April 22 Update - "Proud Canadian" recognized with a Jango high play rating.
The tracks "Proud Canadian" and "Hope" have been getting many plays through internet radio station JANGO. As of today, the tracks have been played over 1700 times. Many fans have "Liked" the tracks. Thank You. It's interesting to watch because the countries where the tracks are most popular are; Canada, USA, Mexico, United Kingdom, Israel, Japan, New Zealand. If you have the chance to listen to JANGO, and you hear our tracks, please give us a Thumbs UP.
April 22 Update - "Proud Canadian" recognized with a Jango high play rating.
Enjoy this bonus track that Steve mixed, it didn't make it to the final CD, but it's here for you now. Enjoy.
Steve recently conducted a phone interview with Coast Mountain FM. Great job by Steve and Coast Mountain editing together a radio spot that really describes the project and it's creative process.
Here's a picture of an original poem written by one of our former residents, Duncan.
Although Duncan was in the later stages of dementia, when presented with the original copy of this love poem he had written for Doreen on Easter of 1965, magic happened. It occurred during one of our House recording sessions several years ago. With recorder on, Doreen and Bruce waited several minutes to see if there would be a response to our request asking Duncan to read the poem. Duncan stared at the poem for what seemed like several minutes, then he burst into dramatic oration, reading his words of love with the emotion and gravitas of someone who's spent his entire life on stage, even though his ability to converse had been severely limited up until that moment. Bruce attempted to capture another sample of this reading a week later but Duncan was not able to read it coherently.
We were fortunate to have captured Duncan's recital of the poem on tape. You'll hear it on "Alex and Betty," track #5 on Across the Lines. It's a beautiful testament to a talented man and the love he held for his wife of many years.
For too long, residential care facilities for the elderly have been seen only as a place people go when they're too frail or unwell to live on their own, and there's a sense of sadness around their loss of independence and need to move to a more “institutional” environment.
Bruce Devereux and the Good Samaritan Society would like to change this perception—and create a new culture of aging that celebrates and nurtures the capacities of the elderly instead of focusing on what they have lost.
That's why they recently collaborated with Sunshine Coast musician Steve Wright on the “Across the Lines” project. Over the course of several workshops, Wright brought iPads and iPhones along with musical instruments into Christenson Village and encouraged participating residents to engage in creative play. Participants especially enjoyed using the iPad and exploring several different music-making iPad applications to create sound patterns.
Wright and Devereux recorded their creative play and incorporated it into the “Across the Lines” CD, a largely improvised collection of tracks featuring music by a band consisting of local musicians Norman Boyd, Ian McLatchie, Serena Eades, and Barry Taylor, as well as Wright himself.
Devereux says the Across the Lines workshops were a huge success with the Christenson Village residents.
“It was all about exploring the process of creativity,” he says. “Steve moved people away from the idea that you can’t create music if you’re not a musician and showed them that they can still create sound and participate in the making of music that way.”
Irene Brougham, 83, one of Christenson Village's Assisted Living residents, agrees.
“It was so innovative and exciting for us,” she says. “The way it reached people… I was involved in one of the workshops and the residents there were so enthusiastic. It just opened up a whole new world.”
Irene believes that this kind of creative engagement with instruments and technology provides the older adult with an exciting new outlet for self-expression. “There are no errors—no way to do it 'wrong,'” she says. “And the joy of creating helps them forget their aches and pains.”
“Plus, they engage with each other more as they give feedback to those who are doing the creating,” Devereux adds.
Irene says the elderly participants were astonished by the capabilities of the new technology.
“It’s almost a make believe world for us,” she says. “It's like getting a present and you don’t know what’s inside it. It’s full of surprises... The TV is so passive. This is a whole new game. There’s nothing stale about it.”
At the time of this interview, Irene was eagerly awaiting the arrival of her own new iPad.
Devereux says that the “Across the Lines” project is part of a tidal change that he sees happening in the world of residential care. “There's a real shift going on, a feeling that something has to change in the design of residential care,” he says. “People are seeing the potential of a care facility as a place to create. It's not just a place full of people who are unwell.”
He hopes that more care facilities take a fresh look at the culture of aging and introduce more creative activities to their residents. “No matter what your ability levels are, you still have that capacity to create – and to get excited about it,” he says. “It's not just creating, it’s learning. Even if you have dementia and can't remember things, you can still enjoy the learning process and feel that excitement, that sense of accomplishment.”
The “Across the Lines “ project happened because of the generous support of the Good Samaritan Society, Sunshine Coast Foundation, and Bill Beaton. The CD will be available for purchase in physical format and online in the very near future, and we'll be having an official CD launch event early in the New Year.
For further information contact...
Bruce Devereux at email@example.com
Steve Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org
That's the question asked by the author of an inspiring article titled "Music Therapy Transforms Senior Residents" we recently came across online.
The article explores the health benefits seniors suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia can experience through music therapy. It focuses on the touching story of Claire Minutella, an Alzheimer's patient and resident of an assisted-living community in Havertown, Pennsylvania.
When Claire is taken on a group field trip to the Mummer's Museum in Philadelphia, her childhood home, the music she hears awakens long-buried memories and brings her right back to her teenage years, when she used to dance to the Mummer's Band that would play their instruments all the way down Philadelphia's main street.
Claire's joyful response to the music astounded the care workers who went on the field trip.
"Claire was transformed into her youth," Activities Director Jules Dewey says in the article. "Something connected with her; it made her that profoundly happy. Everybody was happy! To me, it was very special to see Claire this way. She knew this was her neighborhood. We all knew that. She turned back into a teenager before our very eyes."
Dewey says that watching Claire experience such joy was an incredibly rewarding experience.
It’s like getting paid a second paycheck," she says. "It made me feel like this is what we were supposed to be doing. THIS is why we’re here. This is how we can make a difference in the lives of our residents.”
To read the full article, click here.
The Across the Lines team was delighted when the local Sunshine Coast newspaper, The Coast Reporter, recently featured a story about the Across the Lines project.
Arts and Entertainment writer Jan DeGrass writes:
"A senior resident of a care home makes music when she simply touches an iPad programmed with a musical application. Another resident, usually withdrawn, recites and records a love poem he wrote for his wife years ago. One woman who has never played piano before sits down with a musician and learns a fragment. This creative program of activities is called Across the Lines and it’s happening at the Good Samaritan’s Christenson Village in Gibsons with the aid of a Sunshine Coast Community Foundation grant and two creative individuals."
Click here to read the entire article.
We are honoured by the level of support we've received from the community and are excited to share the results of the participants' and musicians' work this fall when we release the Across the Lines CD!
Just came across a website for another project that is using iPads to explore the impact that creative art and play with technology has on patients with dementia. Claire Ford is looking for volunteers to help her with her work in dementia care settings across North East England.
It's great to see other people searching for new ways to make the lives of the elderly in general -- and people with dementia more specifically -- more fulfilling and enjoyable through creative art and technology.
To learn more about Claire's project, visit: http://claireford.blogspot.ca/2012/07/ipad-engage-volunteers-needed.html
Patricia Hammond, born and raised on the Coast, now living in London, England has recently been featured in MacLeans magazine. Take the time to read this great article.
Photo by Cole Garside for Macleans
How does the death of a child change a parent? How does the death of a parent change a child?
These are the questions that New York artist and film maker Phil Toledano explores in his new documentary film, A Shadow Remains.
The movie runs just under 30 minutes -- along with a 15-minute epilogue -- and looks well worth the watch.
For anyone who is struggling to deal with the impending or actual loss of a beloved parent, we encourage you to check it out.