Songbirds

One of my abiding memories of a deep, nourishing retreat in 2015 on the island of Inishboffin
(the island of BoVinda) is of a learned friend telling me about new research she had
found which showed that if musicians spent a certain amount of time playing or singing, they would switch on a gene in their bodies which was the same as that involved in song perception and production in songbirds. Here is part of the abstract of that article from the science journal Nature, published in March 2015:

“Here, we investigated the effect of music performance on the genome-wide peripheral blood transcriptome of professional musicians by analyzing the transcriptional responses after a 2-hr concert performance and after a ‘music-free’ control session. The up-regulated genes were found to affect dopaminergic neurotransmission, motor behavior, neuronal plasticity, and neurocognitive functions including learning and memory. Particularly, candidate genes such as SNCA, FOS and DUSP1 that are involved in song perception and production in songbirds, were identified, suggesting an evolutionary conservation in biological processes related to sound perception/production.”

Singing together, like birds in the woods, could bring us into harmony, not just with each other, but with all the singing creatures on this bright Earth.

The Inishboffin retreat is on again this year from June 27th to July 2nd—yoga, music, walking and inspiration.

Come with us. More information here.