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


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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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

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


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…

Lilybeth’s Poems

Lily Writing

Goodbye Loved Ones

I’m leaving now
I’m going away
To my lovers
I can’t stay
It’s not you
It’s just me
A new country
That is me
A fresh start
A new life
A different culture
Will shine bright
Goodbye my friends
I’m going now
A new life
I start now


My name is Lily
I’m a flower
With flower power
With my personality
I shine bright
Share my story
It’s my life
In new places
I share life
What I have
Is my personality
I am polite
In new places
What I offer
It’s my name
Lily the flower

Lily's Poem in Colour

By Lilybeth Goodwillie

Sydell’s Poems in Golden Ink

Here are Sydell’s Poems, for our Hull Refugee week workshop, beautifully written in gold…


The Auricula Suite

I am drifting
I am following
Following the crowd
Crowds of leaves
Leaves are descending
Descending into fear
Fear of unknown
Unknown language spoken
Spoken broken words
Words of foreigners
Foreigners are scary
Scary foreign lands
Lands of people
People of England
England is beautiful
Beautiful green land
Land of unknown
Unknown foreign people

Shimmy, gallop
Bolt, shake, natter
Beauty, gentle, innocence, pride

Sweet, fruity
Velvety, soft, moist
Sweet, nature, touchable
Luxury, tempting
Edible, juicy


What would you take with you?
My Nanas necklace

Three Words
The dog slept
The dog woke
The dog cried
The dog barked
The dog wagged

The love lasts
The love eats
The love gives
The love grows

The chef baked
The chef cooked
The chef chopped
The chef fried
The chef tired
The chef rolled
The chef proved
By Sydell Faith

Anne’s Poem, Sink or Swim

Anne’s evocative poem from our Refugee Week workshop at Creator College spans a year in a life…

Sink or Swim

I’ve no choice
They are shooting
Jump in now
Water so cold
Border far away
I am frightened
Please save me
Here’s the shore
Gasping, moaning, exhausted
A new future
One of happiness?

Ann McNamara 1
One year later

No – I am hated
They despise me
Take their jobs?
Take their girls?
It’s not true
I need help
To feel safe
To learn English
Get a job
Bring my family
All I need –
A peaceful life.

By Anne MacNamara

Ann McNamara 2