Social Mystics’ Album

The Social Mystics present their very first album!

Creative Works Studio’s very own music group, the Social Mystics, are releasing their first-ever album, Coming Out of Darkness in March 2016. The group describes their album as, “gospel meets Broadway theatre meets a flash mob.” If it’s hard to imagine, it’s because they’re truly unlike any other group.

The album is the result of a decade of songwriting that has taken place during Wednesday afternoon music sessions at Creative Works Studio. Sessions are led by Creative Lead and Singer/Songwriter, Isabel Fryszberg and volunteer co-facilitator and former English teacher, Laraine McMahon-Nelson. Members work with facilitators to create lyrics, and Isabel leads musical composition and plays guitar. Member John Reid also contributes with his great guitar skills. The group has written 50 songs together over the years and has picked their finest for this 13-track album.

Finally, an album
With a grant from the Ontario Arts Council, the Social Mystics were able to record their very first album. A number of studio musicians joined for the recording: Asher Ettinger on piano; Alastair Whitehead on bass; and Jodi Pape on ukulele. They also had help throughout the preparation process – Ken Whiteley helped members create and learn the washtub bass and Rebecca Campbell acted as vocal conductor and helped them smooth their voices. Don Kerr worked with Isabel and members throughout the preparation and recording process. He produced, mixed, edited and engineered the final album.

With the additional support of a grant from the J.P. Bickell Foundation, the Social Mystics will be distributing free CDs to other mental health groups and will be doing some performances in the Greater Toronto Area. Details on upcoming performances are below, along with contact information for buying the CD (or requesting a free copy – mental health groups only).

The Social Mystics are: John Reid, Rick Franken, Suzanne Gorenflo, Courtney Marshall, Linda Monteith Gardiner, Malkah Engel, Susan Rose and Jane Musoke-Nteyafas. Their musical collaborators are: Isabel Fryszberg, Don Kerr, Asher Ettinger, Alastair Whitehead, Rebecca Campbell, Laraine McMahon-Nelson and Jodi Pape. Other CWS members who have participated outside of the recording are: Gustavo Aguirre, Declan Acosta, Pierre Champagne, Kate deJong, Ursula Conlon, Kenneth Gray and John Davison.

Get a copy of Coming Out of Darkness
Mental health programs may be eligible to receive a free CD – please inquire at the email below.
CDs are available for purchase at $15 each and proceeds go to support Creative Works Studio. You can pick one up at the studio or have us mail* it to you. We accept cash, credit card or payment by cheque made to “St. Michael’s Hospital” with “Creative Works Studio CD” in the memo.

*If requesting by mail to an address in Canada, you’ll need to add a $2.25 shipping and handling fee to your payment ($17.25 total). If it’s an international order or if you’re looking to order multiple CDs, we’ll need to get back to you with the shipping cost.

Email Isabel Fryszberg at with your request.
Check out our article on Roots Music:


We thank the Ontario Arts Council and J.P. Bickell Foundation for their generous support that made the production and release of this album possible.