On November 12th, 2013, Prof. Morrow gave a TED Talk at the TEDx Bellingham event in Bellingham, Washington. Morrow’s talk was titled “Better Living Through Music”, and addressed the themes of his award-winning feature film musical Everything Went Down. The film tells the story of a young college professor who has become a shell of a person following the death two years earlier of his wife. Crippled by a numbing grief, he’s succeeded at shutting himself off from the world. At the same time, a young singer-songwriter has begun to lose faith in the struggle to make a name for herself as a musician. Bogged down by the pressures of turning her art into commerce, she has lost sight of why she wanted to make music in the first place. The film chronicles the budding friendship between the professor and the singer, as the energy and beauty of her music begins to bring him back to life, and the value of her songs to this man reawakens her to the merits of making music.
The film was inspired in part by Prof. Morrow’s work with the Philadelphia-based Arts and the Quality of Life Research Center, which promotes research, training, and innovative programs that demonstrate the unique role of the arts in making a difference in people’s lives. The Center has secured multiple grants for art and music therapy programs from such groups as The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Prof. Morrow produced Arts at your Side, a documentary for that Center that profiles a number of music therapy projects, including a songwriting program for at-risk inner-city youth and a music composition program for children with spinal cord injuries.
Morrow’s talk focused on the inspiration for and production of his film, in addition to a broader look at the healing and therapeutic value of music and art.
Watch the talk here:
Photos from the event (courtesy of TEDx Bellingham)