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When The Music Stops

This track was created from scratch in a single day of music making and song writing at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre, September 2016. The recording was inspired by a quote from members of the Zomba Prison Project Band, in Malawi, who talk about seeing no walls when they are making music and how music brings ‘sunshine’ into their lives.  

The participants, detained at the time of recording, felt an affinity with these words. The introduction is sung by Hirkar, a newly arrived refugee from Syria. The rest of the recording features the whole group who came together that day to sing, play guitar, keyboard, drums and the Harmonium.

The session was joined by Goodhead, a Jamaican singer songwriter, who lit up the room performing some of his own material before adding his own vocals to the recording. “That day the togetherness meant a lot, the music relax our mind, body and soul. Meeting new people helps with the loneliness and depression. ... The motivation, inspiration and unity make us stronger that day.”

The song reflects the diversity in the centre, ‘I’ve been to the chapel, I’ve been to the mosque…’ and unites everyone in their desire for sunshine to come their way as they count their days up in detention.

The workshop was facilitated by Kevin Campbell Davidson and Lucky Moyo from Music for Change.

This track was Highly Commended in the 2017 Koestler Trust Awards!


When The Music Stops

Reggae, African

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