Aled Jones teams up with pianist with dementia on Christmas charity tune

·3-min read

Aled Jones has joined forces with a man living with dementia to create a Christmas song for charity.

The Welsh singer joined Paul Harvey, an 81-year-old former music teacher and composer who became well known after his son Nick shared a video of him playing piano that went viral.

In the video, Nick challenged his father, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2020, to improvise a tune using the notes F, A, D and B, and the video’s popularity prompted an appearance on BBC Breakfast.

Daniel Whibley of the BBC Philharmonic arranged for the orchestra to virtually record the song, Four Notes, to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society and Music For Dementia.

Paul and Nick Harvey fund provide fund for Music for Dementia
Former music teacher Paul Harvey with his son Nick (Music for Dementia/PA)

The song went to number one on iTunes and Amazon music charts in October 2020.

The new single, Christmas Isn’t Just Another Day, was created specifically for Music for Dementia by Paul Harvey, his son Nick and his long-time friend and lyricist, Pete Talman.

Mr Jones, who provided the vocals, said: “I recall the first moment I saw Paul Harvey on TV and like the millions of others who saw it, I was blown away by his amazing talent, I remember being in tears watching his story.

“It remains one of the most positive rays of light during lockdown.”

He added: “Music has been a huge part of my life, I truly believe it has healing powers, we just need to look to Paul to see how transformative it can be, he comes alive when he’s in front of a piano.”

(Back row, left to right) Pete Talman, Grace Meadows and Aled Jones with (front row), Paul Harvey and his son, Nick, after recording the single (Pantling Studio for Music for Dementia)
(Back row, left to right) Pete Talman, Grace Meadows and Aled Jones with (front row), Paul Harvey and his son, Nick, after recording the single (Pantling Studio for Music for Dementia)

The charity, Music for Dementia, is campaigning for music to be an integral part of dementia care and aims for this song to help raise awareness of this issue.

Speaking about the single, Mr Harvey said: “Writing a new Christmas song isn’t as easy as you might think – there’s a lot of expectation that comes with it, but I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge working alongside my son, Nick.

“From the start I wanted to team up with Aled Jones on this project, he has a wonderful voice and he brings back fond Christmas memories.”

The song also aims to raise awareness of a specialist radio station, Music for Dementia’s m4d Radio, which offers a group of five themed radio streams playing music specifically designed for people living with dementia, their loved ones and carers.

The station streams music from the 1930s and 1940s, the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s or an m4d mix.

The radio platform won the Dementia Care Award at the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards in Dec 2020, and the Outstanding Arts and Creativity in Dementia Care Award at the National Dementia Care Awards 2020.

The song can be found at www.m4dradio/Christmas and downloaded for free until Tuesday January 4, 2022.

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