“This is an album for everyone who understands hope”
At the end of every Finding Rhythms course we set participants a task of writing a letter to a music journalist about the album they have created. Here are some of the letters we loved, written by participants at HMPs Rochester, Ford, Onley, Swinfen Hall and Standford Hill…
Peter, a participant at HMP Ford – Album ‘Start From Scratch’
“We have created a fun and funky album of music for a wide audience. We are a diverse group of people with different backgrounds and experiences and this reflected in the rich and vivid variety on show. We have rap, reggae and ballads.
People with great experience in music and some have searched deeply and written lyrics and melodies to reach everyone. Our concerns may be based in our loss of liberty, but our hopes and hindrances are sure to touch an audience that will never know prison; love and liberty, heartbreak and happiness.
The ethos of the album is positive; making something starting from scratch. With help of an expert production team, we have proudly created a collection which is the best we can be and indeed better than we thought could be.
This is an album for everyone who understands hope.
This is an album for everyone who enjoys music.
Matt, a participant at HMP Standford Hill (album coming soon…)
“Sometimes it is nice to be first, but in life and in any race you can only ever have one winner. If you remember the school race on Sports Day and the cheers and adulation the winner received. However, the loser just received a pat on the back.
This album is your chance to be a winner. Be the first and receive the adulation from a new audience by promoting the album, draw attention to the fact that the album is produced by inmates with original, new, never heard before music and was created in no more than six days. Take a listen and be creative.
Nick, a participant at HMP Rochester – Album ‘Real Life’
“Before I came here I played trombone in Medway Big Band and I played with Kent Music both on a weekly basis. I had weekly lessons for two years and there was always a guitar in the background which I picked up now and again. In prison I was fortunate enough to gain a place on a course ran by charity ‘Finding Rhythms’. I was encouraged to write my first ever song which I did, I was guided through this process by one of the team members – I was completely captivated and I learnt something which I never thought possible. I left on such a high and started writing my next song for the following week. Both songs were recorded and will appear on the CD – the whole process was fascinating. I couldn’t thank the three lovely guys from the charity enough. I also played percussion on other tracks that fellow inmates performed. I shall never forget the lessons I learnt and I will take this experience forward with my musical career.
Marlon, a participant at HMP Onley – Album ‘Songs From The Cell’
“It was a first time experience for me writing songs on the spot. Creating music with a team working together for 6 weeks it was challenging. To understand my strength and weakness the inspiration was sudden all around. The time went so fast you wouldn’t understand the vision the producer and engineer came up with if you wasn’t there. The album was easy to put together because every one who was there loves music with a passion. Learning new things each week, building up your confidence, standing with each other and encouraging each other at the same time. Finding Rhythms was an experience of a life time! Meeting new people, expressing the feelings inside was great for me. To find yourself you need Finding Rhythms!
Tyrone, a participant at HMP Swinfen Hall – Album ‘ Freedom To Write’
“The music which we have created during this course is inspirational and insightful, it shows that prisoners, regardless of their past, transgressions and circumstances are capable of delivering services to the public, showing their talents and abilities. This experience has given me much insight into the opportunities available to me and others who may not have lived their lives in an admirable position, but still have every right and chance to make our futures brighter. If I can give you one reason to listen to our music, it would be; because it is original, straight from the heart, and is a depiction of true life in the UK as a young person with no dilution, thank you!