Conductor Charles Hazlewood created the Paraorchestra for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, as a way to enable virtuoso disabled magicians to share their musical gifts.

But music has played a greater role than that in Charles’ life: it has helped through the recovery from deep-buried sexual abuse when he was young. “The trauma that was trapped in me was slowly eating me from the inside out.” For Charles, the key was owning that shadow. “Music has been my salvation, and a constant form of comfort.”

Using Mozart’s C minor mass as an example, Charles shows how music demonstrates the simultaneous expression of pain and joy – in essence, the human condition. “As humans, we can’t genuinely experience joy unless we have genuinely experienced pain.”

  • Charles has created a playlist of ‘drone music’ for Head Talks, which you can listen to here. He also recommends the Portishead version of SOS

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