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The Future & Leaving a Legacy

“I want to leave my family something that will outlive me. I have this memory of me at Christmas with my family, watching my kids open their presents, a moment that should have been so rewarding… instead I just felt so down. I knew at that point that I had to do something to help myself" Simon explains.

Beyond just personal gain, Simon is driven to pursue a purpose far greater: “Now I’m starting to do all of this, I’ve noticed that there’s lots of goals I want to complete – I know I won’t get it all done, but put simply I want to inspire people with everything I’m creating and leave a legacy… something of value to others. It has been a long time coming, but I want to help others by expressing who I am and what I’ve been through… you’ve got to set these big goals in order to keep you going!”.


Radio

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BBC Radio Sheffield, 12th August 2019
“You had me at Disco” - Paulette Edwards

Interview available until 11th Sept 2019 on: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07j3mct (starting at 1h17min)

BBC Radio Sheffield, 14th August 2019
Rony Robinson

Interview available until 13th Sept 2019 on: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07j3m82 (starting at 1h36min)




PRESS ARTICLES

Now Then, August 2019

Healing through dancing

The inaugural Dopamine Disco comes to Sheffield this month, bringing hope, joy and good vibes to the masses

I chatted to Simon Brown to get the low down on this brand new disco party.

1. Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what prompted you to start Dopamine Disco?

I’m Simon Brown, a Sheffield-based artist, musician and digital consultant. I was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s Disease (PD) at the age of 43. As I came to terms with my condition, I discovered that music and dancing provided significant relief from the tremors, muscle stiffness and depression attributed to the disease. It is scientifically proven to stimulate dopamine release in the brain, improving mood, motivation and wellbeing.

Anxiety, depression, stress and insomnia are all symptoms of PD, but they are also conditions that affect 1 in 4 people in the UK, so I created Dopamine Disco to bring this 'healing' to the masses. 

The aim to draw together and connect the people of Sheffield, but also to try and evidence this as a professionally recognised way of giving relief to the suffering of many. And, hopefully one day, to use this method in a formulated ‘healing prescription’ rolled out throughout the UK and beyond as a ‘social prescribed’ method of symptom relief.

2. What have been the most interesting findings from your exploration of sounds and music as a means of alleviating the symptoms of PD?

I could nerd out talking about the magic of the key of e, polyrhythms, neuroplasticity, and resonant frequencies. Making vocal mantras looping live, by using my voice as a synthesizer and then feeding it through vintage tape echoes and assorted guitar pedals, has produced the most calming effect on my tremor.

Recently I read that "In music — that moment when you feel a ‘chill’ of pleasure to a musical passage — causes the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, an essential signalling molecule in the brain", which I lack because of PD. As a DJ, this means the dopamine is produced just before the drop, so it's more about the anticipation of the drop than the drop itself.

 
 

3. Who else is involved in the project?

I contacted Yellow Arch Studios with a view to experimenting on a larger scale. Yellow Arch Studios have given me so much support, even putting the cause in front of the BBC who are also involved, as the second Dopamine Disco will be broadcast by the BBC. Denon DJ are also on board, providing me some of their latest DJ equipment and support. Parkinson's UK have been very supportive too.

4. What’s in store for the first Dopamine Disco?

Expect to experience smiles, dancing and good vibes, as well as sensory rooms, interactive audio-visual experiences and games.

Dopamine Disco offers a welcoming and accessible journey through dance music, with DJs and live music performances, as Yellow Arch Studios becomes a place for people of all ages to learn about the importance of the organic chemical dopamine, generated by the human body. The music has been carefully selected, distilled for 30 years and quality-checked for its dopaminergic properties.

5. Finally, what do you hope people will experience and take away from spending time at Dopamine Disco?

Whether you’re interested in taking part as a therapeutic release for Parkinson’s Disease or as an individual who simply just wants to let go and dance for the day with no judgement, stress or sleep deprivation, the Dopamine Disco is open to individuals of all ages and abilities. 

I want people to feel better than when they come in and experience a sense of hope, inspiration and a feeling of connectedness.

 

The Berlin Club, July 2019


unLTD Business, May 2019


 

PRESS RELEASES

 

HEALING THROUGH DANCING

Parkinson’s Inspired ‘Dopamine Disco’ to Launch at Yellow Arch Studios.

 On Sunday 18 August a brand new dance craze – fully accessible to people with health issues and inspired by scientific research and art therapy – will launch at Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield.

Dopamine Disco is created by Sheffield-based artist, musician and digital consultant Simon Brown who was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 43.

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with the loss of dopamine-generating cells in the brain.

As he learnt to come to terms with his condition, Simon discovered that music and dancing provided significant relief from the tremors, muscle stiffness and depression attributed to the disease.

