Photo by Mark Gane

Martha Johnson is a founding member and the lead singer of the Canadian art pop band Martha and the Muffins which formed in 1977. Her career, spanning more than four decades and eleven albums, has had many highlights. In 2000, Martha was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and was eventually forced to stop performing live.

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Martha Johnson and Company’s “Slow Emotion” began with the suggestion of her neurologist Dr. Fasano at Krembil Research Institute/University Health Network in Toronto. He encouraged Martha to collaborate on a song with another of his patients, songwriter/musician Fabio Dwyer, to show that life and creativity doesn’t end with a diagnosis. Released on April 11th, World Parkinson’s Day, the uplifting anthem was largely performed by musicians and singers with PD.

“I came up with the title, Slow Emotion, years ago and it seemed like a good fit with the theme of accepting and adapting to the changes both physically and emotionally you go through when you are living with PD. I’m hoping that people are moved by the song to a place of better understanding. Parkinson’s is continuously a life changing event for me. Life is what you make of it and you’ll have a better time if you just slow down a little and really take it all in.” Martha Johnson

With the support of Krembil Research Institute/University Health Network and Parkinson Canada, there is an accompanying documentary by Toronto filmmaker Jason Cipparrone that looks at the creation of “Slow Emotion.”