Music relief! Help through lockdown

6th Jul 2020

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Gail (pictured above) is a lady we’ve been supporting with shopping and other help in recent weeks through the Angels. She has recorded her own folk songs. Gail is partially sighted, and her befriender is Cal. With Cal and her family’s help they have uploaded the songs onto a crowdfunding page and donations go to KLS – Gail wanted to give back something to those who have supported her during the lockdown. https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CalAlphonse – please donate!

“My name is Gail and for the last fifteen years, music has made the most enormous difference to my life. I am blind and by performing both folk and traditional music in various venues I have been enabled to be socially connected with the world. I have met new people, made friends, enjoyed entertaining people and found I have a place the world, even though I am blind. Performing has also helped me through times of sadness in my life and given me back my spirit.

Three months ago, the doors to this life closed to me with lockdown and I found myself in very different world. I had lost all the familiar voices, laughter and social interaction from music making that gave joy and purpose to my life. Everything closed in on me and I felt very alone. But through a local organisation called the Battersea Coronavirus Angels, I was contacted by someone offering to do my shopping and through her twice weekly visits, I realised I wasn’t alone and that the music in my life would one day return.

As a way of saying thank you, I have written and recorded some songs, which I would like to share with you. Any donation you make will go to the Katherine Low Settlement, a local charity who makes such a difference in the community (see below for more information about them). I feel this is my way of giving back, having been helped so much during the Covid lockdown. Donate here.

The ‘album’ of songs is called Mysterious and I wanted to share with you the inspiration for two of them. ‘Missing Jess’ is about loss based on a true story, partly related to my mother who developed dementia. I felt I was robbed of her years before she died as it was difficult to have interaction with her, made even more difficult as my blindness meant I couldn’t even see her facial expressions which communicate so much. It is also about a friend of mine who had a stroke which robbed her of her independence, and although I used to visit her, it was hard to have the same interaction with her with her short term memory impacted.

‘Mistaken Identity’ is about myself, as I struggled to find myself in my working life. I ended up in conventional jobs which didn’t really suit me and it was only when I became part of the Folk Music scene that I found my true identity. I could express myself through song and had a common language that I could share with other musicians in both a social and professional setting.

Thank you for any donation you make and I hope you enjoy the songs.”

Make a donation and download the songs here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CalAlphonse

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