Trigger warning: This article features content related to loss and addiction.
Our participants often talk about the humanising impact of their music-making work with Changing Tunes. Many of our participants have profoundly challenging, chaotic lives. Many have experienced trauma and face complex disadvantages, exacerbated by the pandemic. These factors are common amongst people in the criminal justice system. This is why our music programmes are trauma-informed, relationship-based and long-term. Our commitment is to provide a safe and nurturing space for people who often find themselves isolated.
Our Musicians-in-Residence are facilitators and collaborators, helping participants to find belonging, purpose and self-expression through music. Whilst we strive to work alongside our participants towards ultimately positive outcomes, what is just as important is that they can build self-esteem, meaning and community through their music-making. And even though our participants tell us, and others, about the benefits they gain from their work with Changing Tunes, we and our audiences also learn and grow through our interactions with them and their music.
In this feature, we are sharing two short films that pay tribute to Violet and James. Violet and James were long-standing Changing Tunes participants, who sadly passed away this year. Violet worked with Changing Tunes over a ten-year period and James worked with us for nine years. In these tribute films, we feature recordings and footage of their music-making. They both produced powerful musical performances, resonating with their authenticity and lived experiences. We are pleased to have been able to work so closely with Violet and James. Their music inspired us and our audiences.
In these tribute films, two of our Musicians-in-Residence, Fran and Genki, reflect on the special role that music played in the lives of Violet and James. These pieces also capture the special connections that Fran and Genki formed with Violet and James, through their music-making and time spent together. In her tribute to Violet, Fran talks about how Violet ‘clung to singing as something very vital’ and goes on to say ‘I got to learn so much from her’. In his tribute to James, Genki explains that he is ‘very proud that in the nine years we spent together, I had a good part in bringing some kind of meaning to him day-to-day’.
If you would like to find out more about Changing Tunes, then please do sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of our homepage: https://www.changingtunes.org.uk/ (don’t worry, we won’t inundate you with emails!)
You can also view more films from Changing Tunes on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/changingtunes (if you subscribe, then we can notify you when there’s new content for you to enjoy).
We would also like to thank all of our funders and donors who make our work possible.