Kielder Narratives

Kielder Narratives is a collaborative project which builds upon the work we have already delivered with Southpaw Dance Company as part of Kielder Dark Skies.
We wanted to find different ways of engaging the communities in and around Kielder, so that they themselves can tell their story of working, living and playing in such a unique environment.
Funded by Arts Council England, Kielder Observatory were able to commission a poet, Dan Simpson, to complete a residency in the area- engaging with local communities to find out what the dark skies mean to them. The poet co-created poems, plays, songs and spoken word pieces to help articulate the thoughts and feelings of the communities were work in. Working with a wider creative team, including composer Will Todd, sound designer and producer Chad Male and voice over artist Jill Dellow and Chris Connel, we have been able to create ‘Kielder Narratives’. We hope you enjoy listening to this wonderful piece.


Artist Information

English composer and pianist Will Todd is well known for his beautiful and exciting music. His work encompasses choral works large and small, opera, musical theatre and orchestral pieces, as well as jazz compositions and chamber works. His anthem, The Call of Wisdom, was performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations with a TV audience of 45 million people. His breakthrough work, Mass in Blue (originally titled Jazz Mass), has been performed hundreds of times all over the world. His arrangement of Amazing Grace was performed at President Obama’s Inauguration Day prayer service in 2013 and as part of the BBC’s Nelson Mandela Thanksgiving Service. He has collaborated with award winning choirs The Sixteen and Tenebrae, as well as with the Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Opera Holland Park, BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra, The Halle Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, The Bach Choir, St Martin’s Voices.

Poet in residence - Dan Simpson is a writer, performer, producer, and educator. He makes highly engaging and contemporary work that is entertaining, intelligent, and thought-provoking. His subjects include science and technology; history and place; art and culture; people and poetry. A former Canterbury Laureate, Dan has been Poet-in-Residence at Glastonbury Festival, Waterloo Station, National Trust Stowe, Imperial College London, and St Albans Cathedral. His two collections of poetry are Applied Mathematics and Totally Cultured (Burning Eye Books) - with the latter touring to 15 UK cities. Dan has performed around the world including at Glastonbury Festival, Chicago’s Uptown Poetry Slam, Sofar Sounds Auckland, and on the BBC. He has taken five solo shows to Edinburgh Fringe and won commissions from Southbank Centre, Free Word, and Corinium Museum. Dan creates pioneering work using crowdsourced and roaming poetry for organisations such as the Royal Academy of Arts, National Museum of Scotland, Imperial College, and the European Commission. He is an experienced producer of spoken word shows, co-producing poetry versus comedy gig Stand Up & Slam and worst-poet-wins spectacle The Anti-Slam. Often working in scientific contexts, Dan has appeared at popular science events and festivals.

Sound Designer and Producer- Chad Male. Chad Male is an award-winning music producer, mixer and songwriter hailing from North East UK and based in Newcastle upon Tyne. As well as his own project Cape Cub which has amassed nearly 45 million plays on Spotify alone, Chad has produced and written tracks with the likes of Llovers, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, MARKETPLACE, OAKLND, Cattle & Cane, Talk Like Tigers, Travis Shaw and Tom Joshua. In addition to his production and songwriting work, and his bespoke composition work for clients like Shutterstock’s PremiumBeat, Duracell, Zeiss and Tommy Hilfiger, Chad’s music has been placed on TV and film, including US TV show Grey’s Anatomy, the BBC’s Invictus Games, ABC’s Deception, Channel 4’s Made In Chelsea and more.