Jason Soudah - musician.

My initial reaction to the shooting of the boys is deep sympathy for the famiily and friends of those affected, and a desire to comfort them. I have experienced the sudden death of someone close to me who died way too young (15) and it is devastating. What I find interesting as an observer in these situations I have experienced are the social interactions that take place as a result.

My focus is on the family and friends of those affected by the shootings, and wishing to send them soome comfort. Thankfully the boys are both alive (just).

In their attempts to comfort, people often try to find 'the right words to say,' of which there very rarely are. Words just aren't that comforting. Well, not when dealing with such painful raw emotion - confusion, shock, hysteria, etc. What seems to be most comforting and helpful is physical proximity and contact with loved ones (as long as the person is usually comfortable with physical contact), such as hugging or just stroking their hand or forehead, just being there quiet and letting the person react freely without interruption, but with support. Taking over tasks and doing all one can to help, without being 'fussy', and adapting to the person's character. We are all so different and react in extremely different ways - many cry, hysterically shaking; some sit very still, staring into the distance; and some even laugh uncontrollably in shock.

As words often offend more than help in such situations (think four weddings and a funeral "I experienced something similar when my dog died...") - literally there is nothing one can say to make it better so why do we do it? - I am approaching this creative project from a non-verbal perspective. I could have written a song in reaction to this terrible tragedy, but I believe this would be more damaging than helpful if it were performed to the affected family, friends, witnesses, and public, all of whom I am visualising as the audience of this work. Therefore, I will be performing a piece of music on the piano which aims to bring an air of calm in order to comfort and support; in order to help the panicking and hysteria to be released and to return to a better state of mind.

Much of this piece will be improvised, in order to reflect the improvisational nature of comforting, constantly adapting to the person you're trying to comfort. This piece of music will also do that - it will constantly evolve through reacting to the atmosphere in the room - the energy of the audience.

As it has no words, I hope that the listener will take from it whatever they need in order to release their emotions and feel even just slightly better. I want the listener to know that the music is heartfelt, and so will feel open to it rather than defensive, as one might if it were a song with words, especially coming from someone who is not a direct victim of this particular tragedy.


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