I just want to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
It has been a very strange year indeed and it is obvious that this saga is not yet over. We are all still facing restrictions and the virus is mutating everywhere.
It seems that here in the UK we have two new variants, one from South Africa and another of unknown origin, that are spreading more easily and faster than before. We now have vaccines, but it is still going to be some time before we know what the outcome is going to be.
Some of you have had the virus; some, like myself, have lost friends to it, but everyone has been affected by it in some way.
It has been a year of lost opportunities, lost freedom, lost time, the list is endless.
It is sad that we have also been unable to say goodbye properly to friends and family who have left us through old age and other reasons.
One such friend for me was Hans Veen. He was a man who was often seen with Magna Carta and I will admit that I didn’t really understand him until after the Concert at Carré in 2009.
After the concert we stayed in touch and I learned to appreciate his outlook on life and his artistic talents. Last year he did a painting for me. It was for a friend, and he captured his subject so beautifully that the painting is now a treasured possession.
Hans’ passing was a shock as I had been in touch with him just the week before and he never even mentioned that he wasn’t well.
I had recently been reacquainted with a beautiful Jackson Browne song, ‘For a Dancer’.
It so suited Hans, as he had been in life, that I decided to record it in memory of him.
I made a simple demo, Ian then played the piano because we both loved the solo live version by Jackson Browne. It took quite a while before we were happy with the results as neither of us have been recording or playing live this year. This version is not the best we could possibly make it, but we were both so moved by the song and its message that we picked the performances for their feel and this is the result. It is recorded in memory of Hans, and as a thank you to his friends and family for getting in touch and also allowing us to see the funeral on line.
I’m sure that Hans wouldn’t mind if I say that this is also for those who have also lost ‘dancers’ from their lives.
We hope that you all have the best possible Christmas and that next year will be a year when we can meet and hug each other again.
Linda Simpson-Taylor, December 24, 2020