Welcome to 1000 Days
Updated: Jul 23, 2021
Hello and welcome to the first blog post for the 1000 Days Project – a project exploring creative responses to experiences of hospital, music and wellbeing. In 2019 I received funding from Help Musicians’ Fusion Fund, to run a series of workshops exploring the use of a music and spoken word collaboration 1000 Days, as a creative evaluation methodology. The project is rooted in an award – winning music project, Songbirds, based in a UK paediatric hospital, which took place between 2016-2018. With Covid-19 the 1000 Days Project has suffered many delays, but I’m delighted that we are now delivering our workshops across music and health communities in Manchester during May 2021.
The 1000 Days Project allowed me to make time to create a space to examine music and spoken word collaboration as a reflective process, and to design a series of workshops where learning can be shared with people across music and healthcare sectors. In the workshops I’m joined by my Songbirds musician colleague Mark Fisher and spoken word artist Keisha Thompson. Mark and I share our thoughts and experiences of musical interactions in hospital spaces and examine the creative processes we embarked on as we collaborated with Keisha on a series of music and spoken word recordings which capture children’s, families’, staff and our musician responses to music-making on hospital wards, in corridors and at bedside spaces as part of a longstanding hospital music residency programme. Keisha discusses how she became, as an invited observer, a witness to our hospital music-making world; her poems capturing the many thoughts and feelings of a diverse hospital community. Her words reflected on the value of musical interactions from a range of individual perspectives; they became a collective voice of experience, shining light on the moments of life, joy, sadness and hope, that fly in and out of the human spaces created with in hospital musical interactions.
The Fusion Fund Award from Help Musicians has given the opportunity to allow us to reflect upon how we all collaborated in music and spoken word: what were our processes? How did the process bring space for new thinking and new reflection? How did it challenge our creative processes and enable us to develop further? What did we learn about how we create and respond in music? What was our responsibility in music and words to share the thoughts and experiences of those who shared in music with us, who told their stories and expressed their innermost feelings of hospital life and situations?
As the project develops, I hope to be able to share in this blog the things we have learned about these questions, as we’ve discussed and shared our own thoughts with listeners along the way and share the new creative responses we have invited from those listeners during the workshops.
I hope too that 1000Days will help to support a community of practice centred around exploring the creative ways we can use to evaluate our experiences of musical interaction, and particularly celebrate the ways music can find a way to help tell the stories of peoples’ experience of health, life, love and living.