When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Ship

11 March – 8 May 2022

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-5pm at God’s House Tower, Southampton.

When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Ship is a new artwork and installation at God’s House Tower in Southampton. It takes the form of a song, played through speakers in the gallery space, exploring Southampton’s complex relationship to the sea. Spanning a period of over 400 years, the song’s lyrical content explores the city’s every-changing coastline from the 1600s to the present day and into the future. Informed and inspired by local histories and local people, the song invites visitors to immerse themselves in the story of the Solent.

Materials: Musical composition and sound design by Emily Peasgood for Solo + SSAAA voices [one-woman choir], Cello 1, Cello 2 and field recordings. Assigned public domain for future generations to perform without the requirement of a licence. 3 speaker installation featuring the work Above Water, Below Water and in Shallow Water. Created with: Zoom H5, Logic Pro & Protools, Genelec speakers. Limited edition print run of 500 illustrated musical scores, free to visitors at God’s House Tower. 4 A4 pages printed on recycled paper.

Commissioner: When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Ship is commissioned by a space arts for God’s House Tower in Southampton.

Team: Lead artist, researcher, composer, sound designer, and field recordist: Emily Peasgood. Lyrics by Kate Lynn-Devere, Emily Peasgood and Tabitha Liu. Mixed by Al Harle at Big Jelly Studios. Vocals by Emily Peasgood and cello by Ivan Hussey (Celloman). Illustrator and artist assistant (research and installation): Djuna Mount. Title inspired by Christina Karava. Research assistance: Cheryl Butler, Jane Browning, Sue Howard, Southampton Archives and Wessex Film and Sound Archive. Musical scores printed by The Print Centre at Southampton University.

Opening event performers: The opening event on Friday 11 March featured local musicians performing their own unique interpretation of When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Ship. As a public domain song, I wish for it to be performed by other musicians, and to demonstrate how it can be adapted to suit a variety of musical genres. At the opening event artist and musician Benji Heinke performed an Indie version of the song on voice and guitar, followed by a traditional folk dance interpretation by duo Su Eaton and Martin Bridle, aka ‘The Bees Knees’. Su performed on voice and hurdy-gurdy and Martin accompanied on bouzouki.


Please wear headphones. The right headphone features the Above Water track and the left Below Water.

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