Press the dates to hear other fragments of the diary. Press the dates to hear other fragments of the dia

This is a diary of a person reluctant to diaries, an aversion caused by my incompetence of keeping one.

Prescript (or a stream of intrusive advice): First listen to the audio-fragment. Use headphones to do so. Start reading when the piece is over. Reading becomes easier in the dark. But do not sit under a willow tree.

Prescript (or a stream of intrusive advice): First listen to the audio-fragment. Use headphones to do so. Start reading when the piece is over. Reading becomes easier in the dark. But do not sit under a willow tree.

Thursday, 15th

Impulsive Incantations

Impulsive Incantations

Sunday, 7th

Friday, 12th

Friday, 20th

1. Prologue

Migraine is the third most prevalent illness in the world, affecting up to 11% percent of the population (European Brain Council 2020). This neurological syndrome comes in different shapes and shadows. Violent one-sided headaches that drone their way through cheeks, teeth, necks and limbs, or a florid nausea erupting into a flux of emesis, auras and other visual disturbances, hallucinations of all sorts, aphasia and word-finding deficits, abnormal bodily sensations, temporal distortions, disturbances of identity, mood fluctuations and inexplicable fears (Restak 2006). These symptoms form the constellation of an intriguing migraine universe. One could suffer sporadically from one of those or be chronically impaired by all of them. 


When migraine enters, my body is reduced to an immovable lump of misery – an asexual blob of being without strength or focus. Unable to leave the bed or tilt the head, the sounding of a voice is all that’s left. But unavoidably this voice is heavily impacted by a syndrome that strikes with such great force. Abducted from its surroundings, silenced by pain and jumbled by migraine-specific symptoms, the voice resonates in adjusted volumes, is tuned to an accustomed timbre and is teased by tempered talkativity. As a migraine-suffering singer I witness and experience these alterations. Frequently, routinely and almost faithfully, I retreat to my blackened bedroom when migraine manifests. Lying in silence, I notice how little of my vocal instrument remains intact and how distorted our relation becomes under the circumstances. When respiration is dominated by a flux of pain and vomit rather than a controlled movement of the diaphragm, all technicalities are undone and morph into something more urgent, more immediate, more direct. This thin sheet of muscle between the thorax and the abdomen is now subjected to my bodily needs instead of some composer’s idiolect. Intrigued by the aesthetics of a failing voice in a failing body, I wonder what failure might teach us about the essence of being voiced. 


In my attempt to find out, I turn to the migraine diary, a recording device that is indispensable in the life of the migraine sufferer and therefore particularly relevant to this project. In order to understand the body and what triggers its misery, the migraineur keeps a health journal. Foods, social affairs, lack of sleep and even the weather are documented and analysed in this little book of consumption and compunction. The level of pain is reported and the emotional impact carefully described. These diaries are intended to retrace one’s steps, track down the roots of an attack and to map out the danger zones for the future. What to avoid? What to hold off, fend off, shuffle or shake off and what to permit? Where to look for shelter? I am reinterpreting the concept of a health journal by creating a sung sound diary out of vocal fragments that I collect by recording my own utterings every time I make a descent into the abysses of migraine, and by capturing my cries of wonder while promenading its mysterious voids. 


What follows is the outline of a theoretical framework, located on the crossing between the theory of voice and disability studies. This exposition touches upon the impact of migraine on the voice and attends to the many ways in which the migraine voice is failing. I argue for the potential of these disruptions in expanding our understanding of the voice and study these defciencies on a theoretical level in order to amplify them and make them resonate through my artistic practice as a migraining singer.

The vocal composition embedded in this research, Impulsive Incantations aims at capturing the voice of the migraine sufferer through evocative text, vocal improvisations and a migrainous singing technique. Both practice and theory are the consequence of an iterative process; a dwelling between an outside-in and an inside-out approach. Therefore, each chapter of this exposition does not result into a separate musical section. Rather, I seek, in these theoretical concepts, a structural approach that could guide me beyond a mere representation of symptoms. And although many of my symptoms are to be detected in the piece (the pulsating quality of the pain, the intensity of the one-sided headache, the gagging of the voice as it vomits, the sensitivity of the skin, a general sense of malaise, phonophobia, aphasia, confusion, etc.), they are not at the heart of what this work aims to convey. I do not wish to represent my migrainous symptoms in a vocal piece, for a mere representation would always fall short of the actual experience. Rather, I aim at catching and corporealizing my conceptual findings and personal experiences in a sung sound diary, in order to search for an aesthetic of failure. I am convinced that much is to be learned from the sounding of a failing voice. 


In his book A Voice and Nothing More, Slovene philosopher Mladen Dolar distinguishes between two widespread uses of the voice. We can infer from his theorizing that the migraining voice fails at both obvious functions. On the one hand, it breaks down as a bearer of meaning (for migraine undoes speech in its signifying purpose) and on the other hand, it falls short at being a source of aesthetic admiration (migraine counteracts vocal technique, forcing the singer into a state far beyond amateurism). What remains is a voice that answers to Dolar’s description: “an object voice that does not go up in smoke in the conveyance of meaning, and does not solidify in an object of fetish reverence, but an object which functions as a blind spot in the call and as a disturbance of aesthetic appreciation” (Dolar 2006, 4). In this study I wonder whether through its failure, the migraining voice, captured in a sung sound diary, might be able to go beyond its widespread uses and lay bare what Dolar suggests as a third way of understanding voice.


It needs to be stated that this is a personal testimony, based on my own migrainous experiences. Other migraineurs might relate to some, others to none of the phenomena mentioned in this exposition, for migraine has many faces.

A silent spell, a hidden hell,a ting ting tingeling bell and soon it'll all be well.

Wednesday, 11th

Towards a Vocal Diary

Monday, 28th

Towards a Vocal Diary

a headache will come.

