Helen Weinstein

HELEN WEINSTEIN, Creative Director & Producer for Cycle of Songs


"As Creative Director of Historyworks, I’ve been involved from the very beginning when I first received the invitation to tender from Cambridge City Council, I was immediately inspired to be devising and shaping an idea alongside my colleague Jon Calver at Historyworks.  We soon started discussions with Marcus Romer at Pilot Theatre, to co-create the project we’ve called “Cycle of Songs”. 

For the duration of the project I’m going to be the Lead person for creative content – as Creative Director shaping the history content and musical content combined, making the decisionis about the commissioning of the artists to write the lyrics and music,  also acting as Events Manager because i'll be organizing for the venues and choirs and working with my colleagues in my role as Creative Director of the musical content for all the 8 live events and in my day-to-day role  as Producer for the 9 sound recordings for the app soundscapes we are creating in Cambridge, working with a wide variety of choirs and musicians.  My role as Creative Director involves steering the historical research, then commissioning poets to work with our historical sources, talking to composers to shape their work, matchmaking with musicians and choirs.  The ethos is very collaborative and co-creative.  I’m just thrilled to be working with artists and communities to produce an Art work for the Cambridge leg of the Tour De France, and working in partnership with Marcus Romer at Pilot Theatre on the artistic vision and choreography of the live events is great fun.


With the team at Historyworks, especially working closely with Jon Calver on capturing choirs in Cambridge’s acoustic spaces, we will be making quality audio products that celebrate the history and identity of the city through words and songs, producing a new aural landscape out of original stories woven into poetic narratives performed by a variety of voices, musicians, and choirs. It is very exciting that we will be co-creating an audio soundscape of the music and story-telling surrounding the route through the city which will be an important digital legacy. 


Recently, our team has added a short film to the output from Cycle of  Songs so that our choirs can be filmed and we can celebrate Cambridge gathering to sing in public.  I’ll be the Creative Director and Producer for the film too, so I’ve been going up towers and exploring public spaces to find top shots to showoff the inside of Cambridge to the outside - it is definitely going to be a packed schedule this Spring and Summer - which is going to be awesome!


Of particular interest for those involved in Cycle of Songs, are the history walking trails I devised and co-created for York, where there is an audio guide of the script, in addition to maps & photos.  Find here:



Also, Cycle of Songs choirs and composers will be most interested in the sound poems I’ve co-created with various communities.  For example, "The Domino Party", which Karen Wimhurst and I made together with members of the Dutch Pot Luck Club in Lambeth about experience of Windrush generations’ moving to London. This sound poem was made by interweaving oral histories, improvised choral illustrations from the choir members, mixed with atmos from the domino games and story-telling within the social club. You can listen to the "The Domino Party" here:


Do see my longer biography about my role as a public historian working with the BBC, and with Universities to support translating academic work into broadcast media, and collaborating with galleries, museums, archives, libraries and community groups.  Link to bio via the Historyworks website here: 


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