Prison ‘soundscape’ album launch in Derry

Raymond Watson.
Raymond Watson.

The Holywell Trust will host the Derry launch of the new album, ‘Unlocking: Yard Side, Garden Side’, by Raymond Watson next week.

The unique album is composed with rhythms and sounds of the original keys and other artefacts recovered from Crumlin Road Prison, Belfast.

The artist Raymond Watson, said: “The sound recorded for this LP was created with items recovered from Prison.

“From the closed confines of a small prison cell, external sounds – rattling keys, banging grills, locks, footsteps, voices, miscellaneous noises and silence, often provided a visual picture of what was happening beyond the locked door - this experience was the inspiration and source material for this ‘album’ - hopefully the vision that others will have as listeners will be generated by their own interaction with this sonic experience.

“This experimental album grew from an immersive audio visual art installation that I created 2017 and that I exhibited in Liverpool, February 2018 as part of the 20th anniversary of Good Friday Agreement.

“The exhibition displayed hundreds of the ‘Crum’s’ keys and handcuff keys which were suspended from the ceiling and combined with an audio track created with those same keys.”

Other items used to create the album are many brass and aluminium ID (identification) tags, a steel prison food tray, an original ‘prison made’ grappling hook, constructed by internment prisoners intending to escape in the early 1970s.

It also features the sound of locks, grills, footsteps, echoing memories and Raymond’s own words.

“Additional instrumental music was created by my daughters Toraigh and Dara, on flute and harp,” he said.

‘Unlocking’ by Raymond Watson will be launched at the Holywell Trust on Bishop Street on Thursday, September 19 at 7pm. Admission is free and open to all.

The album is available from Raymond Watson’s website, www.thehandsofhistory.com