3. The Voice is Failing:

a Communicative Complication


In order to find adequate treatment, the sufferer needs to make the world aware of her torment. But during these painful blackouts, all coherence seems lost, all sense of temporality damaged and all desire for language destroyed. When the attack hits and the migraineur retreats into her darkened fortress, she finds herself in an untellable and therefore unsharable situation. As Scarry suggests, pain resists being verbalized and it even tends to actively destroy language. Pain occupies the brain and causes us to regress to a state anterior to language, to the sounds and cries a human being makes before language is learned (Scarry 1985: 4). In the attempt to describe her sufferings, the migraineur stammers and falls silent. She grunts and groans but fails to name her pain. Physical pain eradicates all but itself, and so the sufferer can only raise her voice to fire a primordial howl in the hope of making her inner torment known. The scream, as an outcry of agony, will expel the pain from the body and announce it to the world. As Brandon LaBelle suggests in Lexicon of the Mouth the propagation of pain, by a voice that has been raised, usually exceeds the volume of normal conversation in order to be perceptible - it is loud because it needs to be heard (LaBelle 2014). The migrainous outcry, however, does not succeed in bellowing above the buzzing of common conference. Due to phonophobia, a hypersensitivity to all sounds and noises (even to the ones she produces herself), the migraineur fails to shout out her sufferings. The sound of her own voice hollering would only make the pain substantially more severe, and her aversion to loudness will consequently keep her silent. Her torment is merely suggested in sighs and soundless moaning and her search for help can only start when migraine has melted away.  


In the hope of putting her Sisyphean dance to an end, she consults countless doctors and many specialists. But hardly any migraine sufferer is capable of seeking medical treatment when fully consumed by an attack, as hospitals with flickering lights and noisy waiting rooms become inhospitable and must be avoided at all cost. She only speaks about her suffering in retrospect, making a reconstruction of her maladies while being in good health, only to be frowned upon suspiciously by yet another doctor seemingly in doubt. He too acknowledges the challenges of speaking about pain. Well aware of the communicational divide that needs to be bridged he proposes to having her express the severity of her ache through the indication of a number from zero (no pain) to five (as if she were on fire). Without having any experience of the latter, she politely points at number four but returns to the privacy of her bedroom unheard and unhealed. 


According to Scarry, the difficulty of verbalizing physical pain lies in the fact that pain lacks ‘intentionality’ or ‘aboutness.’ This private and hidden sentience does not refer to any object perceivable in our shared world. Mid-attack, we are triggered by many sensations. We see the sun as she punctures our secluded black box. We hear the rumble and stumble downstairs. We smell the bile as it exits the body, desire the migraine to lift and fear its return. We would like to describe our pain as we describe what we see, hear, smell, desire or fear but find ourselves unable to. Unlike pain, all of these sensations refer to a perceptible object in the external world. We easily illustrate their features like size and color, but pain lacks such referential content


We often turn to the linguistic structure of the metaphor to compensate for this absence. Our imagination becomes an essential tool to help us speak of what we feel inside in terms of what is perceptible around us. Scarry points out that in the attempt to describe our pain we turn to two kinds of metaphors (Scarry 1985). The first type is the weapon metaphor – an external pain-giving agent or object inflicts pain on the body by attacking it from the outside: ‘the devil hit me’ or ‘I’ve got a hammering headache.’ The second type of metaphor depicts bodily damage that isn’t really there: ‘It feels as if my skull has been scattered to pieces’. These ‘metaphors of agency’ might be a very fruitful first attempt to restore the communicative bridge but we nonetheless need to use them with a certain caution. In his beautiful migraine diary, A Brain Wider Than The Sky, American author Andrew Levy argues that the frequent use of metaphors might be problematic because they don’t really tell the truth. They convey a sense of “visceral unease” (Levy 2009: 51), but no one - neither sufferer nor non-sufferer - really knows how it feels to have your brain sliced up or to find your hair on fire. Because of its effect, the metaphor, he argues, is perceived to be a close-to ‘correct’ illustration, but it is misleadingly incorrect. In the book Metaphors We Live By, cognitive linguist George Lakoff and philosopher Mark Johnson substantiate this argument by stating that “a metaphorical concept can keep us from focusing on other aspects of the concept that are inconsistent with that metaphor” (Lakoff & Johnson 1980: 10). ‘Metaphors of agency’, Scarry observes, only describe the attributes of pain and not the actual sensation (Scarry 1985: 13). It is crucial to keep this in mind


In the hope of freeing the migraine metaphor from this conservative armed occupation, Levy seeks to repair and improve the overly used and much too concrete imagery. He introduces us into the Migraineland by searching for a metaphor that could touch upon the “disrupted sensibility” (Levy 2009: 52) of the migraine sufferer and approximate what it is actually like to have a migraine. Here are some of his attempts: “Hell, even my own breathing feels like a chainsaw to me” or “I’m the crash in between the two cymbals. Rather, my head IS the crash my ears are making. If that makes any sense” or “Someone crying but trying not to because crying makes it worse” (Levy 2009: 51). As language is expanding, almost disintegrating, we notice that Levy’s metaphors become less concrete and more nonsensical, but no less effective. The contrary might be true, metaphors might bring us closer to what it really means to have a migraine: at the onset of an attack, even before the pain becomes unbearable, the migraineur feels dazed and distant. Deprived of her sagacity and eloquence she is left unable to express herself properly. She jabbers incoherently as the aphasic phantom enters the scene. And so, it might not be the concrete ‘metaphor of agency’ that keeps the gate to Migraineland ajar. It is the deconstruction of metaphor by the expansion of language that escorts us into the scenes where confusion is king and pain his golden ring. We accompany the migraineur as she fuses into the abstract and eventually witness her muteness, for Levy even concludes by stating that: “maybe the language of migraine isn’t really language at all. It’s language disappearing. [ ] Maybe the language of migraine is silence” (Levy 2009: 55).


Levy’s intentions were to improve the metaphor as a communicational tool. The expressive qualities of the metaphor improve as language expands, but when the pain becomes too intense, language starts to decompose until nothing but silence is left. Although this linguistic development might be able to lead us somehow into the migrainous craters, it remains after all an inward motion. In the end, the body in pain is left speechless and isolated. In When Language Runs Dry (Biro 2012), American doctor and professor David Biro emphasizes the need to find an alternative to this muteness. He acknowledges the metaphor to be a powerful and essential apparatus but calls attention to another problematic aspect of the overused weapon of metaphor. Biro rightfully points out that when we use a metaphor too often, it loses its suggestive powers. No visceral discomfort bubbles up when one hears about a ‘banging’ or a ‘hammering’ headache. These terms could easily be substituted by expressions like ‘severe’ or ‘terrible.’ For this reason, we constantly need to reinvent and revive our external references. Literature, poetry, art and even music might help us do so, he claims. In the midst of misery, it is not silence that awaits the sufferer but the ingenious prose and pictures of the great writers and artists of our times. Biro is convinced that literature and art should be borrowed from in order to mediate the silent gaps. The words of literary migraineurs like Lewis Carroll, Emily Dickinson and Ian McEwan and paintings of artists like Giorgio di Chirico might shed a whole new light on the migrainous black box and reshape the understanding of our own pain and sufferings. When Lewis Carroll describes his migrainous episodes as a journey through an absurdist wonderland or when Haruki Murakami illustrates his auras by depicting them as little people entering the house to mess with the television or when Emily Dickinson compares the ritualistic characteristics of her recurring headaches to a ceremonial funeral procession, a much more nuanced and layered image appears. Borrowing metaphors from the great literary writers and artists will help us reshape and renew our pain-communication, Biro vigorously proclaims (Biro 2012). 

