Monday, 1 June 2020

A celebration of a time in life spent with someone, but they are not entirely there: Benjamin Fitzgerald's Ode to John

Benjamin Fitzgerald
Benjamin Fitzgerald
Benjamin Fitzgerald is a young composer from the North East whose new piece Ode to John has just been released today [Spotify], It is part of Benjamin's Mind, Matter & Perspective project which looks and music and mental health [You can hear Benjamin talking more about the project on the BBC website].

The idea for the piece came from witnessing the development of dementia in Benjamin's grandfather (the John of the title), and it uses John's voice as well as saxophone and piano.

Benjamin recently graduated from the music course at Newcastle University, and has been playing in bands for 16 years. All of his projects so far have involved drums, so this one was something of a challenge for him. He used the composition as a way not only of coping with his grandfather's dementia, but also as a way to empathise with what others were going through in similar circumstances. He used the idea as the theme for his major composition during final year of university, and the piece was commissioned via the New Creatives initiative from BBC Arts and Arts Council England.

Benjamin describes Ode to John as 'A celebration of a time in life spent with someone, but they are not entirely there.'


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