Music has been a large part of Mark’s life in prison and a source of real comfort and solace in an otherwise bleak environment. In organising various events, Mark has helped raise over £1250 for Shooting Star Children’s Hospice, and almost £1000 for the Howard League for Penal Reform, through his music. Mark has performed with Eric Clapton, Cashhtastic, Hardwicke Circus, Liberty Choir, Terry Waite, Bryn Haworth, and many others whilst in prison.

Mark has written over 20 songs in captivity, with lyrics reflecting on politics, criminal justice policy, and relationships. He has also composed 7 worship songs for Christian fellowship, to date, expressing his search for hope, strength, and wisdom through faith. Here are some of the pieces his family have shared with us over the years, including a few early demos.

Yellow (cover)

Mark helps run a music group in the prison where the men can learn how to play guitar, bass and drums. Every so often they put an event on, often performing for the first time in their lives. In this cover, Mark plays piano and sings.

I Shot the Sheriff (cover)

Mark delivers his version of this timeless blues track, performing on piano and vocals.

Saturday Night (demo)

Here is a demo of one of Mark’s songs, with jazz, funk, soul and disco influences. Imagining an opportunity to unwind from the stressors and indignities of prison life inspired him to write this song.

What’s Going On? (cover)

A performance with the prison music group, led by Mark on piano and vocals, as part of Black History Month.

Never Forget You (demo)

This dance-inspired track was written by Mark.

‘Vals Poético’ No. 6 (Granados)

Some Piano from a recital Mark gave as part of an afternoon of Words and Music with Terry Waite CBE. Here he plays jazz by Enrique Granados. You can listen to excerpts from the event, including Terry’s talk, here.

Half the World Away (cover)

Mark’s take on the popular Oasis song, performed with the prison music group.

Raindrops (demo)

Another demo now from Mark’s catalogue of original songwriting. Looking out of his prison cell during a thunderstorm inspired this melancholy reflection on the weather. Jazz, funk and soul influences punctuate his lyrics.

‘Prison’, No. 1, Op. 83 – (Fauré)

Mark has taken several music exams in prison. This French chanson was part of the recital which gained him his LRSM (Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music) award. You can listen to the full recital here.

‘Nocturne’ Op. 32 No. 1 in B Major (Chopin)

An early recording from Mark’s family of one of the Grade 8 Piano pieces Mark studied during his first few years of incarceration. He passed with merit. You can listen to more of his classical piano playing here.

‘Fear no more the heat o’ the sun’, No. 3 from ‘Let us Garlands Bring’ (Finzi)

Another song from Mark’s LRSM recital, this time from the English artsong genre. You can also enjoy some of his earlier performances from his DipABRSM recital here.

Your Time is Coming (demo)

A demo of Mark’s Motown-inspired song, expressing gratitude for those who have stood by him through the long years of his imprisonment. Mark has been preparing this song for a performance by Liberty Choir.

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1 Response

  1. Oh Mark, love your music and lyrics! It’s and honour and privilege to make music with you once a month, and without doubt, a highlight in the month, especially as it honours and glorifies God. You will no doubt know the story of Joseph, in Genesis 39 – 50, if not, get stuck into it, it’s anazing! Joseph was wrongly imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, but we read again and again, “The Lord with Joseph”, so may the God of Joseph continue be The God of Mark, and bless you abundantly, as He did Joseph. Love and blessings, tim

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