Cupcake Day at Bridgeside Lodge
Musicians: Dom Pipkin (piano) Ben Hazleton (double bass)
Every year The Alzheimer's Society hosts Cupcake Day It's a fun and friendly opportunity to raise money and to support those living with Alzheimer's. Never one to miss a party, Bridgeside Lodge manager Fatma Makalo asked us to organise the music for their event on Thursday 17th.
It promised to be a busy day, as we were joined by film makers Cutloose London. In 2020, we were paired with Cutloose to create a short film about our work (this came about thanks to Media Trust as part of our ongoing funding relationship with City Bridge Trust.) Senior producers Corrine and Persia met residents in the morning, chatting with them about their lives and about how The Spitz impacts their lives at Bridgeside Lodge. Their visit was underscored by Ben Hazleton's sonorous double bass. We're really excited to see the finished film and will share it with you as soon as it's ready!
We had hoped for music and cupcakes in the garden that afternoon, but the weather struck - our "expect the unexpected" mantra was back in full force.
On the third floor we met the daughter of resident R, a music lover who is receiving end-of-life care. She told us that she was just about to put the radio on so that R could have some music, so Dom and Ben's arrival was timely! Live music is always the best. R really perked up and his daughter was so pleased with our visit and even more so that she'd been there to witness it. Guitarist Nat Keen was due to play at BSL the next day, so we text him to ask that he spend some time with R during his session.
Dom and Ben then played a mini concert on each of the four floors of Bridgeside Lodge, reading the differing atmospheres of each floor and playing appropriately (while enjoying a cupcake or two!)
On the ground floor, we spent some time with L, a resident who tends to be quite withdrawn and uncommunicative, but with whom Spitz musician Alice Zawadzki has recently had some success, especially with Somewhere Over The Rainbow, a song that clearly holds a special significance for L. We were intrigued to see if the same song performed by someone very different would have an equally positive effect.
Dom and Ben performed the song for L and did indeed have a similar result. L made eye contact, shed some tears and when prompted by Fatma, began speaking about the song reminding her of her sons. It's fascinating to see the impact that specific pieces of music can have on people, especially when little else seems to reach them in so profound a way.
Before we left for the day, Dom shared a music video collaboration he had been part of during the first lockdown. It was a version of We Shall Overcome, curated by American musician Glen David Andrews and featuring musicians from all over the world - with Dom as one of two UK contributors. We won't say more, just watch it....