The very first Dopamine Disco event will take place at Yellow Arch Studios on Sunday 18th August (4:20pm – 9:00pm).

Visitors to the Dopamine Disco can expect to experience smiles, dancing and good vibes, as well as sensory rooms, interactive audio-visual experiences and games.

Dopamine Disco will offer a welcoming and accessible journey through dance music – with DJs and live music performances – as Yellow Arch Studios becomes a place for people of all ages to learn about the importance of the organic chemical dopamine, generated by the human body. The music has been carefully selected, distilled for 30 years and quality-checked for its dopaminergic properties.

Simon explains: “Anxiety, depression, stress and insomnia are all symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, but they are also conditions that affect 1 in 4 people in the UK“.

“Good music and dancing help sufferers feel better – it is scientifically proven to stimulate dopamine release in the brain, improving mood, motivation and wellbeing”.

The aim of the Dopamine Disco is to bring together and connect people in the local community, while also showing just how well music and dancing can provide relief to the suffering experienced by many people.”

Organisers plan to create experiments based on scientific research at the first Dopamine Disco event, to explore the positive impact music and dance has on the human body.



 

Daiga Heisters, Head of UK Parkinson's Excellence Network, adds: “It’s fantastic that Simon has organised this event for people who have health issues, including Parkinson’s, drawing on his own experience of the positive impact music and dancing has had on his health and wellbeing. His passion and innovative thinking is commendable and we’re excited to see the results of his first ‘Dopamine Disco’ event. There are 148,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK and whilst there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, we encourage them to take part in suitable exercise, including dancing, that helps ease their symptoms and keep them active. We wish Simon the best of luck as he launches this event.”

Andy Cook, Director at Yellow Arch Studios, comments: “When Simon approached us with his idea for the Dopamine Disco we were bowled over by his enthusiasm, positivity and ideas. We can’t wait for the first event which promises to be a unique and possibly even life-changing experience!”

Whether you’re interested in taking part as a therapeutic release for Parkinson’s Disease or as an individual who simply just wants to let go and dance for the day with no judgement, stress or sleep deprivation, the Dopamine Disco is open to individuals of all ages and abilities.

The organisers hope that the event at Yellow Arch Studios will be just the start, as the Dopamine Disco dance revolution takes hold.

Simon explains: “Our aim is to develop and use this method of social prescribed symptom relief across the UK and beyond, bringing the healing of the Dopamine Disco to the masses – potentially even live streaming it worldwide.”

Dopamine Disco is supported by Yellow Arch Studios, Denon DJ, BBC and Parkinson’s UK.

OPEN TO ALL

Come join one and all and experience a unique event at Yellow Arch Studios on Sunday 18th August 2019 4:20pm start.

 

Admission is FREE. Donations welcome.

For further information email hello@dopaminedisco.tv

 

Dr John O’Connell - French Alps Fundraiser July 2019

The story so far: Dr John O’Connell qualified as medical practitioner some 34 years ago in the city of Sheffield and has spent his entire career supporting, caring and providing professional medical care to the tens of thousands of people that make up Sheffield’s community and beyond.

Throughout his career Dr John has also immersed himself in supporting local community groups, sports organisations and most recently has become a director of Sheffield’s iconic Yellow Arch Studios.

He has been a keen cyclist all his life and spends what little spare time he has peddling the seven hills of Sheffield and the glorious Peak district that surrounds our city.

Fast forward to 2019 and Dr John has decided to retire from full time general practice to concentrate on the aspects of his life that are dear to him and his wider community, including mental health, art therapy and sport related community organisations.

To mark this occasion he has decided to take on one of the most gruelling stages of the Tour De France this year to raise money and awareness to the plight of Parkinson's sufferers, a degenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system and dramatically decreases the quality of life for 1 in 350 adults in the UK.

Of all the myriad of diseases that affect society in the 21st century Dr John recently started to notice that this disease is becoming more and more prevalent in his day to day work and feels that Parkinson’s doesn’t get the ‘air time’ and awareness that this cause desperately needs, so has decided that Parkinson’s will be his adopted charity for 2019.

Teaming up with Dopamine Disco, Yellow Arch Studios, Sheffield University & the Parkinson’s Awareness wider community, all supporting and championing this worthy cause, Dr John will take on the ride of his life in July, climbing 4,450 vertical meters (nearly 3 miles into the sky!) in the French Alps to raise as much funds as possible towards promoting, raising awareness and providing support for the whole of the Parkinson's sufferers community nationwide.

Come along and support our first event Dopamine Disco on Sunday 18th August 2019 http://www.yellowarch.com/events/ where we will be raising awareness and promoting the outstanding effects that Music & Art can make to suffers of this degenerative disease.