In October and November 2013 a group of young people from The Challenge Network and detainees from Harmondsworth IRC worked alongside professional musicians Arjunan Manuelpillai and Tom Fairbairn to create, exchange and record music and lyrics. Sharing their thoughts and experiences during this creative collaboration enabled participants from different backgrounds to learn about and empathise with one another, recognising common feelings and aspirations.
Common themes expressed were isolation, freedom, family and friends. Through the creative process these themes were explored and shared to create lyrics and music. As the musical exchange developed a connection grew between the two groups and drew them closer together. Being able to share their feelings and experiences gave both groups a sense of the importance of friendship and its power to give hope. In their songs and music you will hear the collective voice of new friends.
"I thought Arj and Tom were excellent. The young people clearly respected them and responded well to their direction and tutoring. They had a clear idea of what kind of production would work best and empowered our young people to be creative inside of that framework. What they managed to produce in such a short period of time was remarkable."
Robert Whiteside, Senior Programme Manager
Music In Detention works with immigration detainees, bringing them together with professional musicians and local communities to share, create and enjoy music, enabling often-ignored voices to be heard in new ways.
The Asian Music Circuit is the leading promoter of Asian music in the UK. It has successfully established a reputation of producing innovative tours, concerts and educational projects of the highest standard.
The project was delivered by the Asian Music Circuit and facilitated by Arjunan Manuelpillai and Tom Fairbairn on behalf of Music In Detention.