When Music Heals
Cynthia Cherish Malaran considers music medicine.
As an early-thirty-something freelance graphic designer, she was successful and wealthy, but horribly unhappy. She’d grown up loving art and music, but repressed the breadth of her creative ambition to please strict parents no success in the arts — no matter how great — could ever please.
Then a longboarding accident in Sweden shattered her teeth, broke both of her kneecaps and one shoulder, left her with her Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). She returned home to New York City with amnesia and, for almost two years, neither time nor therapy could bring memories back.
One day, the Paul Anka song Lonely Girl started to trigger something that had been lost deep in the recesses of her mind. “I felt recharged,” she says. As she dove into listening to music from the seventies through the nineties, more memories returned. She decided to release the angry, guilty person she’d been before. She got a divorce from the husband she barely recognized. And she embraced the powerful jolt that music brought to her life; a jolt she wanted to share. While continuing to recover, she started DJing “Penny Parties” for charities and at coffee shops, spinning for a cent and learning the craft as she went.