SONGS AND MUSIC

Between 2005 and 2011, in HMP Whitemoor and HMP Frankland, I recorded 29 of my original songs. This work was solely created and produced by me over several hundred hours. Many of these songs contained highly complex MIDI arrangements of drums, keyboards, strings, and brass; and, audio recorded vocals, multi-part harmonies, and acoustic and electric guitars. All of this work is irreplaceable.
After I was transferred to HMP Wakefield in January 2012, I submitted a request for HMP Frankland to forward my work. They refused. Despite me being the owner of this work (under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988) I have recently learnt that HMP Frankland have “removed/deleted” all of my 6 years worth of work from their computers.

All I have left to show for all of my hard work is 2 of my original songs and 3 instrumental covers. The 2 original songs and 2 of the instrumentals are available for free download.

Graham Coutts, 29th September 2014

LITTLE BY LITTLE


Inspired by my twin boys, who were born whilst I was on remand, I wrote this song in 2004. The lyrics just tumbled onto the page and underwent very little editing (which is why there is, untypically for me, so few rhymes). Given my then fragile state of mind, it took a long time before I could sing this song without being overwhelmed with emotion.
Even though I really don’t like the sound of my ‘studio’ voice (live recordings have always sounded so much better), I was particularly pleased with my double-tracked 4-part harmonies(yes,it’s all me) and the little bit of keyboard passage work in the middle eight. The minimalist solo was a result of an e-bow-esque effect and was an improvised second or third take.
I entered this track into the 2010 Koestler competition and won a Bronze Award (4th) in the Singer-Songwriter category.
Graham Coutts 29th September 2014

HAND OF SHELLS


This was written in 2004 and used my poem A GRIM ENCOUNTER as the lyrics. I turned this into a dialogue between myself and ‘death’ as he tried to fill up its ‘quota’ with my soul. Yes, I know, it was very morbid.
The recording process was a bit experimental. I wanted to create a slightly ominous feel to the sound. Cue thunder-clap, rain, and n’death’s’ footsteps. I recorded loads of guitar overdubs which were played with a slight dissonance to add to the creepiness of the atmosphere. The solo at the end was improvised in one take. You have to listen closely to realise it was reversed. My biggest disappointment was my voice (again) but I added a freaky delay to ‘death’s’ parts and slowly panned the vocal left and right, which gives you a feeling of unease when listened to through headphones (well, I think so).

I entered this track into the 2010 Koestler competition and won a Highly Commended Award in the Singer-Songwriter category.
Graham Coutts 29th September 2014

THE KERRY DANCERS


This is a traditional piece which I recorded using an arrangement by Gordon Giltrap. I entered this track into the 2010 Koestler competition and won a Highly Commended Award in the Instrumental category. The judge’s comments:
“WOW! The first piece I listened to and I’m presented with a beautiful solo guitar piece, well recorded and excellently performed by an obviously highly accomplished guitarist. Well done – great stuff!”
Graham Coutts 29th September 2014

MAYBELLE


This is a Chet Atkins number which I recorded from a transcription from a guitar magazine. I entered this track into the 2010 Koestler competition and won the Platinum Award (1st) in the Instrumental category. The judge’s comments:
“A very good performance by a fine guitarist in what is a very different style from the other two pieces. Excellent technically- both musically and rhythmically performed. First rate…”
Graham Coutts 29th September 2014

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