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The Power of Music

Human sound has power.  It's a human 'thing'.  Other species do it too. But not quite like us humans. We use it to such great effect it's made us who we are on this planet.

We have an immense communication repertoire. The sounds we make are so sophisticated that we can not only act together in great symphonies of sound but also co-operate so magnificently that projects such as the James Webb space telescope enable us to view the farthest depths of space. 

However at another level few of us have little idea how deep its influence is. 

The articles below outline how sound and organised sound, which we know as 'music', influence us powerfully at an unconscious level. It can take us into the realms of bliss but under other circumstances can place us at risk.


Entrainment in the biomusicological sense refers to the synchronisation of organisms to an external perceived rhythm such as human music and dance.  Examples are such behaviours as involuntary foot tapping to music, sympathetic resonance between two violin strings and finding oneself walking in rhythm to the background music played in a hotel or railway station.


Entrainment can happen when music takes us to 'another space' - we 'bliss out'.  We often talk about people blissfully living in their 'bubble'.  We talk about politicians living in their bubble of reality not necessarily aware of the lives of others. We run the risk of becoming entrained by our own 'bubbles'. Before you choose to believe that you don't have your own bubble just be aware that the likes of Google and Facebook know about your bubble. They like to feed your 'bubble'.  They think they know what you like...more

Toxic Forms of Improvisation – The Coercive Controller’s Tool Kit

Let’s be clear. This article will be upsetting for some. The scope of this article is very much the far end of the leadership spectrum. This is where Autocratic becomes toxic. It is important, despite how distasteful the subject, to be aware of this domain which lies far off the end of what would be considered a ‘normal’ leadership style.  Improvisation, everyone will recognise, is about ‘making stuff up’. Musical improvisation can be a beautiful thing. This almost goes without saying. But even in the music domain it is possible to have toxic events occur...more

The Magic of Group Free Intuitive Sound Improvisation

There are many different interpretations of sound improvisation.   For many, when the word 'improvisation' is mentioned, jazz or Indian music may be brought to mind.   Others may have experienced music improvisation through music therapy.   The classically trained are often expected, as part of their practice, to develop skills in extemporisation...more

The Business of Free Improvisation

I have frequently surprised myself, in the middle of pretty heavy negotiations, finding myself borrowing from my musical experience, particularly sound improvisation as a potential solution to a business problem.  It is often said that improvisation in the business world is something we do only when things go wrong, when things aren't working out, or maybe when we need to ‘chill out’ on a company incentive...more

The Successful Improvising Organisation - 'The Pre-conditions'

Treat these 'pre-conditions' as working principles as you facilitate the development of your organisation, workshop, negotiation, training programme, business, team, band, musical group or jazz band. Start with these pre-conditions in mind.  Whatever you are creating is much more likely to be capable of riding the storms of instability in this 'Age of Chaos'...more

Improvisational Values

This article focuses on the experience and value of freely improvised sound-work and what it can do for the participant.  Imagine that you knew nothing about sound-work and then ask yourself why might a perfectly rational person choose to involve themselves in such irrational, outlandish and strange experiences? ...more

Improvisational Worlds

This short article describes how the potential of music improvisation might offer an effective route for the progressive development of improvisation within a team, class or group and highlights how the relationship between creative and group dynamics can be used to illustrate improvisational stages of development...more

Mastering Chaos®

Musical leadership is leadership 'in the moment' guiding complex simultaneous activities. Musicians will lead themselves and their 'team'; their band or orchestra, in a variety of different styles to suit the piece. The leadership style must 'fit', relate to what is happening now, with a sense of what's coming towards them, hopefully leading to the best outcome. Use the wrong 'style' of musical leadership and 'it just doesn't happen.'...more

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