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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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BreathWe can't live without breathing. We certainly can't sing without breathing.

In 2014 composer Orlando Gough created BREATHe, a new piece of music theatre through research in the Respiratory Medicine department at the Churchill Hospital and dialogue with doctors, patients, scientists and University of Oxford academics.

BREATHe was first performed at the North Wall in November 2014 as part of a one-day Breath Festival of events, talks, performances and exhibitions across Oxford's museums.

BREATHe cafè table tops in the John Radcliffe Hospital and Churchill Hospital cafès. Vinyl 'tablecloths' with facts, poetry and quotes about breath and breathing give visitors something to look at and talk about whilst they sip their coffee.

BREATHe film

A film of BREATHe intersperses excerpts of a performance with interviews with those involved in the project. It explores breath, from our first to last, from a range of perspectives from its place in literature, to the science behind our breathing, and the health benefits of singing.

BREATHe trailer

Duration: 3 minutes 32 seconds

If you enjoyed the BREATHe trailer above, then watch the full 36 minute film on or

BREATHe on Radio Cherwell

You can also listen to BREATHe on Radio Cherwell through the bedhead entertainment system or on line at 10.00pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evening.

Visit for details.

BREATHe was developed to mark the tercentenary of the death of Dr John Radcliffe who generously donated the funds to enable the building of the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford's first hospital. This project celebrated his life by bringing together the arts and medical science.

BREATHe was developed by artlink in conjunction with Oxford Contemporary Music and the Sound Resource project Singing for Better Breathing, Oxford Aspire and Oxford University Humanities department. It was supported by Oxford Hospitals Charity, Oxford University Hospitals, the Radcliffe Trust, a Wellcome Trust Arts Award and Arts Council England.


The Sidney de Haan Centre at Canterbury Christ Church University University has done extensive research on the health benefits of singing.

For more information on respiratory health see: