Sing and Dance for King and Country

Rachael Hales

Sing and Dance for King and Country is an audio-visual installation exploring the experiences of the people of Tyneside during the First World War, through the lens of local folk traditions and practices. It will explore how various folk practices - including rapper dancing, clog dancing, and folksong - can be used to investigate the experiences of war of three groups of people: the rapper dancers of the North East, female munitions workers, and children. Move through the installation in the footsteps of the singers and dancers of 100 years ago, uncovering forgotten and untold stories of how the ordinary people of Tyneside danced and sang their way through the First World War.


Rachael Hales is a sound artist, composer and performer, currently studying for a PhD by composition at Newcastle University. Her work investigates ways in which environmental and everyday sounds can interact with musics of place, particularly folk and traditional music, to perform, represent or portray a sense of place. Recent work has included a commission for the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering, exploring the Anglo-Saxon history of Morpeth; an audio-visual piece portraying Rachael’s experience of the High Level Bridge in Newcastle Upon Tyne; and a sound installation entitled ‘Listening to the Border: a sonic exploration of the construction and performance of identity in the Scottish borders’. Rachael is also a busy folk musician, performing regularly at ceilidhs and concerts.