Project Playback is a component of WXPN’s Musicians On Call program. Recently, local singer-songwriter Scot Sax completed the first Project Playback at the Veterans Community Living Center, a retirement home in West Philadelphia. Sax, a volunteer with Musicians On Call, worked with veterans to write, record, and produce original compositions. During Project Playback Sax led the group, encouraging the participants to play instruments, shape the melodies and write the words. Sax took the recordings to his home studio to mix the elements together and produce the final songs. This experience was recently captured by WHYY reporter and producer Jennifer Lyn for WHYY’s Impact of War Series on Newsworks. In the report (which you can listen to here) Sax tells Lyn:
“I realized that I was about to embark on a writing session with folks between the ages of 80 and a hundred that don’t play instruments,” said Sax. “You’re not sure how present they are at all times. Some of their heads are turned or their eyes are shut or they’re slouched over. Then you start a song and they pick up a maraca or a tambourine; and, honest to god, their rhythm is dead on the money. They are completely there. They just needed to be activated and music is a great activator.”
Below, you can download two songs from the Project Playback sessions. A CD release party is planned for the future.