LSD and music are always linked, and it is now known that music alters the experience of taking the drug. Imperial College neuroscience student Mendel Kaelen has been studying music and the drug, and a big challenge is the type of music.
It has been Mendel Kaelens job to set the ideal playlist for a trip, and as it must fulfill research regulations, it has not been easy. The intent is to find a therapeutic use for the drug, and the initial attempt is to find a way to treat depression. As all therapy trials use music now it is vital the right tunes are used.
Before testing on people, the team tested the theory that drugs such as LSD improve the response to music. Volunteers listened to a few musical tracks, once after taking LSD once after taking a placebo. The tracks were largely unknown so as there would not be an immediate attachment and Brian McBride’s and Greg Haines music was used – along with others. Emotional responses were given to the tracks – were they peaceful, was their tension – and emotions were rated higher after taking LSD not the placebo. Power and tenderness were emotions that scored highly.
Kaelen has also researched using a substance found in magic mushrooms to patients who were resistant to treatment for depression, but the results are not yet available. Here the music ad to last for 6 hours and some tracks were taken from the list of Helen Bonney, a music therapist in the 1960’s.