Sonic Elixir

Mary Poppins sang about a spoonful of sugar helping the medicine go down.  For me, music is the medicine and the sweetness is that wordless place where vibration rings from a guitar string straight to my heart.

Oh, how I love words.  But the mind grows tired sometimes and there is nothing like a little pause on the mental wheels.

With music, just a few sonic notes can resonate through the air and ripple through to raise the hair on the back of your neck.  Reverberate through your core.  Unlock the front door to your most sacred dwelling with one chord change, leaving words to stammer on the doorstep still riddling the password.

Stop.  It’s time to listen.  Let the hearing feel.  Maybe move.  Or just be stilled.

It’s a sonic elixir. A sweet nectar.  Music is the way to remind me I’m alive.

Celebrating this love of music, I host a radio program, “Music as Medicine,” every other Monday on Kauai Community Radio.  The show has its own blog here in WordPress (see left sidebar) and I’ve just posted the playlist from this week’s program.

Inspired by an influx of new music, Music as Medicine’s latest post features a new track from Alexi Murdoch,

courtesy of

a live recording of The Head and the Heart at KEXP and a video of Alela Diane at home in Portland, OR.

Lately, it’s the Archives, here, that seem to get my greatest attention.  But this morning I’m reminded…you can’t forget the music.  It’s the soundtrack in the background behind all of these wild, running thoughts.  Songs that weave together all of these stories.  The spoonful of sweetness that brings the flavor to the moment – rich and delicious.

courtesy of

November 1, 2010

I’m confessing here (albeit, publicly) that I’m nervous for my radio show today.  Music as Medicine is being called to community radio duty and that entails raising money on the air to support Kauai Community Radio, our island’s volunteer-powered station.  The goal is set for $1100 to be donated during my 2 hour set.

On the Music as Medicine blog I’ll promote the show and offer inspiring and encouraging words of support for KKCR.  It truly is a fantastic community radio station that lives close to my heart.  I’ll tell all my Friends on Facebook to tune in and donate to the cause with hearty enthusiasm.

For some reason, only here in the Archives will I confess my anxiety.  There’s always the chance that no one will call and I will have to quietly end the program without mentioning that I’ve fallen short of my goal.  Today’s show is a bit more nerve-wracking than usual since my typical co-host and ‘pitch partner’ will not be with me.

Up in the dark at 5:45am this morning, I’ve been perusing my iTunes library creating a set list for today’s program and sorting a list of recommended tracks to offer callers that make a donation.  Wondering if I’ve simply piled too much on to my life plate (three fundraisers, multiple clients, doubled workload and a pending trip to California) I listen to Josh Garrel’s “Season of Rain” track from his album Jacaranda.

Here in the beginning light of the day I am instantly transported to a place that only the vibration of sound can bring.  All is perfect and life is good.

Ahhh…the power of music.  It’s good medicine!

Tune in today if you can – 3-5 Hawaii Standard Time on

photo by Jessica Dofflemyer

Here’s to open doors…