Sue and Vivien

Sue Evans in conversation with
Vivien Conacher

Vivien is a classically-trained mezzo soprano and founder of Songhaven. She runs live, professional, dementia-friendly concerts at public venues and in care homes. Recent concerts are now online as free films under the banner Songhaven at Home. People can also request Songhaven Dedications bespoke video performances. Sue Evans is a freelance writer.

Note 1: March-May

‘Public events aren’t going to be happening anytime soon,’ Vivien says. For her, the start of this alternate reality was deciding to perform a concert on 14 March behind closed doors. It was filmed for subsequent online broadcast.

Now, with no live performances, Songhaven at Home allows Vivien and her ensemble to continue to reach their audience, especially people in care homes. Online concerts are 15 minutes shorter than live performances. Vivien explains, ‘A minute in real life and a minute online feel very different.’ She tells of carers taking residents iPads to watch the concerts in their rooms and sing along to the sub-titles.

Vivien doesn’t feel like making music personally right now and is concentrating on Songhaven’s online offerings. She worries about vulnerable people who might otherwise slip through the cracks. Songhaven at Home and Songhaven Dedications let Vivien and fellow artists share joy and stay positive during this uncertain time.

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