SOMETIMES words are not enough to help people express their grief.

Now a special concert featuring songs written by people with terminal illnesses will show how raw emotion can be communicated through the power of music.

All the music featured at Tuesday’s Souls and Shadows concert, believed to be the first of its kind in the world, was written by patients at the Sobell House hospice in Headington and their families.

Many of the songwriters will not have lived to see their music performed, but the audience will be packed with their family and friends.

Among them will be Joy Barlow, whose son-in-law Caspar Barlow-Olsen died from a brain tumour in 2006.

She said being in the audience would be a bittersweet experience.

She said: “On the one hand it will be a great source of comfort for us to hear his songs, and words that Caspar wrote.

“But it will also be a great source of sadness.”

The Souls and Shadows Foundation was set up in March 2007 in memory of Mr Barlow-Olsen. The 33-year-old from Upper Arncott, near Bicester, recorded a CD for his wife Lois and baby daughter Liva while at Sobell House.

And the foundation has now helped 12 hospices in the country with funding for recording equipment and music therapy sessions.

Bob Heath is the music therapist at Sobell and has worked with people creating music for the last eight years.

He said: “This is a celebration of their songs and their lives. Some of the people are still here with us, but there are some who aren’t.

“I think for the families, this is a very emotional thing, they’ll be full of excitement and trepidation.

“Music is a very powerful way of helping people express things going on in their lives and help them produce something that lasts forever.

“It can often be used when there are no words, or words are not enough.”

Georgina Shomroni, 47, started to create music with Mr Heath after the death of her mother, Maisie, from cancer in Sobell House last February, aged 89.

Miss Shomroni, who works at the Bodleian Library, said creating music had been an “extraordinary journey” that had helped her cope with the loss of her mother.

The Souls and Shadows concert is at the North Wall Arts Centre in Summertown. Tickets cost £10 from 01865 319450.