loved dance and music, and the power that the arts can bring alongside the more tick-box exercises of support work. Group work and participation fill my cup. I love being privy to that lightbulb moment when people understand that they are not to blame for what has been done to them and also that they have choice and control over where they direct their energy with the present.”

Rachel has organised this intimate and emotional concert with the String Sisters, who first worked and performed with the group online during the pandemic. A few years on from this, I’m in a room listening to a beautifully surreal version of an old favourite of mine, Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’. We have tears streaming down our faces as the harpist gives new meaning to those guitar riffs and the violinist adds haunting melody to a famous singer’s voice.

By offering these interactive and inspiring concerts, along with creative crafting workshops, Cyfannol Women’s Aid provides a non-judgemental, equal and safe space in which people can express themselves, however they need to.

This is an excerpt of an article that appeared in the Spring 2023 edition of JUNO Magazine

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