Taking a break

Now that the first stage of our My Ancestors project is complete we are taking a break from this blog while we plan out the next stage. But there is lots going on over on our Rich & Lou’s Loudhailer website, so you can follow our blog there Loudhailer Blog http://loudhailer.net/


Thanks! Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard Visit our Loudhailer website


Corey and his Great Grandfather

This is my eldest son Corey now, and his great grandfather, John Valentine Britton, over 100 years ago. As a mum it is strange looking at a photo that is over a century old and seeing the face of Corey peer out. Quite uncanny…and fascinating.corey-and-great-grandfather
Corey wrote and played the guitar part on our ‘My Ancestors were?’ project song, the closing track on the Auricula Suite album – My Ancestors were French. You can hear it here…

The Auricula Suite is an album of songs telling a re-imagined story of a historical journey to a new land. Inspired by folk tales of the alpine flower – the Primula auricula – and its 16th century journey to England with the Huguenot refugees, it is a tale of love and loss, persecution and a new beginning.

The Auricula Suite Album is released on the DHM record label on March 6th 2017 and will be available to download on all the usual digital outlets.

Jordi Savall – Kalenda Maya

Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI’s Kalenda Maya, a dialogue of souls – homage to the Syrian people – was just divine at York Early Music Festival last week.

Loudhailer UK

Dexter Duffy-Howard and Jordi Savall Dexter Duffy-Howard and Jordi Savall

Rich, Dexter and I were privileged to see Jordi Savall and Hespèrion XXI again last night, this time as part of the York Early Music Festival, and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show.

Hespèrion XXI’s mesmerizing programme – Kalenda Maya, a dialogue of souls – began with the gorgeous piece, Alba, from thier 2006 collection, Orient-Occident. Right from the opening notes the six musicians created an amazing evocative soundscape.  The set of folias and dances from palaces and desert brought twelfth and thirteen century Spain’s fusion of music and cultures to life. Just for the evening I was there, in a past life, in the Castellón market surrounded by the hustle and bustle of people browsing stalls of spice, fruit, beautiful cloth; talking, smoking and looking up to the hills on the edge of the village. Dusty roads led us to verdant mountainsides, castles, banquets, dancers…

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Refugee – Sunday Morning Sketch

It was after the workshop Rich & I did for Refugee Week – when everyone wrote poems – that I found I had some words on the go too. So, the following Sunday morning I figured out a piano accompaniment. I recorded a sketch on my Walkman, and that was the title sorted: Refugee – Sunday Morning Sketch.

lyrics refugee

Listen up my friend, I won’t be coming back
I took a leap of faith to the unknown
I may be safe, I may be not, I leave you everything I’ve got
Except the memories, but that’s ok.

Brothers and sisters, I won’t forget
The earth, the sea, the stars, the sky
And everything that’s in between, the beauty of the swathes of green
The land that made us what we are today.

The village bell that chimed our play
The spice and citrus call for tea
A marble I found in the dust
And kept inside a wooden box
That dog that hung around the yard
With sad black eyes and hopes to run
To distant hills. It’s just too hard
To think about it anymore…

Brothers and sisters, I won’t forget
The earth, the sea, the stars, the sky
And everything that’s in between, the beauty of the swathes of green
The land that made us what we are today.

Hours of practice in the sun
The bow’s weight in my small hand
At eventide, arpeggios
And dreams of times to come
The manuscript, the concert hall
The cellos and the violin
A hand drum in a quiet room
And we begin to play.

