Who We Are
Jennie Muskett – Founder of Music With Love
I’m a composer for film and TV and my Dad’s a musician too – he lives in a care home nearby. I used to see him every day and as we both love music, our regular treat was going to concerts together and sometimes, staying in town for a bite to eat afterwards. We both thoroughly enjoyed those outings.
Now, I rarely see my Dad. Sometimes, we’re allowed 45 minutes a week together – but often, his care home was in lock down and we didn’t see each other at all. He’s blind, and for months and months I was not even allowed to hold his hand and like so many of our elders, he suffered deep loneliness and often despaired of ever being part of life again. This is a terrible, and cruel loss of connection.
Our story is reflected up and down the country – the loss of connection between family members is hard – and we all know of the terrible heartbreak people have suffered as a consequence of separation.
I couldn’t bear the idea of my Dad and so many others, not having music in their lives. So I asked my friend, Virginia Slater if she would give a live streamed concert for my Dad’s care home. Without hesitation, she agreed and a few days later, gave an amazing, virtuosic concert, accompanied by her pianist friend Adam Johnson. Her husband Ryan Quigley, sorted out the microphones and the computer and their new baby observed all the proceedings. The residents loved it and asked for more – and that’s how Music With Love came about. Since then, we have streamed more than 36 weekly concerts.
But none of this could happen had it not been for a casual cup of tea with a friend last summer. Nick Cohen is one of the most in-demand bass players on the London music scene (a frequent presence at Ronnie Scott’s), a producer, concert promoter, educator and friend. We share a passion for live music – and both recognise how important it is to continue making and sharing music, regardless of the restrictions dominating our lives right now. We got chatting that day, and he has been an integral part of the project, becoming involved with almost every aspect of these concerts, from sound recording, filming, streaming and very brilliantly solving all the technical challenges.
The musicians who have so generously been giving these concerts have been prevented from performing throughout this pandemic. The arts have not received the same support as other industries. In normal times, these outstanding and dedicated musicians would be performing in the world’s most famous and beloved concert halls, recording film scores for Hollywood blockbusters, or playing chamber music and solo concerts all over Europe and beyond. Things are starting up slowly, but in the meantime, it has been a joy to hear them play. We hope to be able to fund these concerts to pay the musicians in the future.
These wonderful musicians want to share their music because they love to play, and understand first hand, the deep power of music to heal, soothe, awaken the imagination, bring joy and above all, to connect.