Mark Ashford

(Thanks to Ray Butcher)

Hi All,

I wanted to let you know that I am back performing again after an 18 month break. Many of you know that I have been suffering from the disabling condition focal dystonia for a number of years now. Towards the end of 2006 I took the decision to stop performing completely, which was incredibly difficult as things were going so well. I know now that it was the right decision to make as I was able to fully concentrate on re-training my right hand.

I worked very closely with Hand Specialist Katherine Butler in London who gave me a programme of sensory re-training (involving gloves, dominoes, splints and tape!) and to my great relief I was back playing without any FD within a matter of months. This year I have started performing a few informal concerts and recording and I am pleased to say that none of the old 'feelings' have returned.

If you have any students or know any musician who might be suffering from this condition feel free to get in contact with me and I can send them in the right direction. I will also put Katherine Butlers essays on Focal Dystonia on my website which describes Focal Dystonia in great detail and all the re-training programmes.

I am now back on the so called treadmill of concerts and am currently taking bookings for 2009-10.

You can see me playing on my new Christopher Dean guitar FD free on youtube. Just click on the links below or go to my website and follow the links on the news section of my homepage.

The links for Youtube are;

Piazzolla - Romantico
Piazzolla - Campero
Monnot - L'Hymne a l'Amour - arr. Dyens
Villa-Lobos - Prelude No.1

With kind regards

Mark Ashford

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