Brothers and sisters, I won’t forget
The land that set me on my way
I’ll take it with me, hold it close, and bathe in memories when I dare
It’s ok my old friend, it’s just ok

© 2013 Lou Duffy-Howard

Loudhailer UK

Refugee VocalIt was after the workshop Rich & I did for Refugee Week – when everyone wrote poems – that I found I had some words on the go too. So, the following Sunday morning I figured out a piano accompaniment. I recorded a sketch on my Walkman, and that was the title sorted: Refugee – Sunday Morning Sketch. Yesterday we spent the morning in Element Studio with excellent producer Dan Foster where we recorded a finished version. I took along my Cutlass and added a bass line – it’s always great to play some bass. Rich took a photo of me outside the studio in the sun and Dexter took some photos of us working in the studio. What a lovely way to spend the morning. Listen to it here…

Rich and Dexter took some photos, click on an image to enlarge and scroll through…

Visit our Loudhailer Website Photos and music…

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The Freedom Flame

The #FreedomFlame arrived in Hull from #Wageningen on Thursday. There is a moving yet uplifting exhibition to accompany it in it’s new home in The Creative and Cultural Company gallery, together with works by Debi Keable Artist, Martin Waters, Alan Stichler, Everthorpe art, and the story of Richard’s Grandad’s experiences as a POW in Auschwitz. Please visit it on the Harbour Deck of Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Kingston upon Hull, and at the post here…

Loudhailer UK

The Freedom Flame The Freedom Flame

Here is the ‪Freedom Flame‬ in a stunning shiny brass lamp. It is standing in it’s new home in The Creative and Cultural Company Artspace on the Harbour Deck of Hull’s Princes Quay Shopping Centre, on a beautiful plinth, especially carved for the flame by Allen Stichler.  Originally lit by Field-Marshall Montgomery in 1948, and now brought to the UK for the first time, the flame is surrounded by Martin Waters’ flowing ‘Poppies’ installation of 20,000 poppies, Debi Keable’s most atmospheric Journey Series Paintings – all together for the first time; art from Everthorpe Prison and Richard’s moving exhibition telling a story of his grandad – Fred Lamb’s diary and poetry and detailing the Death March from Auschwitz POW camp to liberation in 1945. You can see the flame, and all of the works at The Creative and Cultural Company gallery in Princes Quay from today. It is a beautiful and…

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Fred Lamb

“Memories are my freedom, and hope my only liberty” Richard’s Grandad, Fred Lamb. You can see more about his experiences as a POW in Auschwitz here. It’s part of the Freedom Flame exhibition in the downstairs gallery in Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Kingston upon Hull together with moving yet uplifting works by artists Debi Keable, Martin Waters and Everthorpe prisoners. If you are in the area please pay a visit to it, and have a look in the PoP Pride of Place art space on the fourth floor where there is a full Liberation and Freedom exhibition.

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“Memories are my freedom, and hope my only liberty” Fred Lamb

Emily and Fred 1950s Emily and Fred 1950s

Dad. Grandad. Husband. Soldier. Prisoner of war number 221998 and a grower of what looked to a four year old in 1970 like a 100 miles of perfect roses. A good guy. A quiet man. Strong and always smiling. This is a story of a small part of his life. Not insignificant but something he rarely spoke of and only what I discovered later only really to me. When I was given the book and asked him about it he wouldn’t say anything of the horrors and kept those things to himself. He made light of most things and the only detail of his capture he made of it a rather funny story, I think true, of being blown off his motorcycle in North Africa and incapacitated due to the large amount of very painful…

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Stories of Stories

Thanks to The University of Lincoln who made this nice short film summary of the Telling Our Stories community projects who worked together last year. It includes some snippets of My Ancestors were French, as well as the other project teams we met at the workshops in Lincoln. Good to see how everyone’s ideas came to fruition.

Visit our website: Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard

Adam, Rob and Lou
Adam, Rob & Lou making the film

Our Music For New Film

Death is no Bad Friend UK Screening
Death is no Bad Friend UK Screening

We are delighted that our My Ancestors were French Auricula Suite music is featured as the soundtrack for Sirens Gaze Productions short film trailer about Robert Louis Stevenson – Death Is No Bad Friend. It had it’s first UK screening – to a fabulous audience – at the PoP Gallery launch in Hull’s Princes Quay last week.

