Norwegian prisoners make the jailhouse rock / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian prisoners make the jailhouse rock. 12 inmates at Bastøy prison in Vestfold are showing their passion for music by releasing a CD. “Music is sort of my entire life, and I’m so unlucky to be sitting as a prisoner in Bastøy now. I have had been interested in music ever since I was born,” convict Dan Øyvind Helle tells NRK. The prisoners have been practicing music for six months and now have two bands, “Vann og Brød” (“Bread and Water” in Britain) and “Fem kriminelle og en tyv” (“Five criminals and a thief”).

bastoeyprison, musicalinmates



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Norwegian prisoners make the jailhouse rock

Published on Wednesday, 22nd June, 2011 at 23:10 under the news category, by John Price   .
Last Updated on 22nd June 2011 at 23:48.

12 inmates at Bastøy prison in Vestfold are showing their passion for music by releasing a CD.

Bastøy island and prison
Bastøy island and prison
Photo: Astrid Westvang/Flickr


“Music is sort of my entire life, and I’m so unlucky to be sitting as a prisoner in Bastøy now. I have had been interested in music ever since I was born,” convict Dan Øyvind Helle tells NRK.

The prisoners have been practicing music for six months and now have two bands, “Vann og Brød” (“Bread and Water” in Britain) and “Fem kriminelle og en tyv” (“Five criminals and a thief”).

Band members practice in the prison church premises and each ensemble has recorded a CD consisting of several songs, together with some professional technicians and a musician.

“The idea of recording a CD came from one of the boys here, and we have been lucky enough to get some sponsorship, as the prison does not give us anything,” he says.

In and out of prison for years, Mr Helle admits the idea of forming a band came to him whilst serving time at Bastøy.

Fellow inmate Per Aastad is only a beginner, but the bassist is happy he has the time to play an instrument.

“We have something to keep us busy, and it is fun too. I have always wanted to teach myself to play something, and now I have time for it. Playing the bass kills time, and I also mean to play after my release, some fine day.”

Music student Mari Aspaas Johannessen has been helping the bands out since January. The 24-year-old, who is due to study a Masters in Music, believes it is important prisoners get the opportunity to play in a band.

“I think it is a way for them to escape from reality. That’s what I do when I play myself,” she says.

The prison can currently hold up to 115 inmates, with each sentence averaging five years. Many are convicted of serious crimes such as attempted murder, drug dealing, and fraud.



Published on Wednesday, 22nd June, 2011 at 23:10 under the news category, by John Price   .
Last updated on 22nd June 2011 at 23:48.

This post has the following tags: bastoeyprison, musicalinmates.





  
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