Not every patient, however, feels the urge to look for solace in literature. This suggestion might work for some but is inaccessible to others. And although it seems that at times, metaphors might provide a helpful tool in counteracting the solitude of silence, in the end, all metaphors do fall short, for they are always but a description of the sentience, circling and never touching its essence. For this reason, the use of such language in the sphere of illness has been debated extensively. In her work Illness as Metaphor, Susan Sontag famously states that “the most truthful way of regarding illness — and the healthiest way of being ill — is one most purified of, most resistant to, metaphoric thinking” (Sontag 1978: 3). She reminds us that he usage of metaphoric language might not only stigmatize the ill, but might lead the patient away from the physical facts, which could have a negative impact on the search for proper medical treatment. 

Perhaps the only metaphor truly touching the heart of migraine is not to be found in a linguistic construct but rather in the silent ritual the sufferer performs during her procession from sickness to health and back. The migraine metaphor lies in the ever-recurring maneuvers made in order to delay the inevitable and in the repeated routine performed in pursuance of relief during times of torment. The notion that rituals (even the ones that are casual, personal and unconscious) hold a metaphorical quality is proposed by Lakoff & Johnson. The relevance of these rituals is stressed by the authors: “Each ritual is a repeated, coherently structured, and unified aspect of our experience. In performing them, we give structure and significance to our activities, minimizing chaos and disparity in our actions” (Lakoff & Johnson 1980: 234). Rituals help the sufferer in structuring the migrainous chaos in which all sense of time and space otherwise threatens to get lost. The significance of these rituals becomes even more apparent when Lakoff & Johnson state that: “there can be no coherent view of the self without personal ritual (typically of the casual and spontaneously emerging sort)” (Lakoff & Johnson 1980: 235). In the context of illness, rituals become a way to reconstruct a coherent sense of self when this sense of self threatens to disappear in the turmoil caused by pain and isolation. For this reason, I believe the most adequate migraine metaphor is not to be found in any verbal expression but in the ritualistic performance, provoked by the condition itself. 

As language fails, the ritual of singing each time I suffer replaces the metaphor. The act of recording myself has become part of my ceremonious routine, otherwise consisting of painkillers, coffees and showers at fixed hours. The failing of language looms in the notion that the essence of the vocal piece does not lie in a description or metaphoric representation of the migraine symptoms, but in something that resonates beyond what is evidently verbalized. 

Saturday, 13th

Monday, 5th

Monday, 7th

Wednesday, 19th

Wednesday, 23rd

    Press to Play

V o i c i n g   M i g r a i n e

2. The Voice is Missing:

a Social Silence


Multiple times a week a hypersensitivity of the senses announces the onset of my troubles. The rattling rhythm of life becomes an unendurable commotion and temporary isolation proves to be inevitable. Slowly, my body in pain slips into a void of torment. For hours, days, I retreat into the dark, shielded by silence and solitude. In this perverse heterotopy, trapped in passivity, I wait and endure. Eventually, I know, the torture will alleviate and the aversion abate. Migraines don’t kill and when the sky clears after all its rumble and tumult, the body is still intact and the mind all the more focused. Life continues and I healthily return to my daily routine. The plausibility of another attack, however, is inescapable and ever-looming. I therefore constantly manoeuvre between the holes and navigate around the craters as I make my way from what Susan Sontag calls “the kingdom of the well” to “the kingdom of the sick” and back. “Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good pass-port, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place” Sontag explains (Sontag 1978: 3).  


The chronically ill permanently belong to both lands. Even more so than for example the asthmatic or the rheumatic, the migraine sufferer truly lives a nomadic life. In an almost ritualistic way, she trudges between these two worlds - a ceremonial procession that goes back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Health induces sickness and only sickness will lead her back to health. She oscillates, fluctuates, pendulates and is fated to live in constant adaptation to an ever-changing state of wellbeing. For her, neither sickness nor health can be considered the norm, and neither provide a trustworthy shelter she could occupy long enough to acclimatize or settle, she buries her passports and resigns herself to inhabit the borderlands. From this new head-quarters she witnesses migraine’s daily spectacle and faces its ever-ongoing battle between polarities: pain and comfort, desperation and inspiration, screams and silences, vomit and virtue. 


The migraineur embodies these contradictions – all of them, all at once. But this inconsistent behavior is not easily understood by a bystander who is blissfully ignorant to the complexities of the migrainous wonderland. The sufferer appears, disappears, then reappears, unannounced, an unreliable presence. This alternating between extremities differentiates migraine from other chronic impairments and unavoidably raises doubt in the minds of her witnesses. Whenever she feels an attack approaching, she rushes to find shelter in order silently to suffer in solitary. Without anyone to see her hands, her hair and her morale covered in sweat and bitter bile, her torment remains hidden and therefore never irrefutable. Elaine Scarry rightfully suggests that “to have great pain is to have certainty; to hear that another person has pain is to have doubt” (Scarry 1985: 7), as she points to the unsharability of this sentience that happens deeply hidden in the innermost parts of our being.


The world watches the migraine sufferer with Argus eyes and not only questions the sincerity and severity, but is also often incapable of accepting migraine’s inescapable recurrence and the lack of agency on the part of the sufferer, who cannot prevent another return. Again and again, the migraineur will be told that it is due to her own actions that migraine struck again. The ‘advice’ given by oblivious benefactors on how to avoid another attack (eat less, eat more, sleep less, sleep more, don’t drink, don’t be so stressed, don’t walk under a willow tree, etc.) is endless and should not be considered innocent. Whoever fails to abide these diktats, is susceptible to being blamed for provoking her own sufferings. 


