Musician and author Robin Russell Gaiser studied violin as a child and then, inspired by the folk revival of the 1960s, taught herself to play guitar. After years spent performing and recording (seven of Gaiser’s albums are in the Smithsonian collection), she began to work as a certified music practitioner. In that field, Gaiser plays “for the patient in accordance with his or her needs: not to heal or cure, but to bring comfort and, perhaps, solace and joy,” according to her bio. “Above all, she ensures that the instrument she chooses and the type of music she plays is what the patient needs, whether to ease pain, or ignite happy memories, or bring spiritual comfort, or, sometimes, ease the actual passage from life to death.”
Gaiser’s memoir, Musical Morphine: Transforming Pain One Note at a Time, published by Pisgah Press, shares stories from her work and observations as a CMP, as well as memories of the patients she met who transformed her life as she brought comfort to theirs.
Musical Morphine is also available as an audiobook, produced by local company Talking Book.
Gaiser hosts a book release celebration, with a reading and musical performance, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place, on Sunday, June 19, 5-7 p.m. Other upcoming events include a reading, signing and presentation at Land of Sky Regional Council, 339 New Leicester Highway, on Thursday, June 30, 2:30-4 p.m. Learn more at robingaiser.com