Migraine is a new Overtone documentary part of BBC Radio 4 series Art of Now, where sound artist Alice Trueman writes a specially commissioned musical score to explore migraine attacks and their possible link to creativity.
Attempts to describe migraine have been made in visual arts and literature but here, for the first time, Alice Trueman creates a piece of sonic art – a musical evocation that unlocks the nature of the attack. A migraineur herself, Alice’s music underscores the sensory disorientation and sense of altered reality experienced by many sufferers during a migraine, initiating non-sufferers into this other-worldly experience.
Central to the soundscape are the first-hand experiences of migraine sufferers celebrated for their creative work, including artist JJ Ignatious Brennan, writer Lydia Ruffles and sculptor David Stephenson. While none welcome the migraine muse, some acknowledge its role in their creativity – a possibility that is explored with expert neurologist and historian of medicine, Dr Mark Weatherall.
Migraines are often described as an “invisible illness”, taking place entirely within the sufferer’s own private sensory sphere. Art of Now: Migraine brings these experiences out of the sufferer’s darkened room and into the open for all to understand.
BBC Radio 4
Transmission Date Tuesday 25th June 2019, 11.30am
Composer Alice Trueman
Producer Anna Scott-Brown
Jude Rees – Oboe, woodwind and saxophone
Alice Trueman – Violin
Joe Geoghan – Guitar
An Overtone production for BBC Radio 4.