A PORTRAIT OF BRITISH SONGWRITING - an exhibition of photographs by Rachel King and accompanying interviews by Rachael Castell
Previously at Sonos Studio, London, 9 - 25 OCTOBER 2015 & Bold Street Coffee, Liverpool, 7 July - 8 August 2016

A Portrait of British Songwriting was created by Domino Publishing and Wolf & Diva in collaboration with Sonos and with support from PRS For Music. Our aim was to explore songwriting today through candid photography and intimate interviews with artists in their homes and places of inspiration.


This exhibition of candid photographs and accompanying audio interviews showcases some of Britain’s most influential, independent songwriters from the Domino Publishing roster in conversation about their work. Surrounded by the tools of their creativity - as often at home as in a studio - photographer Rachel King has here sought to capture each artist at a moment of animation, contemplation or passion as they spoke about their inspirations in depth to interviewer Rachael Castell. 

Topics ranged from key creative influences through to the wider cultural impact of music on film and media, via early experiences writing and recording music, developing individual songwriting processes, designing the establishment of a nourishing creative environment, managing collaborations (both human and technological), living life on the road and debating the concept of what makes ‘a song’. The aim is to uncover how musicians tap into their own emotional reserves from the isolated quiet of the bedroom or a studio to make music which touches people all over the world.

It is widely acknowledged that the music industry has changed immeasurably over the past decade. A Portrait of British Songwriting is born out of the aspiration to celebrate the never-diminishing power of British music; to contemplate the rich pool of musicians whose talent for capturing experiences of a place and a time in song is as strong as it’s ever been. Shot on film, using available light, unposed... these images seek to remind audiences of the physicality of songwriting, the work of the art. All too often music is glamourised, sanitised and digitally enhanced. Echoing Steve Mason, this collaboration aims to showcase “beauty and compassion, joy and love and emotion and heartbreak and all the things that go to make us the complicated, wonderful things that we are”.