The Psychology of Sounds Forum

Mon 28 Oct 2019

This is a past program.
ACCA Foyer


Join us for a forum about the psychology of music and sound, moderated by psychiatrist, author and media commentator, Steve Ellen. Building on the considerations of sound and the voice in healing and transcendence in ACCA’s exhibition Haroon Mirza: The Construction of an Act, this event brings together sound artist and co-director of FutureTense, Fjorn Butler; and music therapist at the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre, Stephan Skov; with exhibition curator Annika Kristensen.


Fjorn Butler is an artist, researcher, and community-event organiser. As an artist, she works primarily in sound and narrativised performance under the name Papaphilia. As a researcher, she is interested in how neoliberal forms of governance in the colony use racialised and sexualised discourses to shape the political; which then informs her writing on sound-poetics and the challenge they pose to anglophone notions of sound and music as property. She has coordinated, managed and overseen community-based projects that cross-disciplinary fields, including the facilitation of artist and sound workshops, advocacy campaigning and community building

Steve Ellen is a psychiatrist, author and media commentator. Steve is a professor at Melbourne University & the director of psychosocial oncology at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. He is a broadcaster on ABC Melbourne & 3RRR, and writes about health, especially psychology & mental health. His most recent book “Mental – everything you never knew you needed to know about mental health”, was co-written with Catherine Deveny.

Annika Kristensen is Senior Curator at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), where she has curated recent exhibitions including Haroon Mirza: The Construction of an Act (2019); Eva Rothschild: Kosmos (with Max Delany, 2018); Unfinished Business: Perspectives on art and feminism (with Paola Balla, Max Delany, Julie Ewington, Vikki McInnes and Elvis Richardson, 2017–18); Greater Together (2017); Claire Lambe: Mother Holding Something Horrific (with Max Delany, 2017); Gerard Byrne: A late evening in the future (2016); NEW16 (2016); Painting. More Painting (with Max Delany and Hannah Mathews, 2016); and The Biography of Things (with Juliana Engberg and Hannah Mathews, 2015). 

Stephan Skov is a Denmark-born singer/songwriter/producer living in Melbourne. Stephan completed a five-year masters degree in Music Therapy at Aalborg University in Denmark, as well as a four-year singing teacher education with specialisation in solo performance, singing techniques and voice rehabilitation at Voice Embodiment (now called the Anne Rosing Institute) in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is currently working as the senior music therapist and audio engineer at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, where he employs music as a powerful form of transformative therapy for palliative care patients in their final days and in oncology helping cancer patients cope with their treatments.

Presenting Partner

Exhibition Partners

Performance Partners

Publication Donors

Terry Wu and Melinda Tee

ACCA International Champions

Marita & James Lillie

Media Partner