Hemophilia Harmony

Collaborating musically online
Author: Beth Marshall

In each issue of HemAware, we spotlight people in the bleeding disorders community. Here, we talk to Matthew Tache and Billy Conde Goldman from Portland, Oregon, both of whom have severe hemophilia A. Matthew and Billy created Blood Vibrations in September 2013, an online project that encourages and celebrates musical expression by people in the bleeding disorders community.

What is Blood Vibrations?

Matthew: Blood Vibrations is an ongoing musical collaboration between people in the bleeding disorders community. Our first volume, a collection of 13 songs from people with bleeding disorders, is up online. We are working on collecting the second volume.

Why did you create a platform where people in the community could share their music?

Billy: Over the years, and through our chapter’s Blood Brotherhood program and national meetings, we’ve met many people who play instruments, sing and are in bands. We wanted to give them a place where they could be heard and also encourage other people to express themselves through music. It’s open to anyone with a bleeding disorder, any age and any musical ability. The Internet is pretty much available everywhere, so we put Blood Vibrations online.

What inspired you to do this project?

Matthew: Music is a good outlet for people to communicate what is going on with their lives. I think it can be hard for people to express their feelings. That’s why they watch certain movies or listen to certain songs—it’s a way that people find something that echoes some of the emotions they’re experiencing. When you’re listening to music that moves you, you’re allowed to feel. Many people in this community need to find a positive outlet for their pain. We wanted to show that people with bleeding ­disorders have found an outlet for their emotions, and to share that with the community.

Are you both musicians?

Matthew: I have a little musical talent, but really just a little. But music has always been incredibly important to me. I can talk about music all day. I collect music; I’m more about being a music nerd.

Billy: I’ve always had music in my life. I started in choir in elementary school, and then I played the clarinet and cornet. At some point I started playing harmolodic rock ’n’ roll in a band. It’s been a fulfilling and ongoing journey.

How has music helped you deal with your bleeding disorder?

Billy: It sounds dramatic, but it’s saved me. With my bleeding disorder, music has always been the thing I could turn to as a way to express the joys and the challenges. When I was younger, if I was in pain because I was laid up with an injury, music was supportive. Bob Marley said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” As an adult, it’s been empowering to create music with others and share those creations.

How can people find out more about Blood Vibrations?

Matthew: It lives in two places on the web. One is: bloodvibrations.bandcamp.com. That’s where the music and some of the lyrics can be found. The other site is: bloodvibrations.wordpress.com, which has more information about the project itself and how to contact us if you want to submit a song or album art.

Who can contribute?

Billy: It’s open to anyone with a bleeding disorder, of any musical ability. The songs can be as traditional or as whacked-out as you want. They can be about bleeding disorders or anything else. This whole project is about sharing your spirit and your journey in whatever that means to you. It’s about connecting people with music.

Do you know an interesting individual we should profile in a ­future ­issue of HemAware? Email: [email protected].