This intrusive stream of advice, which I call the ‘tyranny of temperance’, is a phenomenon that can be traced back to the 4th century BC, when Socrates, as described by Plato, was consulted by Charmides, a young man suffering from recurring headaches, seeking a cure. Socrates offers the remedy of: “a kind of leaf, which is required to be accompanied by a charm, and if a person would repeat the charm at the same time that he used the cure, he would be made whole; but that without the charm the leaf would be of no avail” (Plato 1986: 3). Socrates goes on: “these charms are fair words; and by them temperance is implanted in the soul, and where temperance is, there health is speedily imparted, not only to the head, but to the whole body” (Plato 1986: 4). Socrates never mentions the exact words of the charm and what follows is nothing but a long dialogue on the virtue of temperance. Could it be that with this charm, Plato was referring to an ancient Greek expulsive incantation, a chant that needed to be sung in order to drive out the migraine from the sufferer’s body? 


The Greeks believed that a person suffering from migraines was possessed by the half-headed migraine demoness, Antaura, who was said to rise from the sea, roaring like a hind and shouting like a cow, to come and occupy the sufferer’s body. For the demoness to be exorcised and the migraine to lift, an amulet was to be worn and an expulsive incantation to be sung repetitively (Barb 1966). But the expulsive incantation and the personification of migraine in a hysteric hellion raises some concerns. Socrates advises temperance as the main cure for migraine headache. Interestingly though, the half-headed demoness is the embodiment of quite the opposite of the virtue of temperance: Antaura is an over-emotional, erratic woman, who needs to be expelled from the body in order to end the pain.


This resonates with the fact that migraine sufferers are all too often blamed, even by themselves, for provoking their own suffering due to a lack of temperance, sobriety, self-control and moderateness. Even when the migraineur’s days are dominated by the attempt to avoid all triggers, she is held accountable when she fails to do so. Needless to say, when migraine arrives, guilt follows. The tyranny of temperance silences the sufferer, for whenever she speaks in order to find compassion, she is met with an exposé of her own wrongdoings.  Her proclamations of pain and desperation are echoed by ‘did you nots?’ and ‘have you nots?’ or ‘did you forgets?’. The sufferer not only believes these accusations, but even cherishes them, for it is not the bystander alone who is incapable of accepting utter powerlessness. If the migraines are due to her own faulty behavior, then at least she can cling to the illusion of being capable of changing her own fate. But in taking the blame, one loses the right to lament one’s own pain. The tyranny of temperance turns victims into accomplices.


It is not only this bombardment of blame that silences the sufferer. Her intermittent disappearances from the public space eventually enclose her in social muteness. When migraines hit in quick succession, the migraineur flees into the protective arms of isolation. Here she is shielded from the sounds of society, the smells of the living and the sights of all there is to be seen. She rejects it all; for, at this moment, existence is the trigger of her torment. When in this secluded black box, removed from life and the living, it is not merely the body that goes missing, the voice too withdraws from the public sphere. Absent from meetings, gatherings, social affairs, protests and manifestations, the voice can no longer represent itself. During these days of truancy, one cannot meet the standards of productivity imposed by a society in which efficiency is a virtue. In her essay Sick Woman Theory, Korean-American contemporary artist, vocalist and writer, Johanna Hedva suggests that this is silent failing which makes it “impossible to be heard or be visible in any traditional capacity as a political being” (Hedva 2015). A chronically ill person herself, she argues that: “everywhere in our discourse on illness, trauma, grieving and pain, is the notion of moving on and getting over it. Getting back to work is what keeps the capitalist patriarchy going, so silence, denial and erasure are necessary” (Hedva 2015). This muteness, enhanced by a medical hierarchy of almighty doctors versus patients in need, is problematic to the migraineur who so frequently fails to be ‘productive’ due to a condition that is invisible and mysterious and insoluble.


The sung sound diary addresses the tyranny of temperance by the very fact that it does not give in to its forced principles of behavior. The self-restraint and passivity, constantly demanded from the migraineur, are counteracted by the act of singing; of producing sound even though she’d better lay still in silence, for phonophobia makes the sufferer overly sensitive to all sounds and noises and singing only aggravates the pain. In that sense, the vocal diary becomes a masochistic portrayal of productivity, a product of a seemingly infertile soil, eroding the lands even more. By recording the sufferings of an invisible voice, the Impulsive Incantations also function as a declaration of truth, locating the missing voice and therefore confronting society with its own suspicion. However, these chants are never truly capable of providing an adequate answer to the social muteness the migraineur encounters. 

In sync with the flowers

I crimp and cower

Thursday, 18th

Saturday, 3rd

by Mariske Broeckmeyer

Thursday, 15th


What can I teach you?

Is there a migrainous wound?

Tuesday, 7th


Nuances of the will are lost

and details of the tongue long gone.

I give you nothing but defensive vomit,

the stink of my soul,

the ink in which my name was signed

when my fate was sealed.


Unuseful. Ungraceful. A handfull. A face full.

"Impulsive" synonyms: desire, influence, instinct, whim, vibration, momentum, onset, pressure, hope, aim, plan, purpose, drift, struggle, constraint, restraint, necessity, repression, violence, a must, impelling, no-no, imposition, compulsion, duress, insistence, obligation, law, enforcing, fulfilling, impetus, spur, urge, zeal, custom, mode, nature, pattern, routine, style, usage, addiction, convention, dependence, disposition, fashion, fixation, gravitation, groove, inclination, make-up, mannerism, persuasion, praxis, predisposition, proneness, proclivity, propensity, rule, rut, way, weakness, won’t, fixed attitude, second nature, stimulant, energy, good, incitement, power, push, etc.

"Impulsive" synonyms: desire, influence, instinct, whim, vibration, momentum, onset, pressure, hope, aim, plan, purpose, drift, struggle, constraint, restraint, necessity, repression, violence, a must, impelling, no-no, imposition, compulsion, duress, insistence, obligation, law, enforcing, fulfilling, impetus, spur, urge, zeal, custom, mode, nature, pattern, routine, style, usage, addiction, convention, dependence, disposition, fashion, fixation, gravitation, groove, inclination, make-up, mannerism, persuasion, praxis, predisposition, proneness, proclivity, propensity, rule, rut, way, weakness, won’t, fixed attitude, second nature, stimulant, energy, good, incitement, power, push, etc.

h e a d p h o n e s   r e q u i r e d

h e a d p h o n e s   r e q u i r e d

Sunday, 31st

Your   simple   questions   reach  me   in   riddles.   ‘Water?’   How   to   know?   How   to   answer? 

