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  • Writer's pictureNathaniel Keen

Great session, lads

Musicians: Nat Keen (guitar) Graham Hughes (bass)

It was nice to see R again today, he looked very peaceful as his carer prepared him for the imminent visit of his family. Graham joined me for a rendition of 'Till There Was You' which we were playing as his daughters entered. As before they conveyed their gratitude and filmed a small clip to send to the extended family.

In the top floor living room we spent some time with L and played some of Graham's jazzy repertoire from the 40's which intrigued him, he seemed to pay great attention to the changes in musical detail, his eyes darting around analysing various flourishes, dynamic shifts in volume and textures. We heard L.O approaching with her gentle call for 'help' and invited her to join us on the seat next to L. The music we played seemed to lift her figuratively and literally as she raised her head from her usual stooped position. She sat down, seemingly able to temporarily pause from her cyclical corridor walk and engage with the sounds in front of her. With a big, toothy grin she asked Graham questions about his double bass and complimented us on the songs.

We visited JC next to write another song. I was interested to see how wide his pool of ideas was when it came to thinking of a topic for a song. Gently I nudged him towards the idea of a different storyline but in every case the same themes occurred. There is always motion, driving or being on a train, there is always a hostage situation and some form of robbery involving a young woman who innocently gets caught up in the madness. We suggested that maybe the robber and the girl fall in love and he seemed open to the idea. I find it interesting that these themes are so deeply ingrained in his subconscious, maybe it's simply an association with playing the guitar and the aesthetic of Blues music. Maybe if I turn up with a harp, the outcomes would be very different.

JC - 'great session lads, great session'

In the second floor living room we noticed a new face, M, who instantly had a cheeky authority about her. The residents in the room were watching telly but seemed open to the idea of us turning down the volume of the program and playing music instead. M had other ideas and grabbed the controller. "Are you the boss?" I asked...."yes" she replied, with a naughty look in her eye. We played nevertheless, competing with Countryfile, I could see M gently rocking to the music in her chair, pretending to watch the tv but secretly digging some Gypsy Jazz.

We played 'Nessun Dorma' for C who insisted that we were 'lovely boys'. Graham then thumbed his way through his folder of songs and picked out 'Buona Sera' which was the only other Italian related tune he had. The playing was so raucous that it triggered the fire safety latch on the door!

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