"We are not used to silence. Music has become background noise increasingly" - Jarrod Richey, a music teacher from Luicianna, shares some thoughts on active & passive music listening. "Playing good music in the background... is about as useful as putting a foreign language audiobook on in the background while doing the dishes... Music must move to the foreground of our minds and ears. We must learn to listen actively."

March 13, 2023

AI increasingly being used in sound therapy

"Several start-ups are now using AI-generated soundscapes of ambient, downtempo and chill-out beats in hopes of having the same impact as sound therapy on issues like depression, anxiety and dementia" - Hii Magazine looks into the "increasingly growing sector that investors are paying attention to." Berlin-based Endel has an AI system that produces soundscapes to help people focus, relax and sleep. The company raised $15 million in a second round of venture capital financing earlier this year, and has over a million active users. Wavepaths, with Brian Eno as a member, is UK company that makes generative music for psychedelic therapy. It is currently used by hundreds of legal clinics in over 30 countries and has raised $4.5 million in its initial seed investment round last year. Brain.fm's algorithmic system selects from a catalogue of human-composed melodies, harmonies and chord progressions.

Functional music is defined as something “not designed for conscious listening”, often encountered on popular playlists designed to promote sleep, studying or relaxation. It is estimated that it was earning around 120 billion streams annually (Taylor Swift’s entire catalog did around 8 billion streams through all of 2022), worth over $630 million annually for recording rights holder. Not everybody is happy with it - Universal Music Group chairman Lucian Grainge wrote to staff recently that “great music” is under threat from “a flood” of “lower-quality functional content that in some cases can barely pass for ‘music.’"