The Frankie Miller Songwriting Project


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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 current form.
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 organisation.

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 Performing Arts.

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 Northern Ireland.

Project Administrator - Sharon Hunter
Sharon is a freelance consultant. She is qualified in Business administration to masters level and 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.



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