Canary Songs


Sound reenactment and choral performance for a 5.1 cinema space, which draws on historical sources and accounts from the woman who worked as Canary Girls in the military, National Shell Filling Factory, No. 6 near Chilwell in WW1.

The industrial, factory track was composed using acoustic modelling techniques, which recreated The Great Store (over 30,000 sq metres) at the factory. The choir was composed of 25 volunteers who participated in three x 2 hour rehearsals and all performances.


Direction & composition: Teresa Dillon

Costume: Mia Morikawa
Acoustic model: Zora Schärer Kalkandjiev
Choir director: Lyndsey Cockwell
Choir: Linda Faulkner, Jane Haddock, Rhiannon Stanley, Moira Paynter, Angela Finch, Sue Dix, Helen Dyer, Sue Bonnigton, Jennifer Clegg, Grace Bennett, Denise Richardson, Jill Randall, Rosa Leivas, Susan Smith,  Lisa Hall, Janet Flawith, Angie Glass, Lucila Vieira, Anne Freeman, Laura Freeman, Veronica Matthew, Jan Ball, Ana Carrillo

Materials and duration

5.1 surround sound, extended vocal techniques, rearragned musical hall songs from 1916-1918, 25 capes, 8 extendable tripods x 3 metres, 10 x white LED 35 par lights, 4 x yellow LED white spots

43 mins

Commissioned by:

Phoenix, Leicester and the Cutting Room

Premiere: Phoenix,  4 Midland Street, Leicester, LE1 1TG, 23-24th April, 2016


Interview with Chris Tyrer, Phoenix about the making of the work: here

Image credits: Pamela Raith & Abigail Smith