Aims and Objectives.
The Frankie Miller Songwriting Project is a newly formed project which
aims to raise the profile of disabled musicians through the production
and performance of original, high quality music and through ensuring professional
collaboration of the best available musicians and producers. In so doing
the project will generate public debate about the capabilities of disabled
musicians by exposing them to a wider audience. The project will support
disabled musicians through use of specialist professional and technological
aids to help in the composition, arrangement and performance of new music.
As far as we are aware the project is entirely without precedence in it's
We plan to achieve extensive impact on a regional and national basis through
i) a well-publicised event to showcase new work; ii) the launch of a new
CD; and iii) a documentary of the project's work and accompanying videos
which will also be copied for video distribution iv) distribution of CD
and video to arts organisations, libraries, the media and music industry.
Breakdown of Project Proposal and Timescale.
Partnership funding of overall costs has already been agreed from various
sources. Phase one and two of the project involved songwriting workshops
and pre-production rehearsals.
Phase three of the project involved production of new music composed by
the ensemble of experienced disabled and able-bodied musicians. The disabled
musicians (profiled in this proposal) are already very good musicians
in their own right. However they would be unable to work at this standard
without the specialist support and technological aids provided by our
Phase four: the launch of the live event; related promotional activity
and CD duplication. Phase four represents the culmination of the Frankie
Miller Project featuring an exciting live event in 2002, on January 10th,
at the Spitz Club in Old Spitalfields Market, at which some of London's
finest disabled musicians will premier their new music to an invited audience
of the press, music industry and disabled arts organisations.
Showing alongside a live performance will be a documentary and videos
featuring selected tracks from each artist's contribution to the CD. Leading
up to the event a CD of all the music will be recorded and this will be
used to create further opportunities to expand the audience for the musicians'
work. We anticipate that the live event will attract national attention
from the music and general media.
Key staff and participant profiles
Staff and participants are an important part of the credibility of the
project. We have therefore included the following profiles:
Frankie Miller - legendary soul songwriter/singer who has written an
enormous amount of hits and is recovering from a brain haemorrhage. Frankie
is acting as a patron to the organisation and is working with the BBC's
to co-ordinate an album to feature re-releases and previously unpublished
material with a host of contemporary stars.
Fred Van Doran - A virtuosi jazz pianist, composer, arranger and musical
director for Matt Monroe and Engelbert Humperdink among others. Fred now
suffers from advanced M.S. This hasn't stopped him completing the composition
of a major classical suite for inclusion on the FMSP CD. Fred was delighted
to see his work performed by a 36 piece orchestra and conducted by Paul
Englishby, composer of the film-score for "Captain Correlli's Mandolin"
and Music Director for the forth-coming film "About A Boy".
Mark Rowland - Mark is a dance music composer whom Jools Holland has described
as a "serious composer in anyone's book". He has cerebral palsy
and composes using his toes. Jools Holland has agreed to contribute some
piano to Mark's work for the CD. Mark made the front page of the Mirror
in the Summer of 2000 when he won a place at the Liverpool Institute of
Lyn Levett - Another talented dance music composer and re-mixer. Lyn has
cerebral palsy and composes on a computer with her nose. Lyn has worked
with a variety of top-grade producers on this project including award-winning
Peter Henderson (of "Supertramp" fame). Lyn has already performed
at the ICA using a choreographed dance piece, in which she also participated,
to interpret her dance music.
Simon Smith - a disabled singer/songwriter who has already produced one
album with the Useless Eaters. He has a great voice and is very interested
in this project and the opportunity it allows to bypass the limiting nature
of the music industry. Simon has contributions from the Lascelles Gospel
Singers and from acclaimed producers Peter Henderson and Alistair McMillan
on the two great tracks he has worked on for this project. He has also
produced a Video to go with one of his songs.
Session musicians - put together for the rehearsal and recording sessions
by Cormac and Frankie.
Backing singers - Lascelles Houghton and friends, they have worked with
everyone from Elton John to Miriah Carey and are members of the Visual
Minstry Gospel choir
Paul Englishby- Classical composer, musician and conductor who has played
a leading role in writing current major film-scores as previously mentioned.
Lead singers - some of Frankie's famous friends (Paul Carrack, Jools
Holland) have agreed to contribute to new music in production.
Alistair Macmillan - Engineer/ producer, who has worked with the Rolling
Stones, Mark Knoppler, U2 and others.
Peter Henderson- Award winning producer who has worked with Supertramp,
Paul Mc Cartney and other internationally reknowned artistes.
Project Director - Cormac O' Kane
Cormac has a background as a successful composer, musician and producer.
He has a host of contacts in the world of pop music. He has performed
and recorded with artists including Jools Holland, Bob Geldof, Squeeze,
Bonnie Tyler, Paul Carrack, The Corrs, Ash , The Three Degrees, Ruby Turner.
He has also co presented a number of T.V. programs. Cormac has specialist
skills in the use of music technology which he has applied as a musical
director for The Drake Music Project. He has worked in both television
and disability arts for the last eight years. Cormac is currently featuring
as part of comedian Patrick Kielty's Friday night show, showing on BBC
Project Administrator - Sharon Hunter
Sharon is a freelance consultant. She is qualified in Business administration
to masters level and she has a background in voluntary sector pr and consultancy.
Sharon is also engaged in various research, training and development initiatives
in the voluntary and public sectors. She has just completed a pioneering
research exercise considering re-generation of service-provision for homeless
and vulnerable people.
The project has already received financial backing from the Arts Council
of England, PRS, SCOPE, London Arts, Making Music and the Peter Minet
Trust. We believe this project represents an exciting development in creating
new music and a higher profile for disabled musicians. The musicians involved
are of sufficient calibre and character to generate massive interest from
the music industry and general press. We are also in the process of applying
for charitable trust status, which will entitle us to all the normal tax
exemptions available to charities.
Webpage assembled by Simon Smith