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Composer releases EP to support brain injury survivors

‘The Retreat’ by Franklin comes after the composer was supported through serious injuries by Headway

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A composer known for his work in television, documentaries and film has released an EP to support Headway, five years after sustaining serious head injuries and being supported by the charity. 

Ross Wakefield has written The Retreat, with its lead single – Mistaken – being played on BBC Radio 6 and its opening track, Burning Embers, winning praise from world-renowned DJs including Rob Da Bank. 

The Retreat will raise money for Headway through profits from streaming and sales, and its release earlier this month came shortly after the fifth anniversary of the incident which left Ross – who writes under the alias Frankson – with serious injuries. 

On April 27, 2017, Ross was walking home from seeing a friend when he was knocked over by a motorscooter whilst crossing a road.

Forty-eight hours later, he woke up in hospital with no recollection of the event but with serious skull and facial fractures including his nose, eye-socket, jaw and cheekbones, as well as fractures to his shoulder and ribs.

Despite contracting meningitis in hospital, which meant an extended hospital stay, Ross has made a near complete physical recovery, although still experiences some facial numbness and has a permanent loss of smell.  

However, he says that despite the physical recovery, it is the psychological and ‘hidden’ impact that remains significant.

“There are so many questions and emotions that come up – the injustice of it, the guilt, as well as being lucky in terms of long-term recovery,” says Ross.

“The mental recovery took longer than the physical and still resonates today.

“It was also a huge confidence knock, that I could be hurt so badly simply crossing a single carriageway road. How could I have been so stupid? It riddled me with self-doubt.

“So to put so much of myself into a project I care so much about, to lay yourself open to scrutiny, it wasn’t something I was ready to do and it’s taken a long time to get here.

“But by deciding that the profits of sales and streaming should help brain injury organisation Headway – a charity that was incredibly close to my heart – and close to the journey that I’ve been on over the past five years, it meant that I had committed to something.”

Using sounds he collected on his phone during his recovery in hospital, from tapping on the night stand, to using a pen against the water jug, these sounds have been sampled to create Frankson’s debut EP.

“I can’t begin to explain how wonderful it feels to finally finish this and to do good with the music, as well as being incredibly cathartic and part of the healing process,” says Ross. 

Peter McCabe, Headway’s chief executive, said: “We are very grateful to Ross for choosing to support the work we do in improving life after brain injury.

“With admissions to hospital with an acquired brain injury happening every 90 seconds in the UK, it is vital that survivors and their families have access to the help and support that Headway provides to guide them through the difficult times ahead.

“That Ross is using his experiences and musical talents to ensure others who find themselves in that situation have access to best support possible, is commendable.

“We wish him every success with all his endeavours.”

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