• Ben Hazleton

The hands of time dance on

Musicians: Ben Hazleton (bass)

Initially headed up to the top floor to visit JC for blues, songwriting and political comment and found the man himself taking tea in the dining room with Resident I. They were engaged in conversation about Scotland. I provided a double bass counterpoint and soon the three of us were in a flow state of poetry, song, notes and good times.

A member of staff encouraged her to dance as she was tapping her feet. I reminded her of her own comment a few weeks previously that they were “trying to get me to make an exhibition of myself” she said she “couldn’t hear me with that thing round my face" [my mask].

I was welcomed graciously into J's home space and played sonata in C minor by George Frederic Handel. All four movements. Then I played and sang If I Was A Blackbird by Scottish folk group Silly Wizard.

R was resting his eyes as the scroll of my bass accidentally knocked his door frame. He slowly looked round, a little bewildered, then smiled and gave a thumbs up so I began. I played the Handel sonata, to which he smiled warmly and said “lovely” then I played a Nick Drake song.

G was in his usual chair, guarding the lifts.. He was in the mood for some sounds and I played some Bach which he found convivial.

Upon entering GH's room I could see there was a fault with the auto-closing door, meaning it was continually emitting an annoying beep. GH said it was driving her mad and she had told someone about it but was not convinced they had got her meaning. We did our best to ignore the beep and played and sang together through Handel. She conducted and added some extended endings. We discussed the writing work she is engaged with and she showed me some lists of words.

She was ready for some heavyweight Russian melody so I played some Rachmaninov.

Then the ‘Silly Wizard’ which she joined in freely extemporising.

They session ended rather too soon for us both but the hands of time danced on.

Finally I played for EJ and S, encouraged by their carers. All were laughing and jolly.

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