2022 is well under way now and although the year was slow to start due to on-going restrictions we are proud to have completed three projects and excited for the many more to come with new and existing partners.
Finding Rhythms Content Day
The sun shone brightly outside last month when we spent the day at Premises Studios. Inside, our beneficiaries and musicians lit up the room, performing tracks created on Finding Rhythms projects, and chatting to us about their musical inspirations, experiences with us and aspirations going forward.
You can check out “Joe’s Story” below. In his own words “Life was very chaotic before Finding Rhythms, life was just all over the place, I had no pattern, and I had no solid place for me to go and actually allow myself to make music”.
Stevie had this to say about the Content Day:
“Taking part in this reminded me that I CAN be around other creative/music professionals and not feel like a weak link. As long as I am being myself, Finding Rhythms really creates the space for anyone of any level of talent to thrive and feel worthy of the future they wish to have.”
We will be sharing more video stories very soon on our Instagram page @FindingRhythms
New Business Director
This month sees our dedicated and much loved Business Director Dami bid Finding Rhythms farewell. We wish him all the best in the future and hope he won’t be a stranger to us.
We welcome Katie Weatherall as the new Business Director.
Katie has over 10 years’ experience working in the non-profit arts sector, starting her career in the music industry as an accidental folk singer and promoter of a traditional music night in a Deptford pub.
She has worked across contemporary pop genres in roles at British Underground managing their international artist development projects and at the British Council’s Music team, managing their Selector Radio show and projects in Sub Saharan Africa.
In her spare time, she is a trustee of RUSS, a community land trust building affordable homes in Lewisham.A message from Katie:
“I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in, learning more about the charity, how it functions and working towards its growth.”
It was a pleasure to return to HMP Woodhill this year after the success of our project there last year. Musicians Aron and Thabo lead seven sessions working with prisoners under a Pathway Strategy organised through a new HMPPS and NHS initiative called the Offender Personality Disorder (OPD). We got an opportunity to visit towards the end of the programme and witness the creative process in person. We are really looking forward to publishing the mastered tracks next month… look out for the release on Spotify!
If you are interested in reading more about our first project at HMP Woodhill click the link after the excerpt below:
“The Woodhill project is one of the most meaningful musical experiences I have had the pleasure to be a part of. The participants showed up on day one a little wary, open minded with reserved excitement. Once we got started with the music though, it became clear that this project was going to be special.”
We also returned to the YMCA North London where musicians Dre and Zola worked with young people who otherwise would have no access to make their own music. Through the project we built their confidence and developed their skills to write their own tracks which were then produced by a professional musician. Over the course of the six weeks we saw one young man go from having little interest in the project to jumping into the creative process, writing his own lyrics and performing on more than one track.
“Being with residents at the YMCA on a weekly basis helped us to build valuable relationships where we could share joy, ideas, knowledge and most of all – music. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a vessel to the residents. I can see how these sessions have opened up the eyes of some of our participants.”
Over the next few months we will be returning to HMP Aylesbury and HMP Woodhill. We will also be running a workshop at a low secure unit at Park Royal Hospital, working with offenders with mental health concerns. This is both a first for us delivering in this type of setting and the first music production programme of this kind at the hospital. We’re very excited about this partnership and happy that the value of our work is being recognised by commissioners operating at the intersection of the criminal justice system and mental health sector. As one previous learner at a prison said “its not about fame, its therapeutic, music is a powerful thing“.