• Thom Rowlands

Play what's in your heart

Updated: Mar 30

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


Alice: Beautiful session. I want to talk about what happened with GH that day. We were doing the rounds as usual, GH was really pleased to see us. I played her some Bach violin partitas and sonatas. Then I said to Ben “play what’s in your heart” and oh my god, what erupted out of Ben was just phenomenal.


Astonishingly soulful playing, improvising and then what unfolded was just mad. GH often sings along in a sort of bellowing sound, but today they were riffing off each other, it was very much a duet. I think that was possible because it was so improvised. She was vocalising in quite a quiet, guttural way. There was something quite... holy...about it. I just listened and watched, there was something ritualistic about it. There was a connection between them in that moment that was quite hard to describe. I haven't stopped thinking about it since, it was amazing.


Ben: I played Raga bass, improvised. GH got really into it, singing along and conducting. I started playing with my eyes closed as I often do when I’m improvising, but then she started conducting me and we just locked in together.


Alice: There was a lovely moment with a gentleman called H. We’d met his daughter in the [covid] testing tent outside - she said her dad liked old songs. We did A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square. His body is very tense but he can vocalise and move his face a little bit and I’m sure he was in to it. I feel like his face was rising and falling with the phrases like he knew them, so I tried to sing it as plainly as possible. As the phrases rose, his face would open up with them. As if he was singing along but without singing. That felt very special.


Ben: We were with NJ and we couldn’t play in the dining room like we usually do because there was a meeting going on so we said let’s go down to the lounge. NJ went to round some people up. Came back with D and they were both really into it. We played some jazzy thing, NJ playing drums. We played some Vivaldi and some jigs. Both sat there in chairs, tapping away.


I think it’s really nice to play in people’s

rooms. Everytime you add an extra person

you get another layer of them, you know?

Whether its staff, or anyone. It’s great.

- Ben Hazleton





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