Memories preserved at the Tomatis museum
Saturday October 26, 2002. Sint-Truiden, a small town of close to 40,000 inhabitants, located south of the Belgian province of Linburg, seems to suddenly attract an international crowd: French, Dutch, Germans, British and Scandinavians, even a South African delegation – they all came for the official inauguration of the Mozart-Brain-Lab Institute. MBL is the second center in Sint-Truiden to be dedicated to the scientific discoveries of Professor Alfred Tomatis. This center, established to honor the memory of the scientist, is meant to open to the public the access to the spiritual inheritance of Professor Tomatis. Among the many guests, we salute the presence of Léna Tomatis, widow of the professor and devoted companion of the founder of Audio-Psycho-Phonology, a unique therapy that focuses on the relationship between ear, psyche, and language. The inauguration takes place ten months after the passing of Professor Tomatis in Carcassonne, southern France.
Below are a few passages from the speech Léna Tomatis gave at the inauguration of the museum: “One might think a museum is a thing of the past, therapy is in the present, and research belongs to the future, but in fact it’s all about the future, supported by the multiple implications of accomplishments to which we must pay tribute. I want to speak about the work of my husband, Professor Alfred Tomatis, who left us not long ago to join the One who was waiting for him.
I would now like to say a few words about this Museum, which we have been wagering on with the Vervoorts for almost two years now. When Jozef submitted this suggestion to us, we were deeply moved, my husband and I, by this gratifying consideration of our journey as researchers. The moment had arrived to bring our work back to its rightful place after it had long been wandering in the desert.
Considering the retrospective of a series of fundamental discoveries, high-end electronic technology, and sharp neuro-psycho-pedagogical applications, was at the time a real challenge.
We had to collect thousands of books from our scientific libraries, gather hundreds of published and unpublished documents, and dig up electronic materials for the application of the Alfred Tomatis method, which had undergone a very important technical evolution. We had to sort through personal items, medals, awards, and many other things that brought out flashes of exciting, yet overwhelming, memories.
This fresco, assembled by Jozef Vervoort, his team and myself, is far from complete. It will take many years to publish the unedited writings, to ensure the translation of books and documents, to listen to and reproduce the hundreds of audio-cassettes containing interviews of Dr. Tomatis by French and foreign journalists, to view the numerous videos produced in French and other languages: films, TV shows, news stories, etc.
As you can see, the task at hand is heavy, and we need to join forces, all of us, in order to give this museum the liveliness it deserves. It's not a funeral - it's a birth, and we need to move towards a hopeful tomorrow. Research is on the horizon for many projects to which we must participate all together. From prenatal life, birth, early childhood, problematic adolescence, to the development of the adult up to the end of one’s life: everything has to be done.
Let us join together in this perspective that should lead us to the improvement of the quality of life, of the meaning of life. In this well-organized structure, many students and trainees must be able to come and seek solutions to problems that challenge them both professionally and from a humanitarian and, why not, spiritual perspective.
Razor-sharp research is part of our program. It should be known that SOUND, a universal vibration, can open new paths at the psychosomatic level, in extremely subtle domains that call for very advanced micro-investigation data.
Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, cancer, and many other pathologies, are at the forefront of our preoccupations. Cortical stimulation, using devices built from the latest discoveries of auditory physiology according to Alfred Tomatis, has the capability to bring us solutions.
I will, of course, want to close this interlude with an evocation of the musical world that was at the heart of my husband's life - Mozart, obviously. When, in the 50s, he began to proclaim the virtues of this brilliant musician, he had the impression of digging through the desert, where our contemporaries had relegated Wolfgang Amadeus. Alfred Tomatis had then, with extraordinary insight, brought to light what he will call later the "Universals": Mozart, Gregorian and The Little Prince, three giants of Universality.
Allow me to leave you with three wishes: that Audio-Psycho-Phonology become a full-fledged discipline recognized, among the humanities, by institutions and by governments; that our literary and scientific works continue to be strengthened; and finally, that music be again given a place of choice in the education of small children. “
Note: Speech given by Léna Tomatis on October 26, 2002. Léna Tomatis passed away on August 15, 2016 atthe age of 88.