Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Joe McGuirk 

BA [Hons] Creative Music Production

Joseph McGuirk is a 23 year-old sound engineer, producer and musician from Lucan, Dublin. Joseph releases his own music as Janksy, an alternative blend of soul, rock and punk which he has been developing along his four years in Creative Music Production. Throughout his time in IADT, Joseph's interests in all areas of music have grown and his love for experimental sound art pieces has come to the forefront of his fourth year project. Joseph hopes to continue experimenting with sound design, conceptual art and recording sounds for multiple media forms.

Project Description

This project details the construction of an Adjacent Music composition. This music was composed and designed to accompany mindfulness meditation and to enhance meditative effects on the listener. The composition incorporates the psychological, physiological, and neurobiological effects of mediation into its construction. Musical characteristics like rhythm, tempo, modality are justified based on their effects on the human brain and body.

Project Objectives

Dr Kabat Zinn, hailed as the initiator of meditation studies, describes mindfulness as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally, to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.” It is here that one of the foundations of the current project is established, that to be mindful is to be aware. The goal of the project was to create a musical composition that would enhance the focus and awareness of the listener. The compostion was tested using a Sustained Attention to Response task against a control group.

How Mindfulness Meditation is Affected by Music in which its Psychological, Physiological and Neurobiological Effects are Incorporated.

Abstract: The current research project describes the creation of a musical composition designed to assist effective mindfulness mediation, by incorporating the psychological, physiological, and neurobiological effects of mediation into its construction. The project details the methodological process of the composition’s construction, based on research from the growing field of study, and tests its effectiveness in a quantitative study. The project provides a view on music’s role within the current mindfulness meditation landscape and reflects on how its effects can improve the meditative experience, and thus increase the accessibility of mediation to a wider audience. The project reveals the need for a larger study on the effects of individual musical elements within a composition, yet provides a theoretical basis from which further research can be investigated.