Museum halls come alive with the sound of patient health data

north west icon North West Coast

Posted on the 1st October 2019

Manchester Museum came alive with the sound of health data at a special concert to celebrate our Connected Health Cities (CHC) programme.

Composers from the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) met researchers from the four CHC regions in the North of England to transform five key projects into contemporary musical pieces to show how health data is being used in harmony with research.

Doctoral composers, from the RNCM’s Centre for Practice and Research in Science and Music (PRiSM) performed their pieces before a packed audience at #MusicSaysDataSavesLives – a concert inspired by health data projects ranging from tackling antibiotic resistance to improving care for stroke patients.

The new pieces were created by Caroline Bordignon, Nate Chivers, Tywi Roberts, Isabel Benito Gutiérrez and Zakiya Leeming and performed by RNCM wind quintet, Festivo Winds, interspersed with conversations between each composer and a researcher from the project that inspired them.

Composer Nate Chivers worked with the North West Coast CHC’s Public Involvement and Engagement Senate (PIES) for his commission, to learn how data is improving care pathways for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), epilepsy and alcohol-related illnesses.

From this, Nate created a musical piece entitled Connected. He explained: “After meeting Debbie and the PIES group, I spent the train ride home thinking about how to put my piece of music together.

“I came up with the concept of the electric guitar representing the patient while the wind quartet would be the data travelling through the hospitals.

“The motives pass from the guitar to the quintet with their different sounds. Yet, all these differences contribute, connect and work with each other to create a harmonious piece like what the PIES team and CHC are trying to do.”

CHC’s deputy director and chief operating officer, Dr Amanda Lamb, added: “Communication through music has expanded our #DataSavesLives message by bringing together two complementary worlds. To hear our journey explained through this medium has been a moving experience.”

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