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Aphasia opera performance

By Michael P Dean, on 22 May 2019

On the 13th May, people with aphasia from the UCL Communication Clinic performed scenes from an opera ‘Speak Red’ at the Cockpit Theatre. The opera has been co-produced through a series of workshops led by librettist Finn Beames and composer Santa Buss (http://www.oedipa.org/about-2/).

Together, the group explored how opera can be a tool for expression, demonstrating that people with aphasia can direct all stages of the creative process.

The opera is based on the story of Ruby Mcdonough. Ruby is a living American woman who has aphasia. By fighting discrimination, she changed the way the law works in the USA. The group told her story from their own perspectives, and shared their own experiences too.

There were afternoon and evening performances, and the team received feedback on this work-in-progress from the audience and through a Q&A session.

The pictures below are © Claire Shovelton – thanks.

Spring newsletter

By Michael P Dean, on 28 March 2019

Click here for a copy of our Spring Newsletter written in the main by people with acquired communication difficulties who attend the UCL Communication Clinic.

“Other ways of communicating” – 15th March – an event for Brain Awareness Week

By Michael P Dean, on 6 March 2019

On Friday 15th March we will be holding an event as part of Brain Awareness Week.

It’s free – just turn up!

Room G15 and UCL Communication Clinic reception, Chandler House, 2 Wakefield Street, London, WC1N 1PF

4.15pm-6pm

The event includes:

-a chance to see the development of ideas for a new opera about living with aphasia

-a chance to explore poetry and singing with professional musicians

-a chance to experience more closely what it is like to live with aphasia

-a chance to appreciate the creative talents of people with aphasia

You can click here for a copy of our event flyer.

You can click here for a map showing the venue – Chandler House.

Research update

By Michael P Dean, on 19 February 2019

Our latest Research Update newsletter contains a summary of projects from the last year. It gives an idea of why we planned the research, what volunteers were asked to do, and what we learned as a result. We hope that it is easy to follow (and interesting). You can open a copy by following this link.

Opera workshops – more dates

By Michael P Dean, on 29 January 2019

Writer Finn Beames and composer Santa Bušs are developing a new opera about living with aphasia.

We are looking for people with aphasia to collaborate with us for 3 more workshops.

We have had an idea for the story of the opera, based on a living American woman who has aphasia. She fought discrimination to change the law in an inspiring and powerful way. She is called Ruby McDonough.

We want to share our research with you to see what you think, and explore how your talents could help tell the story. We also want to include your stories!

We want to make sure that people with different communication needs can enjoy and understand the opera.

We want to create roles for people with aphasia to perform, alongside professional singers.

Click here for a flyer with information about the venue, and contact details.

The new dates are: Wednesday 6th, Wednesday 13th and Wednesday 20th February. Sessions are from 1-4pm.

Christmas newsletter

By Michael P Dean, on 17 December 2018

Click here to open a pdf file of our latest newsletter, written in the main part by people with aphasia who attend the UCL Communication Clinic.

Opera workshop

By Michael P Dean, on 9 November 2018

Finn Beames (writer and director) and Santa Buss (composer) led a workshop hosted by the UCL Communication Clinic. They are developing an opera about living with aphasia. All aspects of the creative process, from story and music to staging and performance, are open to input from people with aphasia. So watch this space! In this first workshop, we explored how voices, piano and everyday sounds can make music. In this picture you can see the piano played from the inside out.

 

Sharing research findings from the UCL Communication Clinic: keeping the conversation going

By Michael P Dean, on 25 September 2018

On the 13th September we held a conference to share findings of the research projects that have been carried out over the last year. The majority of people in the audience were the participants in the research – people with acquired communication difficulties. The conference is one of the ways that we can show people see how their contributions have been used: what we have learned together and the role they play in students’ development. It is also an opportunity to ask questions and talk about new projects. We will put some of the presentations and posters on the Communication Clinic’s webpage (find it by following this link) and a summary of the research will appear in our next Update Newsletter.

Stroke Odysseys

By Michael P Dean, on 14 May 2018

Two service users from the Communication Clinic perform in the production ‘Stroke Odysseys’ at The Place on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th May.  It’s a “daring movement and song project performed by an ensemble of stroke survivors […] explores intertwined journeys of recovery from stroke and asks how we ever recover from brain injury or how we remember who we are. The performance is supported by a panel discussion with dancers, musicians, neurologists and neuroscientists and explores what impact the act of storytelling through dance and song may have on the brain’s ability to heal itself.”

More information can be found by following this link.

Photo by Ben Joseph

Research update

By Michael P Dean, on 16 February 2018

 

We have a new issue of our Research Update newsletter. This contains a summary of projects that have taken place over the last year, and gives an idea of why we planned the research, w hat the volunteers who took part were asked to do, and what we learned as a result. We hope that the summaries are easy to follow – please let us know! The newsletter can be downloaded by clicking on this link.