Live from Cannes Lions: The human brain responds to sound quicker than any other sense. In most cases, sound can influence your other senses initial reaction and response according to Joel Beckerman, composer and founder of strategic music and sound studio, Man Made Music. Joel zeroed in on why sound and music are the most undervalued and underutilized tools in telling human health stories in his riveting talk at Cannes Lions on Tuesday. Joel pointed out how sound can play a role in protecting people’s health crossing a street—Nissan is creating custom sounds for all their electric-powered vehicles moving forward in an effort to mimic the audible experience of their louder gas-powered vehicles of the past that we’ve grown used to hearing. Why? People are getting hit by electric-powered vehicles because they are too quiet. Nissan’s goal is to make the driving experience safer for both driver and walker by creating custom sounds so people will hear electric-powered vehicles approaching and get out of the way.
He made a strong case for how sonification of data can create a future “Symphony of Health Care,” alleviating alarm fatigue and other environmental challenges, demonstrated how sonic branding can articulate an organizations mission but what was most interesting to me is how audio-led VR and curated sonic experiences are transforming pain management. Working in the pain category myself for years on a variety of different therapies from migraine pain to chronic lower back pain to even postherpetic neuralgia—I’ve originated and advocated for creative solutions utilizing sound and music to help patients in chronic pain many times. A number of credible clinical studies have provided substantial evidence that sound and music can decrease pain levels. I think it’s time the industry recognizes the untapped potential of how sound and music can help the health and well-being of many people today. And that will be music to my ears.