Cork musicians STOMP with legendary percussionists to show effects of music on brain

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Hot on the heels of Brain Awareness Week last week, UCC’s music department has teamed up with musicians and medical researchers and members of legendary body-percussion troupe STOMP to create a very special music video, premiering at 11am today.

‘Stomping Out Loud! Music and the Brain’ sees Dr. Eva McMullan, lecturer at UCC’s Department of Music, joined up with APC Microbiome Ireland researchers to perform body percussion composed by the co-founders of STOMP; and the UCC Choir to perform an Allen Billingsley arrangement of the Pentatonix cover of US folk outfit Fleet Foxes’ song ‘White Winter Hymnal’.

Dr Eva McMullan: researching the positive effects of music on brain health

Dr Eva McMullan: researching the positive effects of music on brain health

The video was inspired by McMullan’s MSc project, which investigates the neurological effects of musical training in children with Down Syndrome. A lecturer in UCC’s Department of Music and director of the University College Cork Choir, she believes that music has a positive impact on mental health.

“We want to empower those that are suffering with mental illness with a knowledge of the power of music on brain health. We hope to encourage policy-makers and those in government to see music not just as a creative outlet but an integral factor in brain health. (This video) showcases how all ages and demographics are receptive to the transformative power of music underscoring the need for deeper research in the area.” 

STOMP, founded by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, is a dynamic percussion group that has received much international recognition for their innovative compositions, and have lent their support to the initiative, with help on composition.

Frankie Sheahan: Munster and Ireland rugby veteran chimes in with an intro

Frankie Sheahan: Munster and Ireland rugby veteran chimes in with an intro

An intro to the piece was also recorded by former Irish rugby international Frankie Sheahan, whose mother is a member of the UCC Choir. “Going back to my rugby playing days, we always used music and I did going to matches. It really helped, promoted, getting into that peak-flow state, to maximise my performance when it came to big matches. It has really helped me in all of those areas of well being and helping to lift your mood”, he says.

APC Microbiome Ireland staff and researchers engaged with the project by recording their end of the piece, while further percussion was performed for the video by residents of Haven Bay Care Centre, Kinsale, Brian Morrissey and his extended family, Livvy McElligott, Zach Sexton and Oscar and Louis Slattery, while audiovisual editing was handled by UCC Music Department graduate and experimental musician JJ Riordan.

‘Stomping Out Loud! Music and the Brain’ will start in the widget below, between 11am and 11.05am today.

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