Knife Angel Legacy Programme offers young people music platform

Published: Tuesday May 2, 2023

Young man stands singing into microphone inside Gloucester Cathedral with lights around him

In February, the nationally touring Knife Angel sculpture came to Gloucester Cathedral. The sculpture, made from over 100,000 seized blades, was created to highlight the negative effects of violent behaviour and a critical need for social change. As part of the installation, Gloucester-based charity The Music Works worked with a group of young people whose lives have been impacted by knife crime and violence.

Now, they are looking to raise further funds to keep the momentum of the experience going, supporting them to continue their positive action and divert them away from criminal and violent behaviour.

For three months, the group of young people wrote and produced music and sounds in response to the Knife Angel. The result was a series of thought-provoking spoken word and rap pieces over tracks they produced themselves. Throughout January they took part in workshops with Squidsoup, an international group of professional artists that produce immersive light and sound installations. Weekly, they came together to rehearse their music and experiment with how their voices and music could be part of an installation that would be hosted for the duration of the Knife Angel’s residency.

One young participant says, “I’ve loved being part of this experience. It’s really opened my eyes to all the opportunities in Gloucester and I’ve loved working with all the artists and sharing my beats and projects with them. I’m just mad excited about the performance and I know it’s gonna be amazing and worth all the hard work we’ve all put into it.”

Another adds, “I’ve enjoyed discussing important topics such as knife crime and the effects it has on people and having a chance to say, through our music, how it feels for us.”

Lyndsay Davies, Youth and Community Director at The Music Works, says, “We really don’t want to leave these young people who put so much time, passion and energy into this with nothing to go onto and nothing tangible to take from this. They are on a high, feeling positive and sharing this with their friends. We want to capture this positivity and ensure that they can continue on their journey of turning their lives around. Their writing focused on the broken system and they felt they had a platform to say things. With many influential people hearing their ideas and perspectives– there is a potential opportunity for them to influence and effect change.”

For The Music Works and its ongoing work with young people at risk of getting involved in knife crime and criminal behaviour, there has been a lot of learning. The charity wants to continue this journey so that it can improve and feed into its wider work.

Lyndsay adds, “The legacy fund will enable the young people to continue to make music, learn new skills and create an album exploring their experiences. This will really give them a platform for their voices and ideas to be heard, which will inspire other young people facing similar experiences. Any donation is gratefully received and everyone will, of course, be invited to the launch party.”

The Music Works is a Gloucestershire charity whose core mission is to transform young lives through music and is one of the nominated charities to receive the Bishops’ episcopal collections this year.

To make a donation to the programme, visit: or contact: ku.gr1695409188o.skr1695409188owcis1695409188umeht1695409188@llif1695409188im1695409188

On the evening the Knife Angel was installed, the installation in the Lady Chapel was launched with a series of performances from the young people involved. Watch a short compilation below:


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