Rachel Newton: Creating ‘Changeling’

Guest blog by Rachel Newton

A few years ago I visited the V&A Museum of Childhood, where there was an exhibition on fairy tales. The main focus of the exhibition was centred around the idea that fairy tales are so very important in helping children to understand the difficult aspects of life and death in the real world.

This got me thinking about the faeries that appear in folk songs and tales and that these stories weren’t just for children’s bedtimes. I found it intriguing that the supernatural appears so often in the stories and songs I come across as a folk singer. Metaphor is of course widely used in song, but on reading more about the faerie folk, it became apparent that they were widely believed to be more than just metaphor. They were widely feared, and not to be crossed without consequence.

My Changeling project first came about when I was deciding on a concept for my New Voices composition at Celtic Connections festival earlier this year. Changelings were believed to be creatures left by the faerie folk in place of a human baby. I was first attracted to the word itself as a title, then the more I looked into the subject, the more fascinating changelings became. The music on my album is inspired by tales of loss, protection and magic. I believe music, like fairy tales, helps to reflect on real life events, and I hope I have managed to achieve this in a way on Changeling.

Rachel Newton’s Changeling was released on 1st September.