Oblivion and Beyond is a powerful new EP that explores crime, punishment and reintegration through song-writing and creative expression.

Arts and community organisation, Vox Liminis have released a new 5-track EP Oblivion and Beyond from the Distant Voices project.  It brings together celebrated Scottish songwriters and people with experience of the criminal justice system and, in particular, of recovery from drug and alcohol-related harm.

Musically, Oblivion and Beyond spans genres from Britpop to folk and stories of recovery are told from the different perspectives of people with substance problems, in recovery, supporting loved ones and working in this sector.  The result is a powerful collection of songs that convey strength, resilience and compassion.

The EP tracks were co-written by musicians Donna Maciocia, Fiskur (Ross Clark, Three Blind Wolves), Martha Ffion, Raukarna and Jill Lorean (Sparrow and the Workshop/ Bdy_Prts) with participants in workshops which took place in communities and in prisons.  All the songs relate to the theme of ‘recovery’ and many of the songs were written in, or have a tie to, Inverness.  Artistic lead, Donna Maciocia recorded the songs in pop-up studios in Inverness and Glasgow.

The songs communicate personal experiences that are both individual and universal.  Each song was co-written by people with personal and/or professional experience of drug use and recovery along with professional musicians. The subsequent development of the songs involved continued collaboration from initial discussions around arrangements to the recording process itself – both musicians and people with lived experience of recovery also performed on the tracks.

Gus Bear, who co-wrote two songs on the EP said, I hope it gives people hope, and that no matter where you are or how far you think you’ve fallen there’s always a chance to come back. And a reminder to everyone else that change is possible – that people do get better, there is change possible and hope in there. White Horses is about the new life opening up and people getting better, a reminder that there is hope.” 

Distant Voices songwriting workshop © Sandy Butler

Oblivion and Beyond is released as Scotland faces the recent alarming rise in the number of drug-related deaths, with recent announcements of increased funding and a new governmental task-force to tackle drug deaths, and amidst calls for the Scottish and the UK Governments to radically overhaul drug policies. Alcohol-related harms in Scotland also continue to be among the highest in Western and Central Europe, and to be experienced most by people who live in areas of greater socioeconomic deprivation.

Free EP Launch shows

October 8th – Hootananny, Inverness

October 10th – Mr C’s, Thurso

For more information on the Distant Voices project and Vox Liminis, visit www.distantvoices.org.uk and www.voxliminis.co.uk

Available to stream / buy from:  Bandcamp | Spotify | iTunes

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