The Music As Medicine Project (MAM) was created by Lydia Violet Harutoonian, M.A, lifetime musician and dedicated student of Joanna Macy's. While pursuing her Masters in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Lydia entered an in-depth study of some of the history and perspectives that have generated our current planetary crisis. For the past 9 years she has studied closely with deep ecology elder and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy, learning how we can metabolize our pain and care for the world into profound resilience and energy for action. She is also an accomplished musician who is deeply inspired by folk, blues, and protest music traditions.
Lydia has facilitated Macy's Work That Reconnects (WTR) for the past 9 years, a set of teachings and group exercises that help build clarity of vision, fierce compassion, wisdom, and creative responses to challenging eco-socio-political times. As we move through both the dangers and awakenings we currently face as a people, this work offers tools, meditations, and concepts that we can rest into, connecting to our desires to be effective allies to both planet and people. Three years ago Lydia collaborated with Rising Appalachia and Penny Livingston to offer the first "Music As Medicine In Our Time" workshop, weaving the WTR with learning and experiencing music as a formative way of cultivating individual and community resilience. The depth of discovery and connection in this first workshop launched Lydia into a new trajectory of her work as she repeatedly experienced the spiritual and emotional sustenance this work offers. These times are indeed heartbreaking. This organization is dedicated to helping keep the spirit of the people fed so that we have the energy and tools to stay engaged in this critical time on our planet.
As Joanna journeys into her 10th decade of life, Music As Medicine is committed to being a community resource for this work that has nourished thousands of communities around the world. Lydia's dedicated apprenticeship and loving friendship with Joanna has fostered a strong intention to be a pillar in the Work That Reconnects and larger community.
Music As Medicine has had the honor of creating concerts as part of our workshops with profound artists such as Rising Appalachia, MaMuse, Ayla Nereo, and Lydia Violet herself. Last summer Revival Events produced the "Salish Sea Revival Tour," where Lydia offered MAM workshops and concerts at 9 stops along the Salish Sea. In her music project Lydia combines fiddle, banjo, and soulful 3-part harmonies to offer a soul-folk revival experience.