POST TRAUMA

Collaborative album generated from audio of artist’s MRI on 4/13/17

My own experience with MRIs started in 2014, when I had a terrible headache for days and a doctor ordered an urgent scan for me. I had no idea what it would show, but the last thing on my mind was that I would end up being diagnosed with a brain tumor. I have had eighteen MRIs since and will continue to have about four a year for the rest of my life.

They are traumatic experiences in multiple ways. To begin with, they are simply time consuming, taking an entire day out of my life. They are also costly; the average MRI is $2,600. And they are simply traumatic to my body in that specific moment in time. I am stuck with a needle and injected with a contrast agent that goes through my body and reacts to the various magnetic fields. I am strapped to a table, unable to move in a small space, and subjected to deafening sounds for around forty minutes. Most significantly, these scans have changed my life. They are intrinsically linked to the fact that I have cancer. Their results literally mean life or death for me.

MRI stands for ‘magnetic resonance imaging’ and they work by using strong magnetic fields, radio waves, and field gradients to generate images of the organs in the body. You are placed on a table, hooked up to an IV, and strapped down to prevent movement for the duration of the scan, which can be anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours. They give you earplugs, but even with them the sound is absolutely deafening to the point where you can feel the machine actually vibrate with the force.

Needless to say, they are not pleasant, and the auditory aspect is one of the most significant parts of the experience. That’s why I felt it would be incredible to have that sound transformed into something positive and creative. My community has become so important to me in these last few years, and my recent work has actively engaged in, and directly embraced that community. When I originally asked for someone who might collaborate on an audio track I had no idea what I’d get back. Not surprisingly, people responded with such generosity, so I’m thrilled to present what grew into a greater collaborative project that I had ever envisioned. I invite you to listen to their various aesthetic reinterpretations.

(This is an ongoing project. Please contact me if you would like to participate.)