"When the magic of notes is a restorative path in the face of a serious illness"
This project is led by Dr Andreu Gabarrós, MD, PhD, head of the Neurosurgery department at Bellvitge University Hospital. Dr Gabarrós is an acknowledged specialist, both on a national and international level, in the field of brain surgery with more than 25 years of experience in the fields of care and research.
The project aims to raise awareness of the impact of brain tumours on patients, the increase in survival rates in recent years thanks to improved surgical techniques, and the need to invest in research to slow down the progression of tumours and their recurrence.
Dr Gabarrós combines clinical practice with his passion for music: he is the composer, lyricist, keyboardist, and vocalist of the rock band Dorigen.
Through the project "Simfonia dels herois" (Catalan for Symphony of Heroes), he pursues to acknowledge the efforts made by patients who have undergone brain tumour surgery. To do so, Dr Gabarrós chose 9 patients who were musicians, composed a song for and invited each one of them to join. The Doctor adapted every piece to suit the instrument played by each patient. To close the album, he chose the choral song "Simfonia dels herois", which gives name to the project and is the only one with the participation of all patients.
The project has the support of Bellvitge Biomedical Institute (IDIBELL) and the Cataln Institute of Oncology (ICO).
"Each patient is a story of struggle and overcoming"
Bellvitge University Hospital is a worldwide reference in pre-surgical and surgical techniques for the preservation of the language area during brain tumour surgery. This is a key factor in avoiding permanent neurological deficits, with a major impact on the quality of life of patients.
Music is a language. Consequently, brain areas that activate in musician patients when singing or playing an instrument are previously identified. While undergoing surgery, they are requested to speak and/or play their instrument in an attempt to preserve these areas that allow them to develop musical skills.
Brain tumour surgeries are highly complex. Patients often recover slowly, and even change their personality, mindset, worldview, or relationship with their family and friends. They become, in some way, another person. This project aims to pay tribute to them and raise awareness about a disease that has made progress in surgical resolution and survival. Nevertheless, much remains to be done in the field of research into treatments to slow down the evolution and recurrence of brain tumours.
Beyond the idea of recognition, the project also emphasises the idea of hope. Brain tumours can be treated and do not necessarily have to leave sequelae. Musicians who have undergone brain tumour surgery but can still play an instrument or sing as they used to before the operation is the best example, as is their survival over the years.
The protagonists of The Symphony of Heroes
What the project involves
The project consists of three main products: an album, a concert, and a documentary.
It will include the 9 songs dedicated to each patient and the choral symphony. A large project that has been in the making for many months and has required extraordinary dedication to adapt the songs to the characteristics of each patient or instrument, as well as many studio hours to make it a reality.
The charity release concert
This is the main event and official release of the project. It is scheduled on 11 May at 8 p.m. at Teatre Joventut (L'Hospitalet, Barcelona Metropolitan Area) thanks to the free cession by the City Council.
The concert is aimed to present the songs in the record. Each theme will be performed live by Dr Gabarrós' band "Dorigen", and by the patient to whom the song has been dedicated. In the case of those patients who have passed away, their relatives will take their place. The performance will also be joined by well-known singers who will help the patient out on stage. Barcelona-based top artists and musicians Ramon Mirabet, Manu Guix, Elena Gadel, Marina Rosell, Estopa, Antonio Orozco, Carles Benavent and Gerard Quintana have confirmed their presence. Also, the British singer, songwriter, and guitarist Mark Knopfler is joining this solidarity project by disseminating the message of hope through his media. Three choirs (the College of Physicians of Barcelona Orchestra, Gregal dels Lluïsos de Gràcia, and Barcelona Biomedical Research Park) are joining the concert too. All of them participate in an entirely altruistic way. Before each performance, a 1-minute video about the story of the patient will be shown.
The concert will end with the performance of the choral theme Symphony of Heroes by patients, professional musicians, the orchestra, and choirs, all together on stage. The illusionist and magician Mago Pop will join them through a live connexion from the United States, and also the singer, Judith Nedderman.
All attendees will receive the concert programme and a booklet including the story of patients, the lyrics, and a QR code to download the album.
In this link you can make your donation to help brain tumor research.