UK pubcaster Channel 4 is exploring music and mental illness with James Rhodes: Notes from the Inside (pictured), while Chopin Saved My Life looks at one particular piano piece and its impact.
The doc on James Rhodes, a maverick pianist, will air on July 24, and sees him bring a Steinway grand piano into one of Britain’s largest psychiatric hospitals.
The Fresh One Productions film features exclusive access as Rhodes meets patients, learns about their lives, and performs a piece specifically for the patients.
James Rhodes: Notes from the Inside also looks at mental illness through the eyes of someone who has experienced it himself, and follows Rhodes as he returns to a psychiatric unit for the first time in five years.
Chopin Saved My Life, which looks at the impact of Chopin’s challenging Ballade Number 1, will air on Channel 4 on July 23.
The Oxford Film and Television hour-long documentary sees Japanese teenager Momoka and Scottish music student Paul Murray connect with Chopin’s Ballade Number 1. For Momoka, the piece gave her courage after her community was hit by the tsunami, while Murray believes the Ballade saved his life after being diagnosed with a brain tumor and MS.
The doc also features interviews with four top pianists: Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lang Lang, Imogen Cooper and Stephen Hough.