You can see the trailer and read about the cast and crew on the Indiegogo campaign page. Click on the link to see the film clip and hear the music on the Bandcamp player:

Visit our Loudhailer Blog and follow us there: Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard

Death Is No Bad Friend

Indiegogo Campaign
Click the pic to see the film

We are delighted to have contributed the music for Sirens Gaze Productions short film trailer about Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) in San Francisco and on Mount Saint Helena. The film – Death Is No Bad Friend – will be written and produced by the excellent US based illustrator and screenwriter G E Gallas who has created a talented and vibrant collaboration of ambitious young women filmmakers, Siren’s Gaze Productions to make the short film.

The Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is underway. You can see the trailer and read about the team on the campaign page. All support very much appreciated!

Click on the link to see the film trailer (just over 3 mins long) and hear the music Death Is No Bad Friend Film Trailer

Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard

Screenwriter G E Gallas

Death is no bad friend
Kyle Duke Adamiec as RLS

Making a Film for the AHRC

The All Our Stories element of My Ancestors were French is complete, and Rich & I are working on the next stage of the project, first for the Arts & Humanities Research Council and then for Hull City of Culture in 2017.

Lou D-H


Adam, Rob and Lou

Loudhailer UK

Rich and I had a great day today working with Rob and Adam from Lincoln School of Media who were filming us playing Into the Sun from our My Ancestors were French Heritage Lottery All Our Stories project.

Lou Graf


The film is for the Art and Humanities Research Council and maps the various energies and relations that generate connectedness amongst the All Our Stories projects in this area. Rich and I played on the Hull Pier, at various places in the Fruit Market near where the Red Guitars rehearsal room used to be. We warmed up in McCoys and finished the filming in the lovely room that used to house the Local Studies Library in Hull Central Library. Thanks to Adam and Rob – we really enjoyed the day; and thanks to our Twitter friend Matthew at Hull Central Library.

Rich & Lou

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How does it feel?

We’ve got some new films coming up very soon, but in the meantime, how does it feel to be a stranger in a strange land,..

‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ is the short film of Dilzar’s story made especially for the “My Ancestors were French” project. Award winning filmmaker, Quentin Budworth shot the film of Dilzar talking about his experiences of what it feels like to be a refugee in a strange land, and how music can bring people of different cultures together, overcoming adversity and creating something good and new.

The six minute long film illuminates the evocative story that Richard Duffy-Howard and Dilzar worked on together to complement Richard Lees’ Rock against Racism poster exhibition at Wilberforce House Museum in Hull (for Wilberforce 2007).

My Ancestors were French Film – Stranger in a Strange Land

 “When I came to England, to Hull, it was a different language, culture and basically everything was like a big lock. And it was locked. The key to my life in Hull was music. If you take the music out of the world there would be nothing left to make a difference.”

Mike's Illustration

 “I had invited a couple of my friends from Bradford we were walking to town and they were saying we’ve heard Hull’s really bad and I was saying no not really, I’ve got some really good friends and it’s a really nice place to live, I’ve been to other cities but I think Hull is beautiful. Whilst I was talking a taxi passed us and the taxi driver leaned out of the window and started shouting ‘go back to your own country’, you know really shouting, really angry and my friend was saying well it must be really hard to live in Hull. I said ok there are some idiots but I have some really good friends here, don’t believe all the rumours. With that, the taxi got to the end of Spring Bank and turned around, he drove back just so he could hurl abuse at us for a second time. I was really mad; I was just telling my friends how beautiful Hull was.”

 “Once I went to one of the supermarkets in a shopping centre. I went to pay, I paid and I said thank you and the woman at the checkout smiled and said thank you too. The way she said it and looked at me she really meant it. This was the first time someone here had said thank you to me. I can’t explain how it made me feel but it made the rest of my day wonderful.”

