In this part of his diaries about creating the SEN resource Songs for Breck, Mark Harrington discusses the creation of Breck’s Song.
When you were 14, do you remember times when your parents had nagged you about something, or didn’t want you to do something, and you just didn’t get why your parents wouldn’t let you do it, or felt that they just didn’t seem to get it? That was my starting point when writing Breck’s Song: ‘This is My World.’
I could imagine conversations between many parents and their teens about playing on computers and gaming too much, and teenagers just being frustrated at their parents. This is where the song starts, with a teenager who has just been moaned at. He tries to explain how and why the online world is important to him.
Through the song, I wanted to convey the important message from The Breck Foundation that they are not trying to stop children going online and gaming, but to give them tools to understand the signs of grooming and being safe online. Therefore I wanted this song to capture some of the excitement of the internet and the amazing things that the internet and gaming offers us.
I also wanted there to an element of innocence to be incorporated, that Breck may have felt safe and untouchable in his online world, which I feel many teenagers and young people experience when they are online.
For the music I took inspiration from Disney dream songs such as ‘The Little Mermaid’s ‘Part of Your World’ to create the idea of innocence and longing, but equally I wanted to feel bit ‘cooler’, so looked to current musicals such as Dear Evan Hansen and Kinky Boots.
When QM studios began producing the music they constructed a song that brought together all the elements I had requested. The song was mostly created and written via emails and Zoom calls due to lockdown. The fact they were able to create something so brilliant within such a difficult environment is a testament to the talented musicians at QM in Horsham - so thank you Adam Geliband, Jack Coldrick and Jodie Munday.
The auditions for the singer Breck were extremely tough, as so many talented people came forward, but when Joe Chadwick’s audition came into my inbox I knew we had found the right match.
Joe has brought a charming innocence to the song, but also channels a rebellious teenage element. His crazy vocal talent and range elevated the song into the stars and his initial recording of the endnote nearly destroyed the mic system! Joe brought this song to life and I hope that anyone who plays online appreciates its sentiment.
My hope is for parents, carers and teachers to understand that for some children the internet and gaming is their world and that’s okay, but I also want it to be an opener to conversations about what their child does online and what they think of Breck’s innocence in the song.
My final blog in this series will look at the third song, Lewis’s Song: ‘My Game’. The singles will hopefully be available on streaming sites soon. To find out more please email email@example.com . If you would like to see further projects, Mark is working on please follow on Instagram and Facebook @harrington_projects