25 Jun 2019

About ‘Music for Friends’: Ben Lunn


’Music for Friends’ was commissioned by DaDaFest and written specially for DaDaFest Ensemble. We will be performing it as part of DaDaFest Scratch at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 11 July.  

The idea for the piece came from reflecting on Erik Satie, who after reading his ‘A Day in the Life’ I felt there were many characteristics that were quite autistic (like myself). During his life time he wrote pieces for a small circle and even wrote music just for the ambient effect. 

Because of this, I wanted to honour Satie as well as make something just for the DaDaFest Ensemble and I. The five movements of ‘Music for Friends’ each have their own character, either referring to the ensemble’s own skills and ideas, reflecting the past, or just trying to have fun.

‘Energico’ is a small introductory movement which sets the piece into a good groove. There are solos and fun rhythms – a piece has to start in an upbeat manner. 

‘A Day in the Life’ is a small movement dedicated to Satie which references his ‘A Day in the Life’. It is quieter and still, ultimately trying to be more like Satie himself. 

‘Passacaglia of Many Solos’ is the third movement. A passacaglia is an old form which has a pattern (often in the bass) circling over and over again. Because of this repeated harmony it gives a great platform for everyone to have a chance for a big solo. 

‘Game of Riffs’ and ‘Responses’ is more playful. We have a small rhythm section setting the groove, while I lead a game of call and responses. However the group should hopefully remember a rhythm they should not play back.

‘Bull in a china shop’ is a nice silly way to end. The classic instruments are bored of all this noise and trying to have a “sophisticated concert”. However, the rest of the ensemble are not in the mood for their snooty behaviour, so like a bull in a china shop try to cause as much chaos as they can. 

Working with DaDaFest Scratch has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Creating a piece for young people who are like me is a joy, mostly because they are so great to work with, but also because when growing up an opportunity like this was not available to me. 

I had to depend on abled/traditional music making which was positive, however it meant I was unable to relax comfortably in my disabled-ness. My hope is the group enjoy working with me half as much as I enjoy working with them. 

Music for Friends


1 – Energico 3’

2 – A Day in the Life (Hello Satie) 2’

3 – Passacaglia of Many Solos 4’

4 – Game of Riffs and Responses 2’30’’

5 – Bull in a china shop 2’30’’ 

If you would like to join us for DaDaFest Scratch, tickets are just £5 and available on Liverpool Philharmonic website.


More news from DaDaFest

17 Jan 2024
A picture of the annual Rushton Lecture, featuring a panel of speakers and some audience members

Rushton Lecture Reflections

For those who couldn’t attend, or just want to reflect back on key points raised, we wanted to offer a short summary of some of the key topics covered at the  DaDa annual Edward Rushton Social Justice lecture.

Read More >

9 Feb 2022
Through augmented reality, a tiny image of a person appears to be stood on a business card

Press Release: DaDa Holograms

DaDa releases details about their R&D project looking into augmented reality BSL holograms

Read More >

30 Oct 2021
Elaine Collins, a white woman with red hair wearing a sparkly, purple fringed dress stood in front of  red and yellow sparkly fringed curtain.

DaDa: Theatre Makers Lab

Find out more about DaDa Theatre Makers from participant, Elaine Collins

Read More >

13 Oct 2021
A caucasian person in their twenties with brown hair, a beard and glasses, smiling whilst stood against a brick wall

Access Riders – some tips from our Digital Producer

Access initiatives  we use at DaDa include Access Riders, find out more in a blog from Joe

Read More >

23 Apr 2021

Hip Hop Dance For All – the participants get dancing!

Hip Hop Dance For All workshops commence with facilitator, Nathan Geering

Read More >

30 Mar 2021

Artist Blog: Callum Jones on the DaDaFest Ensemble

With applications currently open to join the DaDaFest Ensemble, hear from one of our current members

Read More >

26 Mar 2021

Zoom sessions and composing at a distance: DDF Ensemble in lockdown

Find out how the Ensemble has kept the music coming through lockdown

Read More >

16 Nov 2020

Festival Line-up Artist Vlog: Amina Atiq

Ahead of the premiere of her new film at DaDaFest International, Amina Atiq tells us about her process and journey with DaDaFest. 

Read More >

10 Aug 2020

Explore new digital work by disabled artists!

Some new online exhibits from our friends and supported artists 

Read More >

16 Jul 2020

DaDaFest Commissions Throwback

As we commission 15 new projects for inclusion in DaDaFest events, here's a look back at previous ones. 

Read More >

5 Jun 2020

Lockdown Playlist II: Food for Thought

Talks, discussions and more to help you explore disability arts from home.

Read More >

7 May 2020

Accessibility, Art and Augmented Reality...

An art/accessibility tech travelogue from DaDaFest Engagement Coordinator, David.

Read More >

13 Apr 2020

DaDaFest's Self-Isolation Playlist

Media from disabled artists we’ve been enjoying during lockdown

Read More >

16 Mar 2020
Jordan Research Trip thumbnail

Artist Development: A research trip to Ancient Egypt

Jordan Connerty, a writer on our Artist Development programme, tells us all about his DaDaFest-funded research trip to the Saatchi Gallery's unique Tutankhamun exhibition.

Read More >

26 Feb 2020

Meet our advisors: Leona

With applications to join our DaDaFest Advisors currently open, get to know team-member, Leona!


Read More >

20 Jan 2020

Disability History Month: Our Journey

Following on from Disability History Month in December, our newest recruit, Sarah, sat down with our longest-serving member of staff, Barry, to look back over our journey so far.

Read More >

29 Oct 2019

Meet the Artist: Jordan Connerty

In this Q and A, we speak to artist Jordan and mentor Meg about how the development of Jordan's theatre piece is coming along... 

Read More >

30 Aug 2019

Meet the Artist: Pierce Starre

We talked to live artist Pierce Starre about 'Spill Yer Tea', owning their dyslexia and growing up as a Child of Deaf Adults.

Read More >

23 Jul 2019

How to get the most out of a placement

Maraiga has just landed her first role as a Collections Officer at the Lightbox Gallery in Sussex after completing one of our taster placements. 

Read More >

25 Jun 2019

About ‘Music for Friends’: Ben Lunn

Ben Lunn talks about, ’Music for Friends’, a new commission by DaDaFest and performed by DaDaFest Ensemble at DaDaFest Scratch on 11 July at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

Read More >

25 Jun 2019

Meet Award-Winning Composer Carmel Smickersgill

Carmel Smickersgill and Ben Lunn are collaborating on a new composition called ‘Music for Friends’ which will premiere at DaDaFest Scratch on 11 July.

Read More >

29 Apr 2019

Dancer, Choreographer and Teacher: Meet Helen

We hit the streets on International Dance Day to celebrate with Helen, a dancer, choreographer and teacher on our Artist Development programme. 

Read More >

26 Mar 2019

Meet Our Artists: Bethany

Bethany is a young writer and performer on the DaDaFest Artist Development programme. We chatted to Bethany about what she gets up to and find out some of her highlights from the past few years... 

Read More >

25 Jun 2018

Our journey with Young DaDaFest

I’m excited for this year’s event because I haven’t performed for Young DaDaFest before, and this is my first year as part of the Ensemble! 

Read More >

30 Apr 2018

DaDaFest get a new website

We’re so thrilled to launch our new website. 

Read More >

Find out what's coming up next
Sign up to be the first to know about our events and new opportunities.
Send me news