This is the report of an inward motion, a dialogue between the sick-self an                                     the recovered-self and the space in which they suffer.

Sunday, 4th

Sunday, 4th

Thursday 12th

Monday, 8th


Marked by a circular movement, migraine runs an endless loop.

 Trudging form sickness to health

sickness to health

sickness to health

 and back,

it tramples the linear order,

wallows in the anticipated.

In these records,

rather than conforming to consecutiveness,

mumblings, mutters and meaning

are layered,

one on top of the other.

this nonchalantly overwriting of the same circle

reports the expansion of density and width.

The object gains in thickness, little by little it swells,




 in every which way.


Barely a diary remains


now the rigidness of its supposed chronology has been gently overthrown.


Nonetheless, a diary


It is.



There is no way to speak about illness without acknowledging its presence. There is no way around this body, for it will not move when it is in pain.

Thursday, 22nd

Dreadful. Fearful. Earful. Eyeful.

4. The Voice is Modified:

a Migraine-specific Impact


Not only pain or social muteness leave the sufferer silenced; migraine itself molds and manipulates the voice. It pulls at the vocal cords and makes lips and tongues slip and splutter, consequently radically reshaping the soundings that flea the oral cavity. This impact on the migraineur’s vocality ranges from mild stuttering due to disruptions of concentration, to complete and unsolicited silences. Menstrual migraines are accompanied by menstrual dysphonia: during the premenstrual period the voice may sound breathy, constrained, lower in pitch and much softer due to hoarse voice and vocal fatigue (Karpf 2006: 170). In some cases, when the attack occurs, poor articulation or dysarthria appears (Podoll & Robinson 2008). The sufferer awkwardly stutters and stumbles in her attempt to speak. The episode is often also accompanied by a lack of focus, a muddling of the brain, and with this cloudiness comes lapsus linguae. Freud, himself a migraineur, stated: “slips of tongue do indeed occur most frequently when one is tired or has a headache, or feels an attack of migraine coming on” (Freud 1920: 20). And so, the tongue has become slippery and slurry and, in some cases, these spoonerisms might turn into real mumbo jumbo. Some migraineurs are affected by fluent aphasia: words pour out of their mouths but they make no sense. We hear nothing but gibberish and meaningless blabber (Podoll & Robinson 2008). A person suffering from amnesic aphasia fails at naming objects. She might point at a pillow and describe it as a soft square to put one’s head on. She recognizes the object and is well aware of its function but does not succeed in calling it by its name (Podoll & Robinson 2008). When expressive aphasia is manifested, a paresthesiae of the lips and tongue takes place. Due to this dysfunction of oral and vocal muscles, the sufferer is left unable to speak. She finds herself attempting to talk but no words follow (Sacks 1990).

The occurrence of aphasia, a condition which deprives the sufferer of her capacity to communicate by disrupting her ability to write, speak, or understand language, alters the voice by shifting sense into nonsense. It is an intriguing phenomenon in the context of migraine, as it appears often as part of an aura, right before the onset of the headache, but can also last all through the attack as an accompaniment of the pain. When we look at Ilit Ferber’s interpretation of the book ‘On Aphasia’ by Sigmund Freud, we learn that aphasic utterings could be considered as expressions of pain (Ferber 2010). These outings through the failing and floundering of language, substitute the scream, she argues. In the context of migraine, this replacement of the loud by a modicum of mumblings is not all too bizarre. Due to the phonophobia, any extreme vocalization would only hurry the onset of the headache or increase its intensity. Could we then state that through aphasic symptoms the sufferer is suitably silenced and somehow protected by the faltering of her own voice? The migraineur’s outcry of agony reverberates in the decomposition and disappearance of language, for any vociferous alternative would only drive her deeper into the arms of the migraine monster.  

       But here again it must be mentioned that this lack of capacity for the meaningful has a dividing and disengaging effect. The disintegration of speech and the slipping into silence are undeniably isolating symptoms. The balderdash and the malarkey of the migraineur could therefore be considered a declaration of departure, a final foolish encore, a wonderfully unusual parting song clumsily sung, announcing the sufferer’s retreat into temporary solitude. To the unsteady beat of a tongue that trips and lips that totter the migraineur marches back into her blackened cave and in the arms of the migraine monster she puts herself to rest. Quietly and in a strange but not uncommon moment of affection for the awful she calls the beast ‘Malitle Malofaly Malcridock’ – a nonsensical term of endearment only for his ears to understand.

"Impulsive" synonyms: desire, influence, instinct, whim, vibration, momentum, onset, pressure, hope, aim, plan, purpose, drift, struggle, constraint, restraint, necessity, repression, violence, a must, impelling, no-no, imposition, compulsion, duress, insistence, obligation, law, enforcing, fulfilling, impetus, spur, urge, zeal, custom, mode, nature, pattern, routine, style, usage, addiction, convention, dependence, disposition, fashion, fixation, gravitation, groove, inclination, make-up, mannerism, persuasion, praxis, predisposition, proneness, proclivity, propensity, rule, rut, way, weakness, won’t, fixed attitude, second nature, stimulant, energy, good, incitement, power, push, etc.

"Impulsive" synonyms: desire, influence, instinct, whim, vibration, momentum, onset, pressure, hope, aim, plan, purpose, drift, struggle, constraint, restraint, necessity, repression, violence, a must, impelling, no-no, imposition, compulsion, duress, insistence, obligation, law, enforcing, fulfilling, impetus, spur, urge, zeal, custom, mode, nature, pattern, routine, style, usage, addiction, convention, dependence, disposition, fashion, fixation, gravitation, groove, inclination, make-up, mannerism, persuasion, praxis, predisposition, proneness, proclivity, propensity, rule, rut, way, weakness, won’t, fixed attitude, second nature, stimulant, energy, good, incitement, power, push, etc.

7. Bibliography

Barb, A. (1966). Antaura. The Mermaid and the Devil’s Grandmother: A Lecture. Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes. volume 29, 750-706.

Barthes, R. (1977). Image, Music, Text. London: Fontana Press.

Biro, D. (2012). When Language Runs Dry: Pain, Imagination and Metaphor in Dimensions of Pain: Humanities and Social Science Perspective. Oxon: Routledge.

Butler, J. (2009). Performativity, Precarity and Sexual Politics. AIBR. Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana. volume 4, issue 3, 1695-9752.

