A lullaby performed with RPO musicians at Rich Mix

On 21 March RPO Resound and members of the Orchestra were invited, alongside our partners at the Irene Taylor Trust, to give a key note performance at a conference in Rich Mix, London, hosted by the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance as part of their Inspiring Futures programme.

Inspiring Futures have been carrying out research into the effects of arts in criminal justice settings, using examples of projects undertaken by partner organisations in real-world settings. One of the RPO and Irene Taylor Trust’s HMP Norwich Lullaby projects in summer 2022 formed part of this research, and the organisation asked us to provide a key note presentation at this conference in order to share their findings with interested arts organisations, criminal justice workers and other potential stakeholders.

In the ‘Inspire: Sustainability in the arts and criminal justice sector’ one-day festival, RPO musicians performed four lullabies written as part of the project with two participants, Michaela and Noble.

Michaela Lullaby

(c) Louise Mackey, Clinks and NCJAA

Noble Lullaby

The Lullaby Project gives parents in challenging circumstances the opportunity to create bespoke lullabies alongside professional musicians, allowing them to explore their thoughts and feelings about their children.

The project, devised by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in the US and first brought to the UK by the Irene Taylor Trust and RPO Resound in 2017, supports parents in challenging circumstances to write personal lullabies for their children as a way to strengthen the parent-child bond for those who may not be able to spend time together regularly.

Musicians work one-to-one with participants to write lyrics and create melodies, crafting personalised songs that reflect the memories and experience that they have shared with their children. The songs are then recorded by an RPO chamber ensemble and shared with the families, enhancing the bond between the parents and their children by creating something that can be treasured forever.

IMG 0068

(c) Rhiannon Crompton/RPO

Here's what a couple of our musicians had to say about working on The Lullaby Project...

Jo Marsh, Sub-Principal Flute:

‘It’s just the most humbling, wonderful experience, working with somebody to create something like these lullabies. There’s always lots of tissues required for this project because it really is amazing. If I could do this full-time I would! It’s absolutely brilliant.’

‘It’s very easy as a musician in a top classical orchestra to get quite overwhelmed with the pressures… then you go and work with people who are also, for completely different reasons, having a difficult time, and you create something like this together, and it gives you time to reflect.’

Sali-Wyn Ryan, Second Violin:

‘It’s always rewarding in different ways, for us and for the people we’re working with. It puts a lot of things into perspective.’

Find out more about The Lullaby Project

National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance

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