Lost & Found
Premiered 2nd September 2016 at Roundhouse Studio Theatre / Recording released 10th November 2016 // Pictures by Laurie Lewis
In 2016, I was invited by BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Sheila Hayman to work with six members of the 'Write to Life' group that is part of the UK-wide Freedom from Torture organisation. The mission was to work with the group, alongside dramaturge Christine Bacon, to create a musical and spoken word piece about the experiences of the group, all of whom are torture survivors from different countries including Burundi, Uganda and Iran. Over a period of months, myself and the group devised sketches of lyrics and tunes for the show, sometimes drawing on traditional music from their homelands, but most of the time creating original songs which related to different aspects of their past and present lives. I then turned these initial ideas into a fully composed 35 minute piece, which the group performed at the Roundhouse Studio Theatre on 2nd September, 2016.
I musically directed and accompanied the group on harmonium, guitar, keyboards alongside violinist/vocalist Alice Zawadzki and percussionist/clarinettist Will Roberts. None of the group had performed as vocalists before, so it was a really interesting challenge to help them find the confidence to get up and sing whilst conveying their very personal, funny, moving, powerful and often painful stories.
The full piece can be listened to on the Lost and Found Freedom from Torture page, where you can find out more about this amazing charity. It was recorded binaurally by Ruth Farrar so best listened to on headphones for the full effect.