The music on this CD is the culmination of a Gosport Community Exchange songwriting project between detainees at Haslar Immigration Removal Centre and students from Bridgemary School. The aim of the project was to create, through music, a connection between detainees and local people. The project took place between April and June 2012.
The two groups could not meet face-to-face, but were able to communicate with each other through musical expression. Music practitioner Simon Paylor worked with both groups over a six-week period, taking the creative contributions backwards and forwards between the two groups, who added lyrics to music and vice-versa, gradually building a truly collaborative set of songs.
The project was managed by Music In Detention Gosport (firstname.lastname@example.org) and delivered by Simon Paylor (email@example.com) with additional support from Louis Crowe (BS).
Simon Paylor is an experienced music practitioner who has worked with immigration detainees and young people for many years.
"This was such a great opportunity to connect people of different ages, cultures and musical experience through a shared passion for music. I'm really pleased with how the songs turned out; they really capture the energy, concerns and creativity of everyone involved."
A back-track CD of the detainees' contribution has also been produced, allowing the students from Bridgemary School to perform the songs in public.
Artwork by detainees at Haslar IRC and Lyn Colbeck (MIDG).
Haslar Immigration Removal Centre are pleased to be working alongside Music In Detention to be able to provide an expressive and creative outlet for the immigration detainees in their care. They embrace the cultural diversity of their detainee population and encourage detainees to celebrate their unique cultural identity and nationality through music, dance and song. Music In Detention workshops assist IRC Haslar in promoting respect for the many cultural differences between the nationalities and detainees and promotes positive interaction between staff and detainees.
Music In Detention Gosport is a recently formed partnership between Music In Detention, Haslar Immigration Removal Centre, Gosport Voluntary Action and other local agencies, and is a local wing of the national organisation. MIDG exists for immigration detainees in Haslar IRC and want the shared experience of music-making to build supportive relationships between detainees and the surrounding community. Their work helps detainees cope with detention, and the wider community to understand their experience of it.
Bridgemary School recognises that every student is different and brings with them a wealth of experience, talents and aspirations. This was evident from the diversity of the participating students from the after-school club who contributed creative material during the Community Exchange project. The students were eager to learn about the detainees and a 14-year-old participant commented:
"At first I didn't care about it because my knowledge wasn't there, but our lives are much better here than in other countries. The people there don't just move for business, they move for survival."
The project was funded by Hampshire County Council.
Arrangements, additional instrumentation and vocals: BS and HIRC participants with help from Fugitive Music.
Produced by Fugitive Music: firstname.lastname@example.org, 07840 969112
Mixed and mastered by Gareth Matthews: Backbeat Studios, email@example.com