Double double bass and a harmonica
Updated: Feb 6
The Spitz is a charity whose mission is to “use the power of live music to increase wellbeing while reducing isolation and loneliness”. They pay musicians professional rates to perform in care homes and day centres in North London. They have found a way to continue their mission right through the pandemic. In the summer they put on concerts in the gardens of care homes, and now in the winter they are able to bring music into the homes. They have set up a regular testing regime for musicians involved, and musicians that can perform wearing a face mask are booked to play in solo and duo acts.
They have kindly invited me to join their team, with me playing the double bass and singing. Another bass player on their rosta has suggested we do a performance together. I would never have considered two double basses working well as a duo, but the more I’ve looked into what we might do I reckon we will be able to put on an entertaining and interesting show. I’m told the old people in the home light up when they see a double bass, and they like a variety of music, from classical, to rock and roll, to jazz to sentimental ballads. So I’ve been writing out arrangements, revisiting some of my classical singing repertoire and we’ll give it a go. Such a privilege to be employed by people who will take a chance on an unusual line-up and trust us to make it work. We will meet up in a large space together next week to rehearse.
Meanwhile I’ve been invited by the company running jobs for the National Census to take my application further, so I’ve had a short interview and I hope to be working 25 hours a week local to me for a few weeks in March. What with that, and my role as a vaccinator which I hope to start soon, I will be back to work and earning a living. The thought of having a purpose certainly lifts my spirits.
After the positive reception from my harmonica number on Facebook I ordered a new harmonica, from Japan (4 octave, chromatic). My old harmonica tended to fall apart so I thought it might be time to upgrade, and this one came highly recommended. It arrived this week and I’ve been enjoying tootling on it and planning new recordings.
I’ve also got two gigs performing for funerals in the next fortnight, and I’ve had an enquiry for my band The Sunshine Kings to play for a wedding in August. So despite the fact that we are told that the current lockdown is likely to continue at least till April I’m feeling a whole lot more positive than recently.