Dolar, M. (2006). A Voice and Nothing More. Massachusetts: MIT Press.

European Brain Council (2020). (website)

Faraone, C. (1991). Magika Hiera: Ancient Greek Magic and Religion. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ferber, I. (2010). A Wound Without Pain: Freud on Aphasia. Naharaim: a Journal of German Jewish Literature and Cultural History. volume 4.

Ferber, I. (2015). Language Failing: The Reach of Lament. May 11, ICI Berlin. (Lecture).

Freud, S. (1920). A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. New York: Washington Square Press.

Hedva, J. (2015). My Body Is a Prison of Pain so I Want to Leave It Like a Mystic But I Also Love It & Want it to Matter Politically. Women's Center for Creative Work at Human Resources (Lecture).

Karpf, A. (2006). The Human Voice. United States: Bloomsbury USA.

Karwautz, A. et al. (1996). Freud and Migraine: the Beginning of a Psychodynamically Oriented View of Headache a Hundred Years Ago. Cephalalgia. volume 22, issue 6, 0333-1024.

Kristeva, J. (1969). Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art. USA: Columbia University Press.

Kotansky, R. (1993). Greek Magical Amulets: the Inscribed Gold, Silver, Cupper and Bronze Lamellae. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.

LaBelle, B. (2014). Lexicon of the Mouth: Poetics and Politics of Voice and Oral Imaginary, New York: Bloomsbury.

Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Levy, A. (2010). A Brain Wider than the Sky. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Mann, T. (1955). Freud und die Zukunft, in Mann, Gesammelte Werke, volume 10, Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag.

McAffee, N. (2004). Julia Kristeva. New York: Routledge.

National Aphasia Association (1987). (Website)

Plato. (1986). Charmides. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

Podoll, K. Robinson, D. (2008). Migraine Art: The Migraine Experience from Within. California: North Atlantic Books.

Restak, R. (2006). Alice in Migraineland. Headache, the Journal of Head and Face Pain. volume 46, issue 2, 21 February, 0017-8748.

Sacks, O. (1990). Migraine. California: University of California Press.

Scarry, E. (1985). The Body in Pain. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sontag, S. (1978). Illness as Metaphor. United States: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Saturday, 5th

Malitle Malofaly Malcridock

Apierelinge Tock Tock Tock

And Tieselander Dayowee

In Armsolute Lute Litelay

Saturday, 25th

Wednesday 29th

6. Impulsive Incantations:

a Migraine Diary in Search of an Aesthetics of Failure


And so, as a migraining vocalist I feel the necessity to purpose the potentiality of my migrainous utterings in order to amplify the aesthetics of a failing voice in a failing body. I will sing, for my instrument, made of nothing but bodily tissue and air, instinctively suggests the muster of melody. But in migraine the voice is subjected to a whole new corporeal truth and I am therefore in need of an adapted vocal technique, or at least a redefinition of the concept - a sounding of the voice that could reflect upon, tap into, and enunciate the impact of migraine on the voice – a symbiotic ensnaring of body, voice and language. This friction is what Roland Barthes defines as ‘the grain’, a phenomenon which again offers interesting potential: “[It] is the body in the voice as it sings, the hand as it writes, the limb as it performs. It is not, or not merely, the timbre of the voice but the materiality of the body speaking its mother tongue” (Barthes 1977: 188). It is evident that the migrainous singing technique should be an amplification, a magnification, even an ode to this phenomenon. All the more so because, like Barthes, I believe that in fostering the grain lies the potential of (re)connecting with the audience, through corporeality and bypassing language. Barthes explains: “Listening to the grain means listening to our relation with the body of the man or woman singing. We are reminded that physical and verbal elements combine to make meaning. [ ] In attending the grain of the voice, the listener experiences the interpretation of his body and that of the singer without resource to language” (Barthes 1977: 188). Hence the grain might help bridging the divide between sufferer and non-sufferer. It might do so through a bodily pact made under the sounding of a bodily alphabet.


Now it is time to return to my artistic practice and shape these theoretical talks into tension, tonality and tempo. As pointed out above, I turn the health journal into a diary, created out of vocal fragments that I record clustered to the bed, moving in and out of migrainous episodes. I collect noises and written text fragments, diary excerpts, poems and sound poems, which I assemble into what I call Impulsive Incantations. Out of migrainous gibberish-improvisations, scraps of text and endlessly repeated sighs and moans, I create incantations that measure and articulate the impact of migraine on the voice. I do so by recording myself as I sing these fragments while in bed, in pain. This act of singing while migraining is in itself painful due to phonophobia. I therefore limit myself to the recording of just a few utterings per session, which I layer on top of each other - I might add a melody in the beginning, do an overdub in the end or create a short fragment of new material in the middle. I opt for this approach in order not to develop a chronological or linear diary, but to record the expansion of density and width. Every migrainous recording session is like the nonchalant overwriting of the same circle. Thus, the object gains in thickness and little by little expands in all directions. 


Like any diary, it is an ever-ongoing work in progress that does not have an audience in mind when being made. Nonetheless, this piece aims at studying the suffering subject, by repeatedly registering the raw materials, in order to touch upon the impact of social muteness, physical pain and migraine-specific symptoms on the voice. To do so, I call upon the nonsensical, the ritualistic qualities of the incantation and the cadenced humdrum of lament, thus making this study an artistic process. Uniting these phenomena in an ever-evolving ode to a state anterior to language, a carol of the cry and the mantra of the migrainous moan, the Impulsive Incantations aim at voicing the migraine body through evocative text, vocal improvisations and a migrainous singing technique, as it searches for an aesthetic of failure and what that might reveal about the essence of being voiced.

Saturday, 14th

Monday 27th

Friday, 9th



the egg that

used to bear me;

a brittle shell

that holds me

in vicious,



Sunday, 1st

Tuesday, 10th

5. Voicing the Migraine Body:

Entering the Artistic Sphere


Whether caused by pain, a lack of focus, a neurological glitch or an esophagus full of puke, nonsensical language is inherent to the migraine condition, leaving few sufferers unaffected by a certain amount of semantical incoherency. It is therefore that in my attempt to voice the migraine body, I am drawn towards this uncontrolled blether-blathering, for I am not only convinced that these meaningless morphemes might indeed resonate in crooked harmony with the monotonous melodies of the migraine condition, I believe these ‘deficiencies’ of the voice might somehow embody a potential to overcome the silence caused by pain, social muteness and migraine-specific symptoms. Gibberish, just like any other form of nonsensical language, fails in the spheres of proper communication, but is central to what LaBelle calls our oral imagination (Labelle 2014: 61). Instead of limiting speech to a strictly signifying purpose, the nonsensical, when being expelled from the body, functions as a vessel through which unconscious oral drives are expressed. 


