Music and acupuncture treatment are really one and the same to me, an extension of my spiritual expression
Batoh believes the outcome had a crippling mental effect on the country, he says, “We survivors were mentally shattered like our dead victims.”
In order to provide relief and understand the devastation, artist Batoh combined two parts of his life. His two decades of work as an acupuncturist and his his career as lead singer in 1980s experimental rock group Ghost. The plan was simple, to create an album purely dedicated to those affected by the disaster that could also act as therapy and relief. The interesting angle with his work is that Batoh sets traditional spiritual tracks and his own tracks alongside music recorded from the brainwaves of patients.
Batoh insists that talking about the experience of the disaster for most survivors became too difficult as the psyche of the majority of Japanese citizens were simply a mess.
“Human beings lie but their brain waves never lie,” says Batoh. With this in mind he created the Brain Pulse Machine, a modified EEG to measure the brain waves of earthquake victims and play them back as music. The Brain Pulse Music album mixed his own tracks with the brain waves and was released to raise money for Japanese orphans. (You can purchase the album here).
The songs recorded by Batoh on the machine are created by non-musicians, patients in therapy session settings. His long term aim is to specialise in treating not just trauma victims but disabled patients with the machine, with the hope to help normalise brain levels, combining his skills as an acupuncturist and a musician.
“For example, a patient in deep anxiety during his treatment might have brain waves that are very unstable,” Batoh explains. “I put some very, very thin acupuncture needles at certain pressure points. Immediately, and over the next 10 minutes, his brain waves calm down.“
We survivors were mentally shattered like our dead victims
The machine, created by the electric pedalboard company, consists of a headgear sensor that communicates with a mother board. EEG waves are sent via radio to the board which outputs the signal as a sound image. The patient learns to control the signal and can begin to create music from their mind with the aim to channel the mind into a meditative state allowing sensors to interpret and record the pulsations from the brain.
“Music and acupuncture treatment are really one and the same to me, an extension of my spiritual expression,” explains Batoh. “It’s a very natural thing.” Batoh’s aim was not only to help victims with his treatment but also that the album would provide relief after treatment. “The Japanese were hurt and beaten down by the great quake, very frequent aftershocks, no fuel at gas stations, no safe food and the explosions of nuclear reactors hit by the quake and tsunami. This is the requiem for dead and alive victims.”
Batoh’s ultimate objective is the use of the Brain Pulse Machine for patients with congenital abnormality of the cerebral nervous system (including developmental disorder such as ADD, ADHD and LD as well as epilepsy). The instrument is also expected to be an effective therapy for depression, panic disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome – thanks to the successful results from victims of Japan’s tsunami.