• Nathaniel Keen

Mahler & heavy metal

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Musicians: Alice Zawadzki (violin & vocals) Pete Lee (piano)

Pete Lee's thoughts on his and Alice Zawadzki's session on Saturday morning, as told to Nat Keen:

“Me and Alice had 2 hours of very intense sessions I would say. They were all on one floor, we must have seen a good five or six people but each visit was quite long, intense and nothing too light if that makes sense. I met a few people for the first time today which was really nice.

We started by seeing a new resident who's really into heavy metal music. He's a Londoner and seemed to be in quite a lot of pain. He didn't want any music because he didn't think that we could play him anything that he would actually like as he's really into heavy metal stuff, so we just had a really good 15-minute chat with him and also talked about JC who's just down the corridor. It seemed to be mine and Alice's idea/plan that we could help them to become friends, to do a bit of social assisting as they're both really big music fans. He's really into Scandinavian rock and named a few bands he likes, so we wrote the names down and promised to learn something for him for next time. He was really nice, really welcoming but obviously in a lot of pain so if we can help him out in the future that would be great.

We then went in to see a brand new resident who we'd not met before. She wasn't particularly responsive but she did welcome is us in to her room. We played a couple of jigs for her which she didn't seem to respond to in a positive way. She seemed to be ticking in frustration - she would have clenched fists and was quite agitated. Deciding to change tack, we played 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' and it was a good 5-minutes peace for her which is really, really lovely and she sang along with all of it which is a really great response.

We saw JC and had a jolly old time with him. We played some blues numbers for him and he sang along, he loved it. As always, we talked about politics!

Resident GB was in really good spirits. A visitor arrived while we were with him, who really appreciated us being there, he talked about how GB used to play the piano and he's really into his Mahler and classical music in general. - we'll remember that for next time!

We visited a resident who took a video call with his wife while we were there - so we kind of got to know both of them and she thanked us because he's really into jazz so we ended playing stuff like Eddie Parker for him .

It was a proper, good intense day even though we just spent time on that one floor”

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