Co-creating a CD
We’re really getting into this co-creation thing. We spent May working alongside people living with dementia up in Dundee – one group in a care home and one group in a day centre. We decided to make a CD with this project, so we started out with a clear planned outcome, but we wanted to keep it open as to what would actually go onto the CD. So, it needed to be audio, but that could mean music, songs, stories, poems, words, sounds … It’s a bit nerve wracking to have no clear idea of what will be made and to relinquish control through the co-creative approach – you need to step in there and just believe it’s all going to work-out somehow. It’s very engaging though, compelling really and I think I’m hooked.
We used image, shape and word collage boards to help with getting ideas flowing and to get everyone sharing and playing together. Having everything mounted on card helped as it made the elements into easier to handle objects rather than flimsy bits of paper and having one shared board got everyone working together, finding connections and threads. I did wonder about using words as some participants are no longer using words to express themselves, but actually I was surprised by how many people in the group were drawn to the words. One woman said she’s always been a word person, “words, that’s me”.
We explored the mood and feel by doing some jamming together, playing around with creating busy, happy and excited sounds and then relaxed, smooth chilled-out sounds. One of the groups got especially engaged in this process and this jamming together became the basis for their track, going on a journey from calm to loud and busy then returning to calm again. The other group were determined to write a song … and we did! Their focus turned-out to be more about singing together and the words they were singing, although this group was also delighted to have made a proper song, they engaged in choosing the drum and chordal instrument tracks in Cubase and took the vocal recording session very seriously. I’m pleased that the two groups took such different paths and created two completely different tracks – it goes some way to reassuring me that we are actually co-creating … it certainly feels like co-creation to me.