Distant Voices

IAA.Feb 16. A Downie 6 copyDistant Voices is an innovative project, bringing some of Scotland’s best contemporary songwriters together with groups of prisoners, former prisoners, prison officers, criminal justice staff, victims of crime, academics and families affected by imprisonment, to write and record songs.

‘Distant Voices,’ a unique multi-stakeholder project currently funded by Creative Scotland, Scottish Prison Service and GCJA exploring themes pertinent to ‘coming home’. From April 2017, with new funding from the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council ‘Distant Voices’ will develop into a collaborative research project, with colleagues from the University of Glasgow, UWS and University of Edinburgh. For more information on the research project, see this blog post from SCCJR and further information from the Reseach Councils UK website.

In an on-going way, songwriting workshops called ‘Vox Sessions’ diverse participants are being writing and recording new songs together. From the hundred or so songs that will be written, ten songs will be curated into a studio recorded album. In each case, writing and recording will be collaborative processes between a criminal justice situated writer and an established Scottish songwriter or band.

In previous phases of Distant Voices,  November 2015 saw Distant Voices release a studio EP called Silent Seconds and running a festival at CCA, in 2014 Distant Voices released a live EP following an event at The Briggait. The work has to date and has attracted significant national radio and printed press coverage, inviting a creative conversation on a crucial public issue.

In a system often reduced to black and white positions and roles, Distant Voices explores what happens when we share and make human stories, ideas, emotions and community.