In May 2022, a project came to fruition that had been in the pipeline for quite some time. Before Covid hit, we’d been awarded funding from the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, in conjunction with the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to run a project to celebrate the unique Lakeland Landscape area to the west of Sheffield. We invited local artists to write brand-new songs to tell stories about the local landscapes and the people who live there.
About the project
This project was all about highlighting the needs of the landscape and the environment, as well as emphasising its importance for local communities. It focused on the unique landscapes nestled between the urban areas to the west of Sheffield, the moorlands of the Peak District National Park, the Little Don valley, the Langsett Reservoir and the Rivelin valley. This is an area close to our hearts, as it’s where we’ve held many of our workshops, singing weekends and gigs over the years, so we were delighted to have the chance to explore it further through song.
We created a project to invigorate, re-establish and revoice vital elements of the local cultural heritage of the Sheffield Lakeland Landscape communities: the distinctive carol tradition of the local area; stories and songs of the land and water, of past trades and significant places and people. As part of this project, we commissioned five local artists to write songs inspired by the people, history and nature of this landscape. These artists included Nancy Kerr, Sean Cooney, Rowan Piggott, Rowan Rheingans and Cath Carr.
The completed songs formed the Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership (SLLP) Song Cycle and were performed as part of a series of free community events across Bradfield and Dungworth in May 2022. The project also formed the basis for a Soundpost Singing Weekend held on the same weekend to examine song writing and the process of creating in and with nature.
Hearing the song cycle for the first time at our Singing Weekend was such a special experience that we wanted to share it with you all! The concert was filmed, so it can be shared and enjoyed for years to come. The film was premiered at the Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Film Festival in September 2022, which was a fantastic opportunity to share it with lots of you in person. It’s now available to watch below.
Read the eBook
To accompany the film of the song cycle, we’ve created an e-book, which provides all the lyrics as well as some fascinating insights on the stories behind each song. The e-book is free to download, and is ideal for reading along as you watch the song cycle film, to give you all those little extra details!
We hope you’ve enjoyed finding out more about the song cycle project. We’re so proud of how it all came together, and the lasting legacy it’s left, with some of the songs already making their way onto albums and lots more!
If you have any questions about the project, or have an idea for a project we could work on in the future, please get in touch!