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Strong Voices - The Harbour Sessions

During the months of January-March 2015, in partnership with Artswork's Strong Voices programme, Music In Detention (MID) ran a community exchange project involving 14 participatory music making workshops with participants from the Harbour School Cosham and Haslar Immigration Removal Centre (IRC). The project opened up a line of communication between the students and detainees, and with local MID musician and producer Simon Paylor acting as the messenger, the two groups delivered music and messages to each other and worked collaboratively to create six original pieces of music.

For the students the project was an insight into the hidden world of immigration detention and for the detainees the project offered contact with the outside world. For one of the detainees involved, having the contact with the young people was a particularly important aspect of the project as he felt he had a message to share with them, based on his own experiences of growing up in the UK: 
"This project was involving young kids as well so I was able to give an insight into what you should be doing really, you should be aspiring for more in life and to sort of conduct ourselves properly."
Detainee, Haslar IRC 

Making contact with the detainees was important for the young people too. Discussing the subject of immigration detention sparked ideas and made the young people reflect on their own lives, and in some cases, difficult pasts. For one participant, this relationship provided the inspiration for writing their song:
"Different country people - thank you for singing on my song, if you didn't I wouldn't have made it. I like the way even though we didn't meet it was amazing we still made music."

For the pupils involved, the work they have put into making these final tracks of music and producing the artwork for the CD sleeve has contributed to them achieving their bronze arts award.

With thanks to Haslar IRC, The Harbour School Cosham (especially Adele Gallagher who put so much time into this project), Artswork & the Strong Voices programme. Thanks go to Simon Paylor of Fugitive Music who delivered the project and produced the tracks on this CD.

Album recorded and produced by Simon Paylor at Fugitive Music.
All tracks created by participants at Haslar IRC and The Harbour School, Cosham 


Set Me Free (Wipe Your Tears)

pop, pop rock, hip hop, flute, rap


One Day

Rap, Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar, bass, funk


Put me Back Together Again

Ballad, Female vocals, Acoustic, folk, rap


Social Reject

American punk, grunge, acoustic guitar, female vocals


Lock me Down

Dub, Rap, Hip Hop,



Dubstep, electronic

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