• Nathaniel Keen

Aderyn Melyn // Yellow Bird

Musicians: Nathaniel Keen (guitar) Pete Lee (piano)


I was joined on today's visit by Pete Lee, the keyboard wizard and general bringer of joy. Since last seeing each other we'd experienced destructive storms and witnessed the outbreak of a European invasion so we both arrived ready to escape into music and to share some positivity at Bridgeside Lodge.


First, we went to visit Mr GH to continue contributing to the progress he'd been making in recent months. We found him in his room but not in the mood for music at that point, luckily we would see him a few minutes later in the dining room. In the second floor hallway I was pleased to see AS out from her room and happily socialising with ML and the staff. We kept the mood high and played upbeat music which triggered enthusiastic, rhythmical claps from AS and big grins from ML and her daughter who was visiting.


Through the window into the dining room we could see GH who'd clearly made a dash from his room, hopefully summoned by the call of music but possibly for a biscuit. GH was, in Pete's words 'riled up' by the music and was clapping along loudly to our rendition of Chick Correa's ‘Spain', meanwhile AS, noticing the new addition to the band cried out “Venga G!" (go GH!). Pete and I then moved towards the claps in the dining room where we also found J sitting. While we were discussing which tune to play next, we heard the familiar boom of GH's voice 'HEY JUDE....DON'T MAKE IT BAD…..’ We quickly found the key and hopped on board, strumming and plonking along to his dominant vocal performance.

J seemed impressed by the whole affair, presumably appreciating the military like conviction and power in his voice. This was followed by yelps of:


'Marvellous...tremendous...charming'.


At one point in the chorus, J took the liberty of changing the lyrical content from 'Hey Jude' to 'and Sue' and with this alteration seemed happy to join in with the sing along. We asked J for a photo and much to the amusement of his carers he seemed more than happy to oblige, temporarily putting down his cup, turning to the camera and giving us a big, beaming smile.


After this little hootenanny, we popped over to see Ms GH who seemed frustrated. We tried to comprehend her directions relating to pieces of furniture she wanted moving but without many words it was difficult to help, understandable frustration of course. Pete and I both agreed that in this slightly more spiky mood of hers, she was enjoying the unapologetic 'banter' that we were pushing back with. We playfully joked around with each other and she began to loosen up as we created long and winding, strange musical cadenzas that usually ended with a competitive long note competition, all of us red in the face as the last traces of oxygen were depleted. Pete played her a beautiful rendition of a Debussy piece which flipped all of our moods into a one of tranquillity and calmness, GH exclaiming 'oh wow!...how beautiful'. Towards the end we changed up the musical landscape once again and played a Calypso tune called 'Yellow Bird' which it turns out Pete had learnt at school, but in Welsh, it was impressive to hear! Whilst we were playing the tune GH asked us to stop, saying 'low' and moving her hand up and down to indicate the pitch. Pete later suggested to me that he interpreted this as a kind of request to practice the melody again as she found it difficult, especially in the current pitch which was quite high.


We ended the day with JC who had his finger on the pulse politically and we used music to cathartically express our worries about the war in Ukraine.


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