Music is this singer’s ‘medication’ as she deals with severe memory loss; singing with Ranj Singh keeps her at peace and helps her relax

Semiahmoo House clients make melodic memories

Approximately 30 participants share their voices in a video recording by musician Ranj Singh.

She may not remember what she had for breakfast, but if you asked her to sing a golden oldie, she wouldn’t miss a beat.

For years she has been suffering from severe short- and long-term memory loss after getting an inflammation of the brain.

She is involved in the Semiahmoo House Society acquired brain injury services program, though she cannot remember how long she’s been part of it.

(Semiahmoo House asks that she not be identified by name, so that her memory loss is not taken advantage of. We will call her Jane.)

Jane cannot recall how long her memory has been affected.

“I think it was encephalitis,” she told Peace Arch News this week. “My body is in good shape, I can do things, but the music hasn’t left me.”

Jane was one of approximately 30 Semiahmoo House clients with brain injuries who joined musician Ranj Singh in a recording Tuesday morning in Blue Frog Studios.

Singh has been playing music for individuals with brain injuries for the past 10 months.

When Singh first played for them, they spared him little attention. He thought it may be a waste of his time, but the participants gradually warmed up to him.

“We’ve become friends,” Singh said.

After getting to know the individuals, Singh says he was overwhelmed with the stories they had to share. He felt it appropriate to write a song, but using their stories to form the message.

“I asked them for their thoughts and feelings and what life was like before and after their injuries. They openly shared their stories, I jotted down their notes and we came up with a song,” Singh said.

The song, titled I’m Still Me, gives listeners a glimpse of the stories Singh has heard.

“Their own friends and family have shut them out, lost interest in being in contact with them ever since the disability. It’s tough to hear that, it hurts to hear that. I wasn’t expecting any of this,” Singh said.

During the live recording, Jane was sitting on the stage to the right of Singh. Her legs were folded and she was bouncing in her chair, swaying side-to-side with a smile on her face.

Even though Jane was singing every word, she forgot that there’s a verse about her, a verse she helped write.

“I may not remember but I won’t forget. Memories are somewhere in my head,” Singh sang with Jane mouthing every word.

“I may not know the words to this song, but I’ll smile and pretend to sing along. I’ll grace you with my smile and sing along.”

Singh said that every time he plays with Jane in the room, she’s always sitting in the back smiling.

“When you meet her, you can talk to her, associate with her, hug her. Then you leave the room five minutes and come back and she won’t remember anything,” Singh said.

“For some reason she remembers all of these songs.”

Singh noted that it’s not just Jane’s story that’s inspirational. Every individual in the studio has overcome significant challenges and has an incredible story to tell.

Another verse is in reference to a man who injured himself after driving drunk: “Because I lived my life in a faster lane, now I’m walking in the slower lane.”

The common theme for the song, says Singh, is that before and after their injuries, all the patients are still the same inside.

The live recording was organized by Semiahmoo House Society acquired brain injury services program co-ordinator Sylvia Hoeree and Blue Frog Studios.

Blue Frog Studios filmed the recording and released it online the next day. It can be viewed below.

 

 

 

Just Posted

South Surrey man collecting signatures to keep RCMP

Ivan Scott is attending SPD info sessions with his petition

Days numbered for Surrey’s Back on Track recovery homes

As operator pledges to fight, clients predict loss will ‘send us back in our addiction’

City of White Rock responds to Lady Alexandra court petition

City says it did not breach ‘obligation of procedural fairness’

Police in North Delta nab alleged thief riding stolen bike, carrying another

Terry Lee Pipe, 43, of Surrey, has been charged with possession of property obtained by crime

South Surrey Spirit Garden to host Solstice Stroll

Candlelight event to begin at 8 p.m. June 22

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Parents of BC murder victim want personal belongings returned

Lisa Dudley’s parents, Rosemarie and Mark Surakka, were at the Mission RCMP detachment Sunday

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read

l -->