Treatment for Spiro Jane

Hello, I’m Jane Harbour, composer and violinist with the band Spiro. I am launching this appeal to help me urgently raise the money I need for treatment in March for a neurological health condition that is making my life and work very challenging, at a particularly crucial moment in my career.  

I have been diagnosed with FND (Functional Neurological Disorder) and it’s been affecting me for a year.  It’s a strange disorder in that the way the brain behaves changes.  It seems FND is different for everybody. With me, it doesn’t affect energy or ability, but the brain thinks that something is painful after a few minutes, which means that doing anything that involves your nervous system – which is everything! – including walking, playing, speaking, using my eyes to read, composing at the computer, using my phone, you name it – has to be done with many mini breaks in order for the brain to reset.  Also, sometimes, a day off is needed between activities. All of which is obviously extremely limiting, and I’m always riding a line between pain that’s manageable and pain that’s not. As you might imagine, my life and career are being made extremely difficult by this condition. 

This spring Spiro’s hugely exciting tour goes ahead with Steve Reich's Synergy Vocals. By using various methods that keep the pain at a manageable level, this will happen whether or not I get better, but this issue needs to be properly fixed in order for me to continue composing, playing and performing without being hampered by pain and continually limited. 

The band has been together, in the same lineup, for 27 years. We met in a folk session, but shared a love of minimalism, left-field music and punk. We had a great laugh playing wherever would have us, including a tour of Hungary which we did in our dilapidated campervan. Things really took off for us when our manager Alan James took us on and we were signed to Real World Records. We’ve released seven albums and EPs and toured the world. It’s been an incredible journey so far that we’ve shared with countless audiences. 

The next stage in it, with Synergy joining us, is a real high in our career. Alongside my work composing for Spiro, I’ve been developing ways of using vocals and language all my working life, but been waiting for the opportunity to work with the right group. After my orchestral piece, Kynde, for six voices and BBC Concert Orchestra, I approached Synergy Vocals. This is a dream project for me; in particular it gives me a chance to develop the musical systems I use instrumentally in Spiro, for voice.  It could launch a new stage of my career as a composer and of Spiro’s as a band. 

Unfortunately there are no effective treatments for this condition yet available on the NHS. The treatment I am raising money for is a cutting edge neuroplasticity treatment and has only been available in Canada since last year. It is a non-invasive technique that doesn’t require drugs or surgery, but stimulates the brain to reset and heal itself.  I have done huge amounts of research, including speaking with the scientists involved, and the treatment has a good chance of resolving my issue.

I’m not going to be able to pay for the treatment unless I raise it in this campaign and I need to go for treatment in March in order to be well for the project. So the campaign end date is the 27th February.

Help musicians, the PRS benevolent fund, the MU benevolent fund and the Royal Society of Musicians have all helped me in my journey so far this year with obtaining a diagnosis, and funding for consultations and therapies that have helped me cope with the condition day to day, and I thank them very much for this. 

If you can help by sharing this campaign or contributing to it, you’d be continuing the work of these organisations and helping me at this crucial point where after much research and many consultations I have identified the treatment that has a good chance of resolving my issue. 

Your support will make a vital difference to me and Team Spiro.

Thank you very much for reading. 

If you're interested to know more about me and the band, here are some web links:

Donations ()

  • Justin Adams 
    • £25 
    • 8 mins
  • Anonymous 
    • £25 
    • 5 hrs
  • Oliver Vaughan 
    • £20 
    • 21 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • £100 
    • 21 hrs
  • Eleanor Crow 
    • £25 
    • 1 d
See all


Jane Harbour 
Bristol, ENG
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