“Might we hear in the nonsensical a manifestation of an oral poetics underlying speech in general? Is not the ‘noise’ surrounding verbal articulations a sort of raw matter supporting rather than undermining our faculty of speech?” (Labelle 2014: 61). 


Labelle points to Julia Kristeva’s thoughts on the practice of signification. Kristeva argues that signification happens in the cohesion between symbolic speech, conveying clear and meaningful message and semiotic speech, “extra-verbal eruptions of bodily forces and affects into language” (McAffee 2004). Gibberish operates in exactly this tension between noise and meaning, the sounded and the semantic, corporeality and signification, not knowing and communication. The voice tumbles and turns, flutters and flares, stumbles and stutters as it reminds us of the “potentiality of being an oral body (McAffee, 62). 


Sound poetry, as a spectacle of the nonsensical in an artistic context, also taps into this potentiality, for its corporeal dance gambols in the rift between body and language. Semiotic drives pour into the world through constellations of sounds and noises, possibly even mimicking the features of language but nonetheless freed from the dictatorship of a meaningful diction. LaBelle illustrates this magnificently: “Sound poetry, as gibberish stretching the mouth, aims for the operation of language, of the symbolic, by explicitly tracing over it, breathing into it, spitting on it and pulling it apart. In doing so, it pries open a gap on the terrain of signification, it speaks through the oral imagination to rescue a disappeared voice” (Labelle 2014: 65). 


Gibberish, sound poetry and any sort of nonsensical language, exceeds and overthrows the rules of proper communication; rules that unavoidably constitute, what Judith Butler calls, performativity (Butler 2009), a mechanism by which power maintains itself through the reproduction of norms. This mechanism might be outmaneuvered by an unconventional, eccentric, atypical stretching and bending of the mouth, conveying meaning beyond the sensical and straight into the spheres of sentiment for as LaBelle suggests: “Is not sound poetry, as the arena for extending the operations of the voice, calling forth a right to speech often undermined by powers of language? [ ] And in doing so, expanding the public sphere toward that of the outcast or the underspoken” (LaBelle 2014, 71). As a mumbling migraining singer, I am fascinated by the emancipatory potential of the meaningless and intrigued by these gibberish-outpourings, I feel the necessity to employ the potentiality of my own migrainous nonsense to create sound poems and lyrics based on the material poetics of a failing voice in a failing body. “Black, blackening, black, becoming black, becoming, black”: the words stumble through the diary to the beat of a rumbling stomach and gradually turn into a gagging noise: “Bbllak Bbllk Bllllllkkkkk.” These poetic guidelines for gagging are composed by a nauseous body and turn the verge of vomiting into a nonsensical ballad. 


But there are more settings, some of them bordering an artistic scenery, in which the potential of the meaningless is manifested. After revealing the emancipatory ability of sound poetry, LaBelle, in the same breath, reminds us of the unifying power of spells and incantations (LaBelle 2014). These magic words, frequently used in the context of healing, are often but a line of syllables and although we don’t actually understand the hocus pocus and the abracadabra, their collective relatability is nonetheless undeniable. As with sound poetry, the meaning of these chanted spells and incantations bypasses what is intellectually comprehensible and moves straight into the realm of the emotional. These semiotic effluxes outflank the semantic monocracy of meaning, directly to land in the spheres of sentiment. Therefore, they might not only be helpful in re-locating the voice that was lost in pain, neurological hindrances or vocal technical limitations, but they might also possess the potentiality of resonating beyond the bedridden bunker. 


This allows to return to Antaura and the migrainous expulsive incantations of the Ancient Greeks and point out that a singer’s tendency toward vocality and tonality in the context of pain and illness is not at all uncommon. The cry-out for help and healing has a long tradition of being chanted or sung. Over time, countless sufferers have turned toward shamanistic rituals and self-healing chants in the hope of finding treatment and relief. These magical formulae mean to provoke a healing effect through chant. The half-headed demoness was to be expelled from the body through the repetitive singing of the words: “Antaura came out of the sea. She shouted like a hind a cried out like a cow. Artemis of Ephesos met her (saying) ‘Antaura, where are you going?’ (Antaura): ‘Into the half-part of the head.’ (Artemis)No, do not go into the [half-part of the head]’” (Kotansky 1993: 60). Interestingly, Chrisopher Faroane discovers in these incantations some sort of a ‘talking cure’, he explains: “the indwelling demon is interrogated, upbraided, placed under oath and then commanded to leave the human host body. The result is a forced conversation, [ ] in which demons are forced to reveal their names and powers, often protesting that they are being misunderstood” (Faraone 1991: 18). The sung sound diary reinterprets the original text and by doing so moves the ritual of singing beyond its mere metaphorical purpose. Impulsive Incantations has now become a chant that needs to be sung in order to expel the pain from the body, although the act in itself is painful.


These nursery rhyme-like incantations, sung in sync with the misery of migraine and with roots deeply embedded in the oral tradition, are plausibly the oldest example and the most authentic amplification of migrainous vocal music. Nonetheless, a few concerns come to mind with our half-headed demoness and the mere eliminative purpose of the expulsive incantation, for I feel the term ‘expulsive’ unavoidably implies the aim to simply banish, outlaw, dismiss or prohibit these attacks without further notice. They are hurtful and bad and therefore they should go. This seems like a rather naive and counter-productive approach. Migraines operate with a profound functionality in the sufferer’s life. They are symbolic events (Sacks 1990: 8), they mean something, allude to something, represent something or act as an internal defensive mechanism. Sometimes migraine itself could be considered a metaphor as it tends to insinuate completely different issues, oftentimes migraines are not an embodied figure of speech but an unintelligible secret language as such. It is therefore crucial to keep in mind that migraines are not to be understood as mere meaningless punishments for the lack of self-restraint and self-control. Instead, as renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks suggests, they are to be seen as “a symbolic drama [ ], their symptoms constitute a bodily alphabet, or protolanguage, which may secondarily and subsequently be used as a symbolic language” (Sacks 1990: 208). Therefore, although its code might be all but transparent, much is to be learned from this migraining body speaking. The migraine sufferer’s exuberance should not be trapped in temperance. She should not be held accountable when she chooses to shift sobriety into spontaneity and when she refuses to mitigate her moods. Instead of aiming for a mere exclusion or banishment of this ever-recurring “night-side of life” (Sontag 1978: 1), one may learn how to navigate the darkness and maneuver the dusk, how to master the migraine language or at times just accommodate living lost in translation. For this reason, I propose the substitution of the ‘expulsive’ by the ‘impulsive’ as I am convinced that through the latter a much more nuanced and genuine sound of the migraine condition will resonate. Without ignoring its functionality or minimizing its misery, the Impulsive Incantations will give a voice to all that migraine is. It will facilitate a dialogue between opposite forces as it aims at serenading migraine in its entire conflicting complexness. For this reason, I point toward the diary as it mentions “a brittle shell that holds me in a vicious malevolent disgust”. The image justly implies a strange sense of safety, for migraine indeed somehow protects, albeit by means of a brutal domination. 


