Delirium is an ongoing music/research project looking at hospital-induced delirium.
Delirium Part I is an hour-long song-cycle based on work with the Reading ICU Support Group (UK) in 2012/13. Delirium Part II is a 45-minute composition based on research at Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre (Johannesburg, South Africa) in 2016/17.
Both compositions combine interviews with people who have experienced delirium, carers and health professionals, with original music. Part II also uses a lot of ambient sound from the hospital itself.
The work has been presented in clinical and non-clinical settings in the UK and South Africa, from the Royal College of Psychiatry’s Trainee Liaison Psychiatry Conference to medical students at Imperial College and the University of the Witwatersrand, to the Green Man Festival and BBC6 Music.
“An amazing piece of work, so sobering, real and true; this work needs to be heard [by] all ICU staff […] a lesson in humanity and sensory input” Kim Walmach, Transplant Coordinator and former ICU nurse.
Part II was premiered at the University of the Witwatersrand on 2 March 2017. It is based on interviews and hospital recordings, undertaken with the support of the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre research office. It is performed by Victoria Hume, Chris Letcher and Waldo Alexander, and mixed by Chris Letcher. You can read a 2019 blog about it here on the BMJ Medical Humanities blogs page, as well as an article here in Medicine Anthropology Theory (April 2018).
Part I was premiered in London’s Old Operating Theatre in summer 2013, and has since been performed at the Green Man Festival, the Royal College of Psychiatry, Manchester Metropolitan University, the International Conference of Culture, Health & Wellbeing (Bristol), the Vortex (London), and the Wits Institute for Social Economic Research (Johannesburg). Part I was composed and produced by Victoria Hume with additional arrangements by Quinta and Christopher Reed. Performed by Victoria Hume, Quinta, Christopher Reed and Adem Ilhan, and mixed by Victoria Hume and Adem Ilhan.
Sincere thanks to the Reading ICU Support Group and to other interviewees who generously gave their time and voices to this project – without whom this would not have been possible.
Delirium Parts I and II were supported by the PRS Foundation for Music’s Women Make Music scheme. Delirium Part II was also supported by the Composers’ National Collegium (South Africa), the Anton Hartman Trust Bursary, and the Division of Music, Wits School of Arts (University of the Witwatersrand).
To find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The full masters thesis is available here via the University of the Witwatersrand.