 “I was waiting at a bus stop there was a woman with a child in a push-chair the bus came and she was struggling to get on and I said ‘do you want help with the push-chair?’ She said ‘no, but you can hold my baby’ and when she got off the bus and I said ‘do you want help with the push-chair’ and she said ‘no but you can hold my baby again’ and because in this country usually people would not trust someone like me, but she did, it made me feel good because she showed me that not everyone believes the lies some people tell about us.”

Another angle

 “My friend, he’s Kurdish too, he can go to night clubs in town, pubs, anywhere, he has a great time and comes home feeling good. Nobody tells him to ‘go back to your own country’, but he doesn’t look like me. His skin is whiter and he’s got blue eyes.”

 “In my city, Howlare in Kurdistan, it is very flat just like Hull. Many years ago people built a hill in the middle of the city with their hands, so you could see it from miles around and know that you were close to home. When you see it after a long journey, it warms your heart and lifts your spirit. Here I travel with my band all over England to beautiful places with good people, playing at parties and gigs, but we know it’s not home and at the end of the night when we are really tired we know we have to go back. When we see the Humber Bridge, it’s like the hill in the middle of Howlare. We look at each other, smile and say ‘Yeah! Let’s go!’ “

 “My home in Kurdistan I shared with seven sisters, three brothers, my mum and my dad. There is a beautiful garden. We have two different orange trees, olive, pomegranate and a grapefruit tree which isn’t really grapefruit, it’s much more special. There are two grapevines in the garage, one black and one white. The roof of our house is flat; you can go to sleep up there watching the stars. And the stars are like nothing else. Everything is so clear you can navigate by them; you always know where you are. It is like being on a different planet. It is so beautiful. But I had to leave. I had no choice. I was seventeen. I have been looking for the stars since I’ve been in England but I can’t see them.”

 “Even though I have seen many horrors in my life, I still think I am lucky because I have brought good things from Kurdistan and I can see the good things in England.”

The quotes above were collected and translated by Dilzar Shanga and Richard Duffy-Howard

Rich, Dilzar and Quentin
Rich, Dilzar and Quentin

“What an incredibly powerful film. I hope you have many opportunities to share it. I will remember to smile!” CS

“I am so grateful for you forwarding the information regarding the video. I have just watched it and feel extremely moved.
Thank you again for your generosity and hope that such moving pieces touch the hearts of many.”

“I am so very touched by your film. It moves me to tears and to very broad smiles. It is so generous.
Thank you.
My very best wishes, GB”

“If people can clear their minds and watch this film and listen they may rethink and see the real picture for people who are sometimes just looking to be accepted, no matter where you are from. We all carry hidden sadness.” Ron Wilke

“Wow, what a beautiful film! It made me feel very emotional.” AW

“This is fantastic and a great piece of sociological reporting as well as art. Hull is, at long last, a diverse city and will become more so in the future. I’m excited and proud to see our city celebrating this and giving residents an insight into how life is for people when they arrive in this city. The global movement of people is a fact and is of benefit to all of us living in this world, be this out of choice or to flee persecution. The ignorant racist comments written here, as well as those I see so often written in response to other articles, just show the authors to be uneducated bigots. I suspect these people are happy to be called uneducated bigots, but I feel that someone should at least point it out.” Red Fraggle73 Hull Daily Mail 5th February 2013


Film editing this week

editing mawf
Interview with Richard and Louise

We spent a day last week editing the My Ancestors were French Celebratory Event film at the Lincoln School of Media. Janice had done a great job putting a draft together. There’s just a bit more to do. Quentin is working on the Refugee Week workshop film which is nearly ready too.  Looking forward to seeing the finished films.

Refugee Week Workshop Poems and Illustrations

Adam's Tree
Adam’s Tree

Here are some of the beautiful poems and illustrations created at our My Ancestors were French workshop at Creator College for Refugee Week.

Click on an  image to enlarge and scroll through…