This will blow your mind! Sonic Minds is a creative music project working with hundreds of displaced and care experienced children, helping them to create, write and record music shaped by their stories and aspirations. And now we’d just like to introduce you to ‘The Sonic Mind’.


We’ve been working with sound engineer and artist, Gawain Hewitt to create an interactive sound installation, a brain cast in pewter mounted on a gramophone base that celebrates the unknowable creativity of the brain. It advocates for the participants of our Sonic Minds project to allow their music and sounds to be elevated and celebrated.


Presented by music charity Lewisham Music, ‘Sonic Minds’ is a two-year creative music project working with care experienced children and displaced young people living across South-East London.


The sculpture allows you to take a journey through music created by displaced young people by moving your finger around the different parts of the sonic brain sculpture. With each touch you will bring new music and stories to life.


“I think all too often we just take our perceptions from the news outlets and don’t take time to listen and reflect on the actual voices of young refugees. The spoken word pieces knocked me for six and really made me rethink and challenge some of my perceptions.”

Feedback from The Sonic Mind audience at The Horniman





Over the past two years our team of professional musicians have worked with inspiring groups of young people to create original music and spoken word, capturing their stories, experiences, hopes and ambitions, exploring the connection between music and mental health. As the project progresses, we’re building up a pool of music and word, which serve as a living collection and testament to these young people and their stories.


“I think you need to know that they are the most brave, courageous, resilient, artistic, beautiful individuals, who, whether it’s through trauma or experience or all these other different dynamics, have been given an opportunity to represent themselves in a new way, with a new life, and there is a bravery and courage to that that I don’t think I can see in any other group.”

Yasmin Ali, Project Facilitator



The Sonic Mind is on the move…

The Sonic Mind has been making appearances throughout Lewisham over the last few months, it’s already been displayed at Royal College of Music, and The Horniman for Lewisham Refugee Week Festival, Catford Library which reopened at the end of September, Lewisham Library, and Deptford Lounge, and has now started an extended residency at The Horniman until 4 January 2023. It’d be great if you went to have an explore, and unlike many sculptures, we strongly advise you to touch!


Visit The Horniman


Massive shout outs…

Big shout out to mastermind of the project, our very own Community Music Manager and Project Producer, Keith Sykes, and the brains, creativity, and craft behind the sonic sculpture, Sound Engineer and Artist, Gawain Hewitt.


“My proudest moment in a long time! The ‘Sonic Minds’ project felt like the coming together of my work over the past 10 years and a chance to shine a light on the connection between music and mental health. I’ve been dreaming about co-creating this project for years. After 2 years of working with the most inspiring group of displaced and care experienced children, today marked the first public celebration of their creativity, determination, and hard work. It was hands down one of the most uplifting and humbling experiences to see the public engage so meaningfully with the young people’s stories and beautiful music.”

Keith Sykes, Project Producer



A huge thank you to Youth Music for funding this project, and to our squad of amazing Music Leaders Y.A Poet (Yasmin Ali), Joshua Oladipo, GillIan Wood, Joy Stacey, James Yarde, Alice Hale, Arun Janssens, Damien Cooke.


What can we say, Gawain Hewitt, your creativity and vision is astounding! Thanks so much for bringing this great project to life!


Finally, a massive thank you to our research partners Sound Connections, Abigail D’Amore and Kayte Cable.


Here are a few photos of The Sonic Mind…



Follow what’s happening in Sonic Minds

Please click through the links below to follow the progress of Sonic Minds, and make sure you take ‘a journey into Sonic Minds’ where you’ll find all the creative outcomes from the project so far, including poetry, music, singing, and much more…