WhatsAppen met Aifric Lennon

30-10-2018 (11:01) - Appen met

Creatief bureau Cult LDN en internationaal creatief muziekbureau MassiveMusic ontwikkelden samen Mindscape; de eerste stemgeactiveerde app tegen angststoornis. Daar willen we meer van weten nu de herfstdepressies weer aanstaande zijn. We namen contact op met Aifric Lennon, 'Music en Mind Researcher' bij MassiveMusic en mede-ontwikkelaar. 


WhatsApp-Status: none


Hi Aifric, Alexander here from FONK Magazine. 

Hi Alexander. Good to get in touch!

Thanks for taking some time for us. My first and very important question;) since you work for MassiveMusic and your last name is Lennon, I can't help but ask: are you related to John Lennon? :) 

It's a very good question, and one which I get asked quite often! The short answer is, no. Although I do have an uncle called John Lennon, he unfortunately did not sell 177 million albums like the other John though ;)

Aw, too bad! :) Your job is 'Music and Mind Researcher' at MassiveMusic. What's that all about?

Yes! It's a very rewarding and interesting job role. I studied the neuroscience and psychology of music before I joined MassiveMusic, so when I began working here, I was asked to develop this side of what we do. The role encompasses many elements: I use my knowledge of the psychology of music, as well as spend time delving into current music psychology research papers and apply that to our work here at MassiveMusic. I also run the Music x Mind initiative within Massive, which is our quest to explore mental health in the creative industry, through talks, workshops, and most recently, our work on Mindscape.

Could you tell us a little bit about the science behind Mindscape?

Sure! We began this project last March, and alongside Cult and MIND, the mental health charity, we worked collaboratively to first fully understand the common causes and intricacies of poor mental health. At Massive, we spent a lot of time researching academic publications, and built up a library of existing scientific research to begin to write our music brief with. All of the compositions were designed using scientifically proven methods aimed at alleviating various mental states. For example, for the sleep track, we composed a track that gradually decreases in tempo from 70 BPM to 50 BPM (using rhythmic entrainment to gradually slow breathing), and we explored various keys and melodic motifs proven to calm listeners.

Do you think that social media is behind the rise in depression amongst young people?

I think this is a question which is coming up again and again, and it is a difficult one to speculatively answer. Working with Mind on this project really opened our eyes to the number of people suffering with anxiety at the moment, and the broad list of reasons this might be the case. I think that there is a definite issue around over-use of social media in young people, and there are concerns associated with that around how truly connected to society we are, versus how connected we think we are. That said, I think apps like Mindscape are leading the way in helping to alleviate this loss of connectivity - it is an example of how we can use technology to really help people feel less alone, for example. Or sleeping better. Etc. 

The application has been in use for some time now. What are the results? How many people have been using it? Any new insights that you've gathered from their feedback?

Yes it has! It's hard to believe how fast those two weeks have flown :) The feedback and results so far have been really positive, although we are still at very early stages. Our plan is to continue to evolve Mindscape, to improve its user function and to continue to run research and testing, so that we can continue to build and evolve an app that will hopefully benefit a lot of people.

Have you been using the app yourself?

Yes, I have been using the app - and the music! We have all been using it in the MassiveMusic office too, and we have had some really great feedback so far.

Many thanks!

Thanks again for everything! Looking forward to seeing it.