Aug 22, 2021
As part of the Hope in a Box Young People’s Project, local artists Lavz and Lizzy Fretwell ran two projects exploring young people’s voices in very different ways.
One Sound, One Voice by Lavz invited young people with an interest in or existing practice in music to explore new collaborative ways to make music with people, even if they could not be in the same room together. With no prior experience necessary, the workshops created a freeing, open space in which to try new methods of collaborating and take steps into new ways of making music.
The first session explored What Beat are You? Lavz and the group explored favourite types of beats ranging from bedroom pop to old school hip-hop. There was a huge range of styles emerging, from a neo soul song about love & laundry, a pop love song, to a bedroom pop style song about a nervous person at a party.
From that beginning, the group grew their knowledge and exploration of musical styles through looking deeper at rhythm, lyric writing and creating flow, melody, performance styles, and musical expression.
Lavz said of the project: ‘I have enjoyed working on a project that has responded creatively and positively to the issue of loneliness in our area. A highlight for me was seeing a person who has never expressed themselves musically, ended up with a complete recorded song it was great to see that growth happen in a short period of time'
Listen in my Shoes by Lizzy Fretwell asked young women how they felt walking alone in Luton, creating new responses to the provocation of safety, wellbeing and owning the streets through a series of creative workshops. From a starting provocation around walks being a seemingly staple part of many people’s lives through lockdown, Lizzy asked participants how safe they felt walking around Luton?
Through a series of collaborative moments between participants, writing exercises, and exploration of current news and political moments around women’s safety such as the Sarah Everard case, the participants grew a range of original written pieces about the places they love to walk, the places they love to return to, and the feelings and challenges they face around being a woman in a public space.
Lizzy said of the project: ‘Hope In A Box has been an insightful learning experience. I was amazed by the community and thought-provoking audio piece that the Listen In My Shoes participants created in just six workshops.’
Participants in both projects then had the opportunity to record some of their tracks and written work at Marsh Farm Studios, a fully featured recording studio in the heart of Marsh House Community Centre, to form the Hope in a Box Mixtape, which was shared in an intimate online event on the 13th June.
You can listen back to some of the tracks here.