The Stone Flowers Project
"A moving and truthful journey with expressions of protest, peace, love and hope. An original song-cycle in English, Lingala, Farsi, Kurdish, French and Kikongo, influenced by folk, jazz, classical, spoken word and hip-hop music."
Stone Flowers is a three-year music project which began in 2011, led by Musicians without Borders, working with survivors of torture in our North West centre.
Wishing to highlight the use of music as torture, musician Aidan Jolly approached the Freedom from Torture North-West centre with the idea to create music with torture survivors. Freedom from Torture recognised the value of using music in a positive way to support their core counselling work and support survivors of torture in their re-integration into society. Together they asked Musicians without Borders to co-ordinate, deliver and develop the project.
Stone Flowers' is the English translation of the song 'Gole Sangam' (pronounced 'Goll-ay Sang-gyam) a popular Iranian song sung in Farsi. The song was chosen by one of the participants of the project and seemed to connect to everyone involved, symbolising the balance of beauty and strength, resilience and fragility.
The group comprises of Congolese, Iranian, Kurdish and other women and men. The diverse group members bring their own words and musical inspiration into the creative sessions. In 2011 the group developed their original material into an impressive and inspiring song-cycle which was performed live at the Imperial War Museum North on 25 September to a public audience of almost 300 people. Their 2011 CD is available to buy from our website. In 2012, the group created a new series of powerful and imaginative songs which were performed in Manchester as part of Manchester's Food and Drink Festival in October 2012, and again in London as part of our series of live music events (Freedom from Torture Presents...) in December.