Expressing the Voice Within

A program designed and facilitated by Jarek Czechowicz, Peace Music, commissioned and hosted by Bear In Mind Incorporated, now Brain Injury Matters Inc, with funding from The City of Melbourne

City of Melbourne logo

Progress Report to March 2007

Expressing The Voice Within utilises music, singing and various creative practices to facilitate a communal artistic, creative and uplifting outcome. In this project the desired outcome is a book of images and writings on the topic of inspiration.

Some participants in this project are unable to attend for reasons of health, transport, or other obligations. To maximise accessibility to this project BIM volunteer coordinator Lyn MacDonald is liaising with those participants to make alternative arrangements, times, and places for people to communicate, meet and create together. People with an acquired brain injury (ABI) who would like to participate or contribute creatively but can't attend sessions can contact Lyn on (03) 9639 7222.

Session 1

8 February 2007

Eleven participants:
1) received an overview of the project
2) discussed their particular creative interests
3) experienced some of the facilitator's creative practices
4) sang together
3) shared lunch

"I wish it didn't end" John Edney, artist

Peace Musc - Expressing the Voice WithinPeace Musc - Expressing the Voice WithinPeace Musc - Expressing the Voice Within

Session 2

22 February 2007

Fourteen participants:
1) focused on the central theme of 'inspiration'.
2) deepened their knowledge and experience of creative processes
3) sang together
4) engaged in discussion
5) heard creative insights from professional designer Damien Melotte of ecoresonance
7) shared refreshments

"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" Anat Bigos, writer

Peace Musc - Expressing the Voice Within

The project is on track and some participants have already submitted potential content for the book. Some have expressed an interest in working together, in addition to the project dates, to co-create their works and develop their ideas.

Session 3

8 March 2007

Thirteen participants ( two not pictured )
1) sang and chanted together
2) enjoyed hearing physiotherapist and musician Paul Watt play the tabla (Indian hand drums)
3) learned about 'being in the creative zone'
4) explored the importance of editing their work
5) heard about the nature of self-criticism
6) exchanged ideas about their creativity
7) shared refreshments

"I really enjoyed the music and chanting." Pearl, visiting the group.

Peace Musc - Expressing the Voice Within

Some participants have met socially to work together in creating their artwork and writings.

Session 4

22 March 2007

Twelve participants (2 not pictured)
1) experienced vocalising and relaxation
2) heard beautiful original songs by talented musician Ambika Taylor
3) made notes or drew sketches
4) experienced the sounds of the city in a new way
5) contributed ideas
6) laughed, giggled and sang
7) shared lunch

"I found it very relaxing." Linda, a creative dancer visiting the group.

Peace Musc - Expressing the Voice Within

Submissions of material for the book continue on track. BIM has purchased its new website which will house the online version of the project.

Session 5

5 April 2007

Eight participants ( no pictures for this session )
1) welcomed Olya, a young visitor from Russia
2) sang together
3) contributed ideas about the layout, design and size of the book
4) heard some new ideas from eco-designer Damien Melotte
5) enjoyed a second visit from musician Paul Watt and his small son Ravi.
6) practiced mindfulness and getting into the creative flow
7) shared refreshments

"I love what you're saying." Antoinette

Session 6

26 April 2007

Nine participants
1) heard sitar music by Steve Jay who is also a professional dietician.
2) welcomed guest Kimberley Roberts from Inner Peace Yoga.
3) shared ideas about linking aphorisims with images
4) practiced creative relaxation
5) talked about writing short biographies for the book
6) shared refreshments

"I have found the creative work very helpful." John

Expressing the Voice Within - Session 6

Session 7

10 May 2007

Fourteen participants
1) heard flute music performed by David James
2) sang and chanted together
3) co-created a large poster facilitated by eco-designer Damien Melotte.
4) heard tabla music performed by Paul Watt
5) welcomed new participants Nick and Ernst.
6) shared lunch

"... a truly wonderful day" Damien Melotte

Expressin The Voice Within - session 7

At this stage all contributors have been asked to submit the balance of their creative work and their biographies within the next two to three weeks. At the next session the group will start selecting items for publication.

Session 8

24 May 2007

Eleven participants
1) talked about their submissions for the book
2) welcomed new guest Bianca White.
3) sang and chanted together with Jarek
4) talked about the technicalities of transfering the artwork into book form
5) heard tabla music performed by Paul Watt
6) talked about how they felt about their creativity and inhibitions
7) two regular attendees have overcome their inhibitions and will be submitting
8) everyone shared food and social conversation

"Can you come and do this in Geelong?" BIM president Jane

Some participants travel regularly from Somerville and Geelong to attend these sessions.

Expressin The Voice Within - session 8

This was the final session assigned for creating the artwork. Some participants have requested another week or two to complete their submissions at home. Participants will now choose and edit their best material with mutual support from from the group, and from BIM through Lyn MacDonald. Submissions will be reviewed, collated, scanned and prepared for printing over the next few weeks, It's mostly technical work now so the next report will be in the form of the completed book at the book launch. Be sure to mark it in your diary!

Book Launch

16 August 2007, Time (TBA)
Supper Room, Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston St, Melbourne

Progress Report by
Jarek Czechowicz, Peace Music
Musician and Project Facilitator
9 March 2007

Story

Expressing The Voice Within
by Jarek Czechowicz

Expressing The Voice Within is the name of a program commissioned and hosted by BIM, funded by City of Melbourne, and facilitated by the author, Jarek Czechowicz. The program includes instrumental music, singing, relaxation, mindfulness and creative techniques that will assist participants to create a collaborative artistic work.

Key participants in this program are people who have an ABI, however members of the general public are also welcome to attend and experience the program. The ABI participants are contributing material for a book that will be launched mid-year at the Melbourne Town Hall or some other suitable venue. The content of the book will also be posted on BIM's website.

Inspiration is the main theme and contributors are offering a few words of wisdom, a poem, an aphorism, a drawing, or a photo that will inspire readers to enjoy a better quality of life.

A typical session includes some acoustic guitar music and group singing. This helps people to overcome any inhibitions and it sets a positive tone for collaborative work. Then there are talks and examples relating to creative practices. Everyone is encouraged to note or draft their ideas for further development at home. Some have chosen to meet socially to develop their ideas together. Each session ends with some refreshments and conversation.

At the second session Damien Melotte, a professional designer offered insights about his creative approach to design. At the third session physiotherapist and musician Paul Watt offered music on his tabla (Indian hand drums). John Edeny, a gifted artist and ABI contributor to the book, summed up the feeling in the room on one ocassion when he said, "I wish it didn't end."

Sessions are currently running in the Mezzanine Room at Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane Melbourne. The session times are 11:00am to 1:00pm Thursdays February 8 & 22, March 8 & 22, April 5 & 26, May 10 & 24. The book launch date and venue is yet to be announced.

This project was made possible by funding from The City of Melbourne, thanks to a funding submission by BIM volunteer coordinator Lyn MacDonald. Amongst others things Lyn is coordinating travel support for ABI participants. She has offered to make additional times available at Ross House for those who wish to meet socially in the city to develop their creative work for the project. For more details phone (03) 9639 7222.

About the author
For more information about the author please visit  www.jarekc.com.