“I wanna make some choices of my own, and follow the path that’s mine”
Two new albums released
Just when you thought things couldn’t get better… it just has! This July we release debut albums from HMPs Rochester & Ford. These two refreshing albums confirm that talent exist in the most unlikely places. All that’s needed is the opportunity to have freedom of expression – a thing that too often gets taken away during incarceration.
These musicians have the hunger, will and strength to push through their dark times and are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not an easy road but just listening to these two albums, I know these musicians will get there…
We start off with FR012, titled ‘Real life’, written and performed by eight musicians at HMP Rochester.
If you need waking up in the morning, ‘slap n tickle’ will definitely get you up and motivated for your day ahead. The track’s rock groove gives it a ‘rough and ragged’ feel which isn’t often heard on Finding Rhythms albums.
‘Fire’… need I say any more? This track is indeed ablaze. A man expressing the stress of having to ‘jump through hoops’, having someone control his every move and choices, anticipating the day of his release. I can relate! I love this song because the musician puts everything he had built up inside him into this fiery track.
‘Soliloquy’- A song too beautiful for words. From start to finish this song draws you into a world of stillness…
This album truly reflects Real Life. No bars (no pun intended) are put up on this album. Each one of these men have let their barriers down, stripped everything back and came together collectively to create this powerful project – From Rock to Country to Rap this album delivers it all. To hear more of the album listen here.
Introducing FR013…. ‘Start From Scratch’. This is the fourteenth project from Finding Rhythms’ and a debut album from HMP Ford. Wow another debut! Discovering new talent never gets old 😀
The opening track ‘Bird in the Sky’ brings the sun to wherever you are. Being free and taking every chance is the message behind this song. A mixed blend of Reggae & Pop – enjoy this track with a glass of Pimms in the summer season.
‘Complicated’ has that soulful, ‘floating on water’ kind of vibe to it. The love between two people but the struggles of a relationship that happen along the way. The mature tones and instrumental complimented by sweet vocals gives this song that classic 90’s R&B feel.
‘Then you smiled’ brings you a western country rhythm – something you might hear in a Quentin Tarantino movie. A man who wants to ‘wine & dine’ a lady with the hopes of a little romancing – what a charmer!
And with ‘He’s lost the plot’ you’ve got story telling at its wildest… A man taking you on a journey of his downward spiral.
To hear more of our fourteenth album, listen here.
As you can see, these two new additions to the Finding Rhythms discography span a great many genres. Listened to together they bring balance and open your mind to all aspects of life – an insight into the lives of men living in our prisons today.
A chance to reflect
Towards the end of every project, our groups sit down for a discussion – an opportunity for self-reflection and sharing opinions. It’s always extraordinary to listen back to, with trust having been formed people are open and honest. So to end on a high note, it is my pleasure to share with you some of the things our participants said at the end of projects FR013 and FR014. Enjoy 😀
“I’m diagnosed with psychosis, which means I can feel left out or alienated. But in this group there’s so much positivity. The one main thing I’ve noticed is that on other courses in the jail it’s like “these two are friends, these two friends” and everyone’s stays in their groups. This is the first course I’ve been on where there’s been none of that. It’s been one big group, there’s been no arguments. On other courses, even if there’s been nothing to argue about, because there’s people in there from different backgrounds there’s always something to start an argument over. But here, even when there’s been criticism people have taken it on board and dealt with it in the right way. I haven’t even heard anyone swear in here.”
– Ralph, participant at HMP Rochester
“I want to thank you for the chance to work with such fantastic people. The course has helped me no end with my confidence and helping my voice to be heard.”
– Luis, participant at HMP Rochester
“This is my first time in prison, and on other courses it wasn’t really for me. I was worried about other people and interacting and that. But here everyone was musically minded and I could gel with the group. I never thought in my whole life I’d have the chance to write and get a song out of me.”
– Shaun, participant at HMP Rochester
“I was angry for personal reasons in the first session and you guys were so patient and I’m grateful for that – it was almost like a eureka moment for me. I can see how hard you work and how much you enjoy it, and if you didn’t work as hard as you did I wouldn’t have got the results that I got. You did your best to reel me in and you’ve inspired me on a personal level.”
– Nath, participant at HMP Rochester
“Before this course, on the wing I never felt settled. But since doing this course I feel like I’m in a family. I’ve seen a lot things in my self and in each and every person in this group that has helped me learn about what I have to do in the future. There’s been great teamwork here and a great sense respect. Which shows in the fact that we’ve been able to agree to disagree.”
– Manny, participant at HMP Rochester
“This course has taught me a different view on music and also to know that you can do things from scratch. Makes you know if you put your mind to it, that’s what you can come out with.”
– Jose, participant at HMP Ford
“For me, it has built a lot of confidence in me and given me an insight into what a recording studios like. I was a shy child and for me it is challenging at times and doing this has opened me up.”
– Doug, participant at HMP Ford
“We been looking forward to this event for months now. I thank everyone that has been involved in your collaborative effort to do this and believe me we were surprised how structured this is and how you managed to put all this together, starting from a few little drum beats to a few ideas knocked around the room and polished into shape into quite amazing sounds. Its a real education.”
– Ben, participant at HMP Ford
“We’ve learnt to trust each other as a group and individually and we’ve all had to let go of stuff in order to get more back and that’s something. I’m not used to doing so that was good.”
– Richard, participant at HMP Ford
“Team work is a real asset to have as its a transferable skill to many different careers in life. Just understanding the importance of organisation, working with professionals and everyone working together in one direction. I think the course is amazing, it’s been the most engaging course I’ve encountered in prison.”
– Connor, participant at HMP Ford
“I have taken a lot from this! I don’t know how much I can thank you guys. Before this I was shy – the music I create is different to what’s out there and I always thought that maybe I’m not good enough then 3 weeks ago (starting the course) I said to myself I’m gonna just jump in the deep end and see what people think. I got a very positive response and I’ve really considered whether I wanna do music seriously. I’ve learnt a lot and I don’t know how much to thank you guys.”
– Hassan, participant at HMP Ford