But besides the ritualistic healing incantation, another vocal practice comes to mind in the tradition of expressing pain through chant. When one is consumed by suffering, and all language appears to be destroyed, the incantation’s talking cure through forced dialogue might become an endeavor too ambitious. In this case we might turn to lament, a vocalization that serenades precisely this loss of language as such. In her lecture at ICI Berlin Ferber explains: The cry of lament emerges from the abyss of profound mourning and sorrow, expressing the unbearable conditions of loss. It is cried out in moments when the pain overwhelms us with such an intensity that we are utterly unable to express it in words. As if our language had completely broken down, revealing its inadequacy in the facing of profound sorrow by disintegrating into non-verbal exclamations and disconsolate cries” (Ferber 2015). Developing Gershom Scholem’s theory, she argues that lament does not fulfill any of the linguistic criteria for it is contentless and unable to communicate. It is directed at no one and incapable of receiving a response. Its structure does not answer to the conventional conception of a statement and consequently overthrows any possibility for dialogue. Lament does not portray the pain of a particular loss, she claims, but it expresses the failure of language when confronted with loss. 


So, when the migraineur turns to lament in order to bewail a loss of time, a loss of stability, a loss of health and hope or even a temporary loss of life, she expresses these losses through a phenomenon truly inherent to the migraine condition: the failure of a voice. In lament this failure is as resounding as the loss of language as such. It is a sort of expression in which language itself falters and flutters; a linguistic breakdown. Lament is not only composed of language failures; it turns them into the essence of its expression and even its strength. Ferber elaborates the potentiality of these failures: 


“The language of lament manifests a concrete possibility to think of failure not as the shadow of success but rather as constitutive in itself. In lament failure is not weaker than success, quite the opposite. It marks the unique strength of language, a strength that comes to being only in so far as language fails. Lament is the linguistic form that expresses language itself, language as such” (Ferber 2015).


The failing of language reveals something about language as such. Hence failure holds the potential to uncover and expose.


In the sung sound diary, we not only witness the voice when it breaks down as a conveyer of meaning, we also recognize that it falls short as an “object of aesthetic admiration” (Dolar 2006: 4). The frailness and shakiness testify to the absence of vocal technical control; the intonation is imprecise, the breath unsupported. It is not a voice praised for its virtuosity. For this reason (and well aware that my approach might differ from Dolar’s psychoanalytical interpretation), I turn to lament as a third way of understanding voice. For in the diary’s unanswered outcry of pain and despair, resonates the opposite of meaning and of admiration. The revealing potential of failure is sounding through lament, which allows me to go beyond the concept of language and to capture the voice when it is not an object of “fetish reverence” (Dolar 2006: 4). Lament reveals that in the failing of a voice lies the essence of what it is to be voiced and that through illness and the suffering body one might uncover the core of healthiness. Ferber points out that this notion was supported by author Thomas Mann when, during a lecture, he stated: “There is no deeper knowledge without the experience of disease and all heightened healthiness must be achieved by the route of illness” (Mann 1955). Let us therefore look at the musical qualities of a lamenting voice. How does it sound? Can we sway to the rhythm of a failing language? To answer these questions we go back to the beginning of this discourse, and revisit the migraine sufferer, wandering the no-man’s land, perpetually on the verge of crossing the border that will lead her into the kingdom of the sick or back into the land of the well, forever failing to fit, caught in an endless cyclic movement, eternally resonating in these permanent in-betweens and therefore always belonging to the borderlands. Interestingly, Ferber points out that Scholem designates lament as a language of borders and consequently differentiating it from all other language. He argues that “all language” (Ferber 2015) is a positive expression transpiring over the borders of two neighboring lands – the land of the revealed and the land of the silenced. All language therefore operates in both of these lands. 


“What distinguishes lament however, is its bordering these two lands without belonging to either of them exclusively. It denies both revelation and silence even as it straddles the border between them. Yet despite its strictly liminal nature, lament harbors something that is pertinent to all language or to language as such. Lament is thus a language characterized by always being throughout the border, lying precisely at the border between the two lands. [ ] It endeavors to leave its restricted position on the border to belong either to revelation or to silence. These attempts are doomed to fail because lament can only exist as a liminal language forever confined to a peripheral location - right on the border” (Ferber 2015). 


When the migraineur sings to her hidden head-quarters, permanently positioned at the border, in a language that belongs uniquely to this region, an obscure local dialect resonating in repetitive silent ululation, phrasing the unanswerable, a phonophobic drone addressing no one. It is precisely through these repetitions and monotonous murmurs that lament’s eternal cyclic movement, mimicking the migraineur’s maneuvers, is resonating. “Monotony”, Ferber argues, “is the deep linguistic symbol of the expressionless, which sends its radiating inward into the darkness of all mourning which absorbs its own light. Each word appears only to die. Lament does not only destroy itself in these acts of transition, it does so repeatedly. This cyclical rhythm becomes its most distinctive feature. Simultaneously, this circularity manifests the emphasis on the eternal principal of movement in lament” (Ferber 2015).

It is not just hard to explain the pain of migraine.

It is hard to explain the pleasures, too.

- Andrew Levy -





It is not just hard to explain the pain of migraine.

It is hard to explain the pleasures, too.

- Andrew Levy -





Saturday, 16th

Monday, 16th

Sunday, 10th

Endearment vandalizes,

         fondling demolishes.

Saturday, 30th

Tuesday, 20th

Thursday, 2nd

Monday, 20th