Creative young people at the adolescent mental health unit in Bodmin have released a new music album.

Sowenna Sounds was created during their inpatient admission at Sowenna. 

The work was enabled by visiting music producers working with many music forms including hip-hop, IDM, folk, indie pop, drum and bass, soundart and dubstep.

The album of 17 tracks was launched at the Royal Cornwall Show and will be released on all streaming platforms.

Jonathan King, the head of education at Sowenna, said: “For some of our young people, the opportunity to create music and experiment with sounds has been a small ray of light and hope during a very dark period in their mental health.”

Debbie Richards, the chief executive of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are incredibly supportive of this project, our school and our charity and their work to improve young people’s mental health and wellbeing.”

The young people and the staff team at Sowenna worked with creative partners, dBs Pro at the dBs Institute in Bristol and dBs-i, a non-profit sound and music company, for two years.

Jay Auborn, creative producer at dbs Pro said: “We all know that music can be powerful and in some cases change people’s lives, but having access to instruments and the confidence to pick one up isn’t always within reach. During the making of this album, we worked with young people who, in some cases, had no previous experience with music and sound creation. 

“Using simple-to-operate and affordable technology, we helped remove the entry barriers for engaging with a creative practice, in this case, music and sound art. 

“It was a privilege to have been involved with the project and see first-hand the enormous benefits playing with sound and music can have for young people dealing with so much in their lives.”

Dr John Matthias, head of research at dbs-i, added:  “The new tracks are both imaginatively creative and thought-provoking and it would be great to hear them on the radio.”

The Sowenna Appeal Charity funded the project and provided crucial and easy-to-use music technology equipment and visiting music producers which enabled the young people to create hip-hop and pop music song forms. 

The tracks were mixed in Bristol at dBs Pro at The dBs Institute by Jay Auborn and Bristol-based music producers Gemsski, Tugkan Mutlu, Louis Marcell, Pauls Lux, Dr P, Gutnose, Jamie Bird, Matt Smith and Elise Livingston.

A parent of one of the young music creators said, “The work that Sowenna does is amazing. There is nothing else like it in Cornwall and it is so needed for our young people.”