THE MISSION OF HOPE

Songs from the Mission Of Hope is the story of Stephen's experiences as an adoptee, and his decade-long journey to find his biological mother. The record is named after the orphanage in south London where she was raised following the war.

For this limited edition release of the album, we were asked to design a poster - recreating architectural drawings of the orphanage in London where Stephen's mother grew up.  The building is no longer standing, and the drawings were created from his mother's childhood memories, and one black and white photo of the exterior of the building before it was demolished.  The drawings are more than just an image of a building, but also a record of Marie's memories and childhood and a moment in time now gone.  

As part of the limited edition release, there is also a secret code that is embedded within the drawing, which once discovered can be entered into a private website where users can view more images of the orphanage and other special features related to the album.   

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All songs written by Stephen Harris copyright 2002

Art direction and design by Tina Ibañez for Runner Collective

Outer Bag Fabrication Sandi Bard, Anita Bard, Marie Luongo, & Karen Wolfsberg for Family Allair Inc.

Poster and 7” Screen Printing by Jason Frederick

The Electric Mission Constructed by Erica Brillhart

Restoration Oversight: Eileen Solomon for 78¢ Total


To visit the album website click here.

To purchase a copy of the album visit the Plane Groovy Records website here.

To visit the Aquarian Nation Records website click here.


Songs from the Mission Of Hope is the story of Stephen's experiences as an adoptee, and his decade-long journey to find his biological mother. The record is named after the orphanage in south London where she was raised following the war.

Stephen - "The record is about the importance of family structure. Entire generations disappeared into the cracks of the British adoption system, during the 1950's and 1960's especially. The Mission is a metaphor for that process. Adoption is a great idea on paper, but in practice there are certain aspects of the process that have not withstood the test of time." 

He continues, "Many of the artists who worked on this project have personal connections to the adoption system. One of the contributing artists married an adoptee and they raised a family together. Another contributor had an adopted brother and yet another has a sibling who gave up her own child for adoption as a young woman and never truly recovered. Their individual experience is woven - literally - into the fabric of this project. It is a labour of love."

The special 10th anniversary vinyl album 'Songs from THE MISSION OF HOPE' comes complete with unique artwork and is available in a two formats.

Stephen - "The design I originally wanted to use didn't include any identifying information on the cover whatsoever. I wanted the recordings to be 'lost' as soon as they passed beyond their original owner, subject only to memories and subsequent word of mouth - much like the journey adoptees experience once they are separated from their biological family. Whereas this was a great concept, it wasn't really fair to everyone who had given so much time and energy to the project. Nor did it bode well for advertising or selling the thing, so we abandoned the idea. Luckily I kept the original artwork and we dug it out after Chris suggested the anniversary re-release. Despite the fact that it was stuck together with bits of old Sellotape and had faded considerably, art director Tina Ibañez managed to salvage most of it and created something akin to what I started out with ten years ago."

The standard-issue release features:

• A heavyweight virgin-vinyl pressing of the original recordings. 
• Entirely different artwork to the original CD housed in a gatefold sleeve.
• A four-page newspaper insert containing the production credits, lyrics and additional photographs not included elsewhere.

The deluxe issue release features:

• A heavyweight virgin-vinyl pressing of the original recordings. 
• Entirely different artwork to the original CD housed in a gatefold sleeve.
• A 36" X 24" hand-screened poster featuring architectural renderings of the long-demolished Mission of Hope building.
• A limited edition 7" single containing demo recordings of two songs left off the original album: Railway Station Girl (Recorded as Railway Station Boy by Dorie Jackson on her debut Aquarian Nation CD The Courting Ground) and Bicycle Bell. The single is wrapped in brown paper and string, and hand-embossed with the M.O.H. logo in wax. When opened, the wrapper reveals a silk-screened reproduction of the wallpaper pattern that decorated the walls of the original mission.
• The whole package is contained within a hand-sewn muslin bag that buttons shut at the front with the production credits silk-screened inside. The bag is also hand-stamped with the M.O.H. logo and tagged along one seam with an embroidered label identifying the LP as Plane Groovy release PLG006.
• As an additional feature, the poster contains a unique set of clues, giving the buyer a chance to uncover an entry code for later use on the M.O.H. website.
• Each element of the package is hand-numbered accordingly and signed by all the artists involved. 

 
Stephen - "Ultimately, I went on a journey looking for someone I had never met, and found myself."