Meet the team

Ben Buddy Slack

Ben Buddy Slack

Founder & Creative Director

Ben is an award winning songwriter and community musician. He has released albums as a solo artist, with his band (The Blind Dead McJones Band) and as a duo with Siobhan Donnelly. His community music work has involved delivering songwriting workshops and courses in a variety of community settings, mental health facilities and prisons. He was inspired to start The Swan Song Project after losing his Grandma and regretting not recording her singing with him.

Email: Ben@swansongproject.co.uk

Tel: 07858307904

Songwriters

Holly Taymar

Holly Taymar

Holly Taymar is an accomplished singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from York. With seven albums, hundreds of gigs, and a First Class Honours degree in Performance: Music under her belt, she’s devoted her life to sharing music with others. Holly has shared stages with renowned artists such as Barbara Dickson, Albert Hammond, and Jamie Lawson. Her songs have also received airplay on numerous radio stations, including BBC Radio 2 and BBC Introducing.
“Working with Swan Song gives me the opportunity to meet awesome new people and help them craft their feelings into awesome new songs. Creating a song is such a therapeutic thing to do, and I love to help others realise they can do it too’
Tom Edney

Tom Edney

Tom Edney is a singer, songwriter and producer from Manchester via North Wales who writes songs in many genres, reflective of his eclectic music taste. He love a good songwriting challenge!
Tom has a decade of experience writing and recording music with people from all walks of life, young and old and with varying abilities.
“What I love most about working for the Swan Song Project is how much fun the sessions are, despite the participants finding their way to us under sad and tragic circumstances.”
Lisa Marie Glover

Lisa Marie Glover

Lisa is an experienced songwriter with several albums under her belt. She is an events musician and has lots of experience playing in a variety of care settings. She has run song writing workshops for several social and mental health charities around Leeds and she worked on an online children’s song writing project during lockdown. She was once commissioned by the University of Leeds to write a song about subatomic particles. She also composed a song about the suffragettes for a children’s choir in London. She is about to qualify as a counsellor and she has a strong interest in the therapeutic benefits of music and creativity. When she’s not song writing, counselling or teaching guitar, she enjoys playing her saxophone with her quartet, The Hornadoes. https://lisamarieglover.bandcamp.com/

Jamie Roberts

Jamie Roberts

‘Jamie Roberts is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter based in South Yorkshire. Performing on the UK folk circuit as part of Gilmore & Roberts, The Dovetail Trio, Kerfuffle and A Winter Union, Jamie has toured around the UK, Canada and mainland Europe, appeared at some of the UK’s biggest acoustic festivals and featured on many acclaimed albums. Jamie has also worked as a composer/sound designer in dance theatre as well as doing extensive community music education work in SEND schools, care homes and youth music programs.’

Julia Waldron

Julia Waldron

Julia Waldron is a Singer Songwriter from Sheffield with over two decades of writing and performing her original music up and down the country behind her.

Julia’s songwriting is deeply rooted in human experiences, exploring themes of love, loss, laughter, resilience, and the complexities of navigating life’s ups and downs.  

Julia is 100 percent a people person, and her impact extends beyond her music. As an advocate for social justice and equality, she uses her platform to raise awareness on important issues and inspire positive change. Her lyrics often carry messages of hope, resilience, and the power of unity, reflecting her belief in the transformative power of music as a force for good.

Julia is absolutely passionate about the work of the Swansong project, and in her own words ‘ is chuffed to bits to be working for such an amazing organisation.  It’s an honour and a total privilege to help people interpret their stories into songs’. 

Mark Christopher

Mark Christopher

Mark Stoney is a Sheffield-based singer- songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, performer, producer & collaborator with over 20 years experience in the music industry.  renowned for his genre-hopping classic melodies and sharp lyrics, his critically-acclaimed solo work has been featured in publications such as NPR, NME, Entertainment Weekly, The Sunday Times, and The Huffington Post and led to touring & working alongside the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Laura Marling, Athlete and Jamie T.

In recent years he has contributed music to several major Hollywood films & TV Shows including American Idol, Better Call Saul & Legends and scored two indie films.  Stoney also has a particular heart for developing up & nurturing up and coming talent, and his co-writing and production skills have helped launch the careers of many award winning young artists over the last few years.

 Although highly experienced in the world of high achieving hit-makers, Stoney believes that everyone has a song in them and compares his role as a co-writer and producer to a “musical midwife” to help facilitate bringing it into being.

“The important work of The Swan Song Project facilitates a powerful and important process that is an honour to participate in.” 

