Looking over Charles Hazelwood’s shoulder…

The back of Charles watching The Garden - a show with artists on sway poles on the terrace outside the south bank centreYesterday the PUSH ME team spent the day following Charles Hazelwood around the Southbank, getting his take on some of the Unlimited Commissions.

Charles is an award winning conductor with a global presence. His own website explains his mission:

The focus of his career is to share the power and passion of orchestral music with the widest possible audience. To this end Hazlewood has authored and conducted many television films on music for the BBC, won Sony Awards for his radio broadcasts on BBC Radio 2 and 3, and has presented at TED Global.

charles looking at a computer screen on which we can see Simon MckeownRecently, Charles has also formed a bridge with deaf and disabled artists, though the creation of the British Paraorchestra. On discovering his daughter had cerebral palsy, he describes his world as opening up rather than closing down. The Guardian interviewed him back in July:

With these new eyes, I took a fresh look around my professional world. It suddenly became glaringly odd that there were virtually no disabled musicians in any of the orchestras or groups I played with anywhere in the world. Where was the talent with disability? As soon as I started looking, I encountered amazing musicians of all sorts – and the founder members of the Paraorchestra began to appear. Clarence Adoo, once Courtney Pine’s trumpeter of choice, now paralysed from the neck down but furiously making music with ground-breaking new technology. The extraordinary Lyn Levett, who composes using her iPad, which she operates with her nose…. Then there’s recorder-player James Risdon, who plays professionally and is also the RNIB’s music officer. One by one, these wonderful musicians began to emerge…

Charles having tea with Bobby Baker using one of her flight cases from her show as a table. - you can see the cameras filming them.jude Kelly, in the sunshine outside the Southbank, with CharlesCharles is going to be the link person for our PUSH ME 30 minute documentary being filmed this week at the Southbank. Yesterday saw him watching Graeae’s The Garden, skyping with Simon Mckeown about Motion Disabled Unlimited, having tea and biscuits with Bobby Baker and meeting with Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the Southbank to talk about the impact of the event.

This bridge is really important. Through Unlimited, Deaf and disabled artists work has the opportunity to reach a much audience, to be set in a much wider arts context. PUSH ME really wants to be part of this process – and bringing Charles to the front to find out what he makes of the work is all part of that plan.

He’s back with us on Saturday – so expect another chapter then!