Music at the Edge invites the reader to experience a complete music therapy journey through the words and music of the client, and the therapist’s reflections. Francis, a musician living with AIDS, challenged Colin Andrew Lee, the music therapist, to help clarify his feelings about living and dying. The relationship that developed between them enabled Francis the opportunity to reconsider the meaning of his life and subsequent physical decline, within a musical context.
First published in 1996, Music at the Edge is a unique and compelling music therapy case study. In this new edition of the highly successful book, Colin retains the force of the original text through the lens of contemporary music therapy theory. This edition also includes more detailed narrative responses from the author and his role as a therapist and gay man. Central to the book are the audio examples from the sessions themselves. The improvisations Francis played and his insightful verbal explorations provide an extraordinary glimpse into the therapeutic process when working in palliative and end-of-life care.
This illuminating book offers therapists, musicians, related professionals and those working with, or facing, illness and death a unique glimpse into the transcendent powers of music. It is also relevant to anyone interested in the creative account of a pianist’s discovery of life and death through music.
"A ground-breaking book in its first edition, the second edition of Music at the Edge continues to challenge, stimulate, and inspire in ways that further develop the arguments presented in the original. Readers of the first text will benefit from Colin Andrew Lee’s ability to look back and reinterpret the events of a seminal course of music therapy within a broadened personal and professional context; readers discovering this text for the first time will discover how the written word and accompanying recordings combine to provide a singular experience with clinical, artistic, and eminently human dimensions." - Kenneth Aigen, New York University
"This outstanding book describes the powerful journey of Francis, a middle aged musician who lived and died of AIDS; and Colin, his music therapist. This book is unique in bringing both client's and therapist's struggles and dilemmas loud and clear. Music at the Edge invites the reader to deeply experience this intimate journey while reading the book and listening to Francis' piano improvisations that took place in his music therapy process. I recommend this book to any human being who wants to dive into the depth of feelings and emotions concerning the challenges of life and death. The journey Francis and Colin took changed both their lives. Reading this book changed my life too." - Prof. Dorit Amir, DA, CMT; Head of the Music Therapy Program at Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
"Music at the Edge is a brave account of how deep and complex a therapist-client relationship can become within the context of joint music-making. In this moving case, Dr. Lee demonstrates how music therapy can take a primary role in end of life care." - Kenneth Bruscia, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Music Therapy, Temple University