Week twelve – More than music

What can music do?

I’ve talked a lot during this mission about the power of music. The power music has on individuals. This week I took part, in a small way, in a project that used music for something more than just enjoyment, leisure and personal therapy.

A guy called Tom Harvey set up a project called Concert to Calais. His vision was to create a music tour from London to Calais, via some other venues. Along the way, they would collect donations to take directly to the refugee camps in Calais, and keep people’s awareness of what’s going on fresh in our collective mind. Once the pictures are relegated to the bottom of the news pile, it’s easy to forget that people are still stuck there, homeless and in need of help. Tom and his team reached Calais on Friday and did a fantastic job. Take a look at the project here:

http://www.concerttocalais.wordpress.com

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/concert-to-calais

One of the acts playing the Southampton leg was my friend Jim Chorley. http://www.jimchorley.com

He plays acoustic folk songs and is a jolly nice bloke, so of course he’d be playing and making his voice heard. He has many wonderful songs including this one that puts into words that feeling of solidarity and that drive to help those people who need it.

Jim was joined by Steve Lowis (who I’m afraid I missed) and Jess Vincent. Jess had been part of the Concert to Calais team for the whole journey. She had a very endearing manner and sang some beautiful songs including a promising folk song (alas, more verses are needed for full folk affiliation!).

It was an interesting evening. I was very tired and arrived late. The soothing, melodic music almost lulled me to sleep at points. But I was always brought back to reality by the pictures that sat behind the performers. The pictures of the camps in Calais. The pictures of the people not knowing what their future holds. One particular man stared through the camera at me. Every time I caught his gaze, I felt the tears forming. And that swelling feeling of helplessness.

I’m sat writing this on a cold, wet, windy Easter Sunday evening. I’ve got family around, I’m warm and dry and I’ve got a full belly. And all I can think of are the people who are sat in the camps in Calais, or anywhere else for that matter, where they’ve been displaced from their homes. These people are still there, every single moment we enjoy in comfort.

The Concert to Calais team did a great job, and everyone who attended and donated did something positive.

But there must be something else that we can do.

Right now, I don’t know what that is, but I have to believe there’s something.

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