Beyond Skin - MindHarp Workshop
Developed by Mark Smulian and Stewart Redpath, The MindHarp™ enables anyone to engage actively in music. Proven over years of testing and development, it is a deeply rewarding and enriching activity and is employed regularly in the field of stress and anxiety. The MindHarp requires no musical technique, background or prior skill. It is completely accessible to all. It is played via a simple interface on an Apple iPAD and iPHONE and can be used anywhere. The player simply touches coloured and numbered pads which trigger very carefully designed and harmonised musical sounds. It is impossible to play a ‘wrong note’.
The first version of the technology was developed as a creative activity to engage and stimulate people living with dementia, realising the impact the MIndHarp benefits everyone for nurturing good mental health. The Mindharp combines software and focused workshop & training programmes based in the Codes of Behaviour.
Each sound on the Mindharp™ is carefully composed and crafted. Each sound even has a story. The pitch, tone, vibration & melody represent years of research with Mark’s experience working in areas of Conflict and Post Conflict where stress and trauma consumed people’s lives. The sounds have a sonic dialogue quality stimulating and releasing hormones in the brain (the endochrinal system) and represent the healing & uniting power that sound and music has played in Mark’s story as a Soldier, Peace Activist, Musician, Producer and Sound Therapist.
The MindHarp™ is about togetherness & healing. It is welcoming, inclusive & clever technology that brings people into a safe place in the now where they can freely express themselves and start a shared journey of healing & dialogue through sound. The MindHarp programme meets peoples’ needs in dealing with the past, nurturing a sense of belonging in the present and reducing fears of the future.
Mindharp director Mark Smulian has pioneered peace building projects in the Middle East using music & sound as dialogue in conflict zones and an educational tool to unite divided communities. Mark was also a co-founder of www.heartbeat.fm an organisation uniting youth from Palestine and Israel through music and is a member of the #ArtsDialogue collective. Mark and his business partner Stewart Redpath invented the MindHarp application. Mark has helped facilitate many projects/events in Northern Ireland as part of the #ArtsDialogue programme with Beyond Skin and partners. This includes activities with Holy Trinity School Cookstown, Mid Ulster Council, Millisle Youth Forum, Include Youth, Ards & North Down Council, Arts Council NI, John Paul Youth Club, National Trust NI, Omagh Academy & St Gerards Special Needs School Belfast.
"Beyond Skin is at the cutting edge of work using the arts to help tackle complex societal issues that contribute to the burden of mental illness in the UK. This project is a fantastic example of how we can use the expertise of artists to transform the lives of individuals and communities.” Dr Daisy Fancourt, Associate Professor at University College London and Director of the MARCH Network