A young woman sits in God's House Tower, listening to Emily Peasgood's 'When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Ship' recording. A speaker is placed in the centre of the gallery space.
When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Ship



Additional Information

When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Ship was an installation installed in God’s House Tower, Southampton. It took the form of a song, which could be heard at different depths of the sea from the shoreline, to the deep. It exploring Southampton’s complex relationship to the sea.

Spanning a period of over 400 years, the song’s lyrical content explores the ever-changing coastline from the 1600s to the present day and into the future. Informed and inspired by local histories and local people, the song invited visitors to immerse themselves in the story of the Solent.

The composition has been assigned public domain so others can interpret and perform their own interpretation of it. A limited edition print run of musical scores capturing the lyrics and main themes in the piece were gifted to members of the public and submitted to local and national archives.

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 x A4 pages printed on recycled paper.

Commissioner: a space arts for God’s House Tower in Southampton.

Creative 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.

Public Domain Song / Covers: 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 wanted it to be performed by other musicians and to demonstrate how it could 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. The closing event on 6th March 2022 featured covers of the song by Sam Slattery, Will Hutchison, Coastel and Jol Rose.




United Kingdom