• Kate Millett

Instinctive Music

Updated: May 5, 2021

Musicians: Alice Zawadzki (violin & voice) and Ben Hazleton (double bass)

At our usual Monday morning Covid PCR tests and coffee meeting, Alice and Ben described their visit to BSL two days earlier. The below is their joint account:

A.Z: Saturday was a bright May Day. We began with E.J and played some songs by a friend of ours called Fred Thomas, who is a really special musician and composer. We thought they were particularly apt as the lyrics are taken from James Joyce and William Blake poetry, which we knew E.J would love. It was really nice to do an off the cuff, instinctive version with Ben, because he had never heard the recordings or seen the charts before. It was really beautiful.

B.H: Next door, we met E.J's new neighbour, J. She’s cracking! Proper old school London! She's very glamorous and had lovely jewellery hanging up in her room. She really enjoyed the music. Alice told her she looks like a film star, and J said:

“You’ve really made my day.”

A.Z: She wanted to give us a tenner, saying “Go on, get yourselves a glass of wine”, which was a lovely gesture, and seemed an indication of her agency. We didn’t take it but thanked her very much for offering. It showed that she’d really appreciated it.

B.H: There was a communal vibe in the dining area of the 2nd floor. We played for S, G.H and two carers, Francisca and Semeret. G was listening from outside. We checked whether he could hear and he gave us his usual thumbs up. We were there for a while, playing a number of things. The carers seemed to really like the Vivaldi. We asked them what kind of music they like and they both said Classical.

A.Z: Ben improvised with G.H again. There needs to be a whole album of just Ben and G.H. Her voice is so low, kind of a contralto vibe. It was like they were playing in unison, with the same momentum and velocity of gesture. It sounded really, really cool.

B.H: D.J was drumming along with us as he normally does. And then, he started singing. Improvising but fitting perfectly with what we were playing. He sang with real purpose. He was drumming and singing and improvising with us for a long while. Alice sang with him and I sang with him a bit too.


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