Case Study -Writing a song virtually with The Swan Song Project by Stephanie Ingham
When mum got ill and was rushed to hospital, I thought that she was going to die thatnight and I would never get chance to see her again. It filled me with sadness, and I didn’t feel prepared and inadequate for the most important sending off of my life, the prospect of saying goodbye to my mum.
It felt so sudden and I prayed she would be OK. Mum returned to us but is still very ill. The future is uncertain with mum’s health.
I didn’t sleep for weeks worrying I was going to lose her and lose my best friend in the world. How do you express everything to her, and lock in time those amazing memories?
I love music. I know how it can be therapeutic to maybe write a song about my mum, somehow…but would need help to do this. I didn’t know what I wanted to sing as such or what it would sound like but wanted to honour mum as a gift to her.
I didn’t know if anyone else would understand. But amazingly I found the swan song project charity. It was such a huge relief to find Ben buddy slack and this wonderful charity who might enable me to unlock and express what I felt.
It needed to be online due to the coronavirus and Ben was fine with that and knew a way to still do songs, though I’m not technical at all.
We met online through an online free app called zoom.
Ben was very professional but friendly and a great and kind listener. He is also a wonderful musician. He was very good at picking up on certain memories and feelings to produce lyrics to a song. It did not take long. We wrote together a song called ‘Cornish Dreams’.
Ben is very amenable and goes that extra mile to help produce something to be really proud of.
The technical side was a gentle learning curve and turned out not to be too difficult. Even I could do it! I didn’t need microphone or other gadgets.
Ben went away to produce the music on his guitar for the song according to lyrics. It was perfect than I had ever dreamed it would be.
I sang the lyrics and made up the melody, recording on a free app called bandlab.
I felt a bit alone on my song so Ben suggested backing vocals by jess. These were heavenly and made me cry happy tears. I felt uplifted and supported at every stage.
I decided to confide to my sister what I was doing. She wanted to sing on the song too. She lives in Kent (I live in Huddersfield) but she was able to record her part of the song using the same free app that I did online called bandlab.
Ben amalgamated everyone onto the song, and ‘cornish dreams’ was born. It made my sister, my mum and I cry joyfully on hearing the finished piece that we all, especially Ben, worked so hard on..
When my mum heard it we sat holding each others hands in a really sad but timeless moment. All that I had wanted was created.
I hadn’t realised that music would heal and bring my family closer together, but it did. My mum, sister and I are now so close, three musketeers.
This period of grief has been handled so gently and sensitively through the whole process.
We are immensely grateful to Ben slack and the swan song project for making my dreams a reality.
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