Al Bampton

Al Bampton

Al Bampton has been on a long and varied musical journey stretching all the way back to the early 1970’s. He has been writing songs since he first formed a rock band called Fragile Alliance back in 1977. Al has also performed in and written songs for pop, funk, Reggae and blues bands as well as jazz and folk duos. With over 5000 gigs under his belt there isn’t much he hasn’t experienced in the musical world.
“I love writing songs with and for the people who have knocked on Swansongs door. However, seeing the smiles on their faces has been one of the joys of my life. It’s all about the people.”

Affiliate Artists

Sam Hodgson / Samh

Sam Hodgson / Samh

Sam teaches songwriting at the University of Huddersfield and works freelance as a musician and events organiser. He plays in a three piece acoustic jazz band, a big prog-rock band and collaborates with a hip-hop artist and a DJ. Most of his musical experience however is focussed around British/Irish/American folk music.  
Jess Baker / Kaninchen

Jess Baker / Kaninchen

Jess is a community musician based in Huddersfield. She runs community choirs and singing workshops, specialising in harmony singing for mental health and wellbeing. Jess performs in several bands and performs as a solo artist under the name Kaninchen using voice and loop pedal.

https://www.jess-sings.co.uk/

Ric Neale

Ric Neale

“Ric has extensive experience as a songwriter and musical director. He has released several solo albums and worked on a range of shows. Two of Rics songs made the top ten of the UK Songwriting Contest in 2013 and he has lectured on songwriting for over ten years in the UK and overseas.” www.ricneale.com

Rob Crisp

Rob Crisp

Rob Crisp has 15 years experience of making music with a wide range of groups, encompassing youth work, art for mental health and well-being improvement, delivery in education establishments, and work with people with dementia and their carers. His diverse musical background ranges from classical and jazz to rock and pop through to electronic music.  As a solo performer and producer working under the pseudonym Rib Corps, he’s released multiple albums in a wide variety of styles and played gigs with multiple lineups, including solo electronic improvisations, full band prog rock epics and even a 40 piece orchestra. He’s the bassist in garage blues trio Knuckle and plays sax in Yellow Goose, amongst many other performance and recording credits.

Trustees

Email: trustees@swansongproject.co.uk

Adrian Sinclair

Adrian Sinclair

Adrian is co-director of community arts organisation Heads Together Productions, overseeing Chapel FM Arts Centre as well as running UNION: The Northern School for Creativity and Activism. He believes Swan Song is a perfect creative response to support people at the end of life, their friends and families.
Anthony Waddington

Anthony Waddington

Anthony is the Project Director at Participate Projects, responsible for Social Venture support projects and employee volunteering across Leeds City Region. He has personal experience of the value of music at the end of life and believes everyone should have the opportunity to write their Swan Song.

Jeannie Lumb

Jeannie Lumb

Jeannie is a qualified social worker and a life-long fan of all kinds of music. From personal and professional experiences, she’s aware of how music touches peoples’ lives and their deaths, and believes that Swan Song is a great way to give and receive memories of a precious life.

Chris Martin

Chris Martin

Chris is a singer-songwriter, guitarist who after working in various branches of manufacturing is now semi retired and enjoying life performing and recording regularly. He believes that SwanSong is the perfect way to offer a positive and creative avenue to people dealing with end of life and bereavement .

 

Richard Gibson

Richard Gibson

Richard has thirty years’ experience in the health sector in nursing and patient safety roles. He first worked with The Swan Song Project in 2023, using their services to help him write a swan song for his son Leo who died in 2021; harnessing the creative power of music to navigate his grief.
Morag MacLean

Morag MacLean

After a career rooted in people and communities, Morag now offers support to Third Sector Organisations in a variety of areas including fundraising, leadership and development and Digital Storytelling. Music has been a constant in Morag’s life and through personal and professional experience, she believes strongly in the power of connection and healing offered by creativity and music at the end of life for all those involved. 
Graham Hyde

Graham Hyde

Graham runs his own successful executive and business coaching business helping people and businesses get better at what they do. His love of music makes him a keen supporter of the Leeds independent live music scene. He is deeply passionate about the power of music as an emotional filter and catharsis in life and sees The Swan Song Project as the perfect way to help people to express their emotions through song.

Ambassadors

 

Jon Gomm

Jon Gomm is a singer/songwriter based in Yorkshire, UK, known around the
world for his virtuoso guitar playing style, soulful singing and his honest and
emotive songwriting style.

Jon said “I am honoured to be the 1st ambassador for The Swan Song Project. Writing a song in those
circumstances is an amazing idea. Sometimes it’s incredibly hard to express things in words or face to
face. So being able to put it into that form, that people can then listen to forever, seems to me an incredible
way of having a real memory of a person, to help you cope with the fact that they’re not there anymore.”

Read more here

Interested in writing a song with us?

We can support anyone living with a terminal illness, planning their end stages of life or dealing with a bereavement to write and record their own original song.
Please visit the "Writing A Song With Us" Page and submit the short form and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.

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