Their song 'Written on the Streets' was composed in just two days with the help of Camberwell-based songwriter and musician, Chris Gregory and musicians from the band Yeah And She Has Red Lips Too. Using a song writing method loved by David Bowie, the 'Cut up Technique', it draws its inspiration from each contributor's personal experiences and explores themes of being on a journey, taking detours and diversions and working out which way to take at a crossroads.
The track was recorded at our Endell Street recording studio in Covent Garden. Other residents and staff then contributed backing vocals. The finished track features more than 20 people and is an eclectic mix of pop, rock, rap and the spoken word.
One of the main singers involved is Endell Street resident Esther. She said: "The Written on the Streets project was a fantastic experience and a big eye opener for me. I have been writing songs on my own since I was 16 and it's an area I can truly be me. We all put in our thoughts and feelings and the words come straight from the heart. It's one of the best things I've done recently."
The Endell Street Studio is one of the on-site activities offered through the St Mungo's Broadway Pathways to Employment scheme at the hostel, which not only gives residents access to music as a therapeutic activity but also trains people in sound recording skills through the Open College Network.
Writing the song was the idea of community events organiser Natalie Pilato and Matt Catlow, music production trainer, as their contribution to the 2010 'Just the Job' Action Week.
Matt said: "I think it's a great track. I was really proud of all the residents for getting involved, and staff as well. It was great to see how much they got out of the experience. Now we hope we can spread the song far and wide!"
And if you really like it, please donate to St Mungo's Broadway and help us support more people on the Pathways to Employment scheme.
Credits to singers and musicians Esther, Alan, John, Jonny, Vincent, Caz and Jez from 'Yeah and She Has Red Lips Too'; Song writing and production support from Natalie Pilato and Chris Gregory; the staff at Endell Street. Read updates on other projects and events on Natalie's blog www.truceatthemargins.com
Thanks to Matt Catlow, music production trainer, who worked tirelessly to coordinate the project and produce the finished track.