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Guitar festival strikes chord with sick and elderly

Arts

AN international guitar festival is moving beyond the concert halls to hospitals, aged care homes and suburban bars to bring the power of music to a wider audience.

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The Adelaide Guitar Festival in South Australia is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and includes performances, workshops, master classes, artist’s talks, panel discussions and programs for emerging musicians.

Organised by the Adelaide Festival Centre, the biennial event will run from August 11-14 to celebrate the world’s most popular instrument.

Adelaide Guitar Festival Artistic Director Slava Grigoryan said an extended line up of public performances in the weeks ahead of the festival’s opening would focus on a more inclusive experience.

“This year our Adelaide Guitar Festival stretches into new territory throughout the city, across platforms and encompasses new ideas and musical adventures,” he said.

“I am so excited to be bringing together leading artists who traverse many genres, to be exploring the nexus of health and music in our new Resonance program and to be working with Adelaide’s own world-class musicians.”

The Resonance program will bring world-class guitarists to nursing homes and hospital wards around South Australia’s capital Adelaide.

“Over many years there are a lot things have been researched and written about the power of music for people dealing with physical ailments, treatments, and recovery,” Grigoryan said.

“The real message behind Resonance, beyond wanting to share music and provide a health service, is we want to reach out and share the festival experience with listeners who can’t make it to the venues. That’s an important part of why we are doing this.”

It will also host a panel of musicians and medical personnel that will discuss the role of music in healing and wellbeing.

The utilisation of music as therapy has proven to relax patients, stimulate mental operations and foster socialisation.

Dr Catherine Crock from the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, will be part of the Resonance discussion panel. Dr Crock is the founder of Hush Music Foundation, which uses a compilation of soothing music in 12 children’s hospitals around Australia.

“Music has such an ability to affect your emotions. If you have the right sort of music, it can really help with the healing process,” she said.

“It goes beyond entertainment into how it’s going to emotionally impact people trying to get well or who are trying to cope in a stressful environment. It is like bringing the community together.

“Being able to have the experience brought to people who are unable to go to the festival is really a beautiful thing.”

The Adelaide Guitar Festival will also bring artists to more than 100 bars and clubs across South Australia for their Guitars in Bars event.

More than 300 artists will perform at the festival including the Punch Brothers, the Guitar Festival Symphony Gala and Bela Fleck, winner of the 2016 Grammy for Best Folk Album.

Adelaide was recently named a UNESCO City of Music alongside Seville, Glasgow and Hannover.

Adelaide’s active festival and arts scene led it to become the only Australian city named on The New York Times list of 52 places to go in 2015.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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