52 songs to fight illness

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A SONGWRITER is showing off his creative stamina as he writes a song a week to raise cash to fight a crippling illness.

Hartlepool-born musician Peter Falconer is recording a new track every seven days this year to raise money for Parkinson’s UK in memory of his great uncle Jeff Torrrington, an award-winning novelist.

And he’s not just making basic guitar songs, as he is laying down full arrangements with various instruments and backing vocals as he seeks to cover as many styles and subjects as possible.

Full-time musician Peter, 29, said: “I wanted to do something to push myself while also doing something to help tackle Parkinson’s.

“I’ve known people with Parkinson’s so felt raising money for it would be really worthwhile.

“It has been going really well and I’ve had lots of donations so far. It’s actually quite exciting as I’ve never had to push myself like this.”

Peter’s great uncle Jeff contracted Parkinson’s when he was in his forties. Despite his diminishing health, the Glaswegian published Swing, Hammer, Swing!, which went on to win the Whitbread Book Of The Year Award in 1992. He died on May 11, 2008.

Peter, who moved to London 10 years ago after growing up in Seaton Carew, has also worked with Parkinson’s suffering songwriter Phil Webster, who Peter calls a “staggeringly determined man with so much energy”.

Peter, whose mum and dad Angie and Pete live in West Park, is now asking for people in Hartlepool to get involved in his mammoth task by requesting he writes them some songs.

Peter said: “A couple of local bands have asked me to do them a song in their style, including a Black Sabbath style song.

“I want to cover as many as possible as I need the inspiration so if anyone wants to get involved, just get in touch.”

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition that affects one in every 500 people in the UK and causes movement to slow so it takes longer to do things.

There is currently no cure, but Parkinson’s UK is raising money for the treatment of the disease.

Peter has set up a website to showcase his weekly songs, for people to donate and as a point of contact.

It can be found at http://songaweek2011.blogspot.com