Dorset Songlines project begins at Dorset Museum

January 20, 2022

A performing arts project led by Dorchester Arts in partnership with Geof Edge, Dorset Museum, DASP Music and The Thomas Hardye School

The Dorset Songlines project takes inspiration from the Natural Dorset collection at Dorset Museum to explore, celebrate and encapsulate Dorset’s natural heritage through music.

This intergenerational project uses the rich resources offered by the Dorset Museum Natural History Gallery as the basis for children and adults to come together and compose, learn and perform a collection of original songs and music, enriching their own cultural experience and also that of those who hear the works performed.

Dorchester Arts are running the project and the creative lead is Geof Edge, a Dorchester-based composer and performer, whose cantata Apollo – One Giant Leap formed the centrepiece of the town’s moon landing anniversary celebrations in 2019.

The main partners for the project are Dorset Museum, DASP Music and The Thomas Hardye School.

The project consists of.


guided visits to the Natural Dorset gallery will allow children from all DASP schools and adults who will be composing the songs to learn and use the gallery as inspiration.


using the visits to the Natural Dorset Gallery at Dorset Museum the different groups (children, community choir members and public workshop attendees) will be guided through the process of song composition in a way that suits their age, ability and needs. Music Technology students at The Thomas Hardye School will also compose instrumental pieces inspired by objects in the collection.


various groups will learn and rehearse the songs with a view to performing them in public. There will also be a ‘unifying’ song that all groups can learn and that can be more widely learned by the public in Summer 2022.


Some groups will perform a song or songs in ‘pop-up’ or flashmob settings which will not be publicised in advance. Others will record them in controlled settings with a view to them being posted on social media. This will build momentum towards a large, free to attend, publicised outdoor performance bringing together as many of the groups as possible and an audience who will be invited to join in with the ‘unifying song’.


The project will have a legacy in the form of recordings of the songs and instrumentals which will be offered to Dorset Museum to accompany their collection, either as part of the displays or on their web platforms, reaching much wider potential audiences than would be possible with just live performance. The project will be filmed for both evaluation and archive purposes.