Making Tracks

About

Making Tracks brings together emerging artists from the UK and around the world to showcase unique musical traditions, initiate new collaborations and explore strategies for music-based social and environmental engagement.

Since 2010, Making Tracks has brought world-class, diverse music from all corners of the globe to leading venues throughout the UK. Ahead of our re-launch this Autumn, we’re making some changes. Instead of organising separate tours for mostly high-profile artists and bands, our new model will select individual emerging musicians from the UK and around the world - Making Tracks Fellows - and bring them together for a 10-day residency and a 2-week tour. As well as providing a platform for adventurous and exceptional artists to showcase their work and build their careers, Making Tracks aims to inspire and empower Fellows to use their music for wider social and environmental benefit.

Making Tracks 2019 starts this October with a 10-day residency at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in the footsteps of Snowdonia. Inspired by and facilitated in partnership with the ground-breaking US music organisation Found Sound Nation (Bang on a Can, OneBeat), the residency will give Fellows the chance to create new collaborative works, explore and develop strategies for social and environmental engagement and receive professional development from a team of industry experts. Following the residency, the group will go on tour, showcasing their own music and new collaborative works for a wide array of UK audiences, mainly through concerts at ten of the country’s leading venues, alongside workshops at migrant centres and local music education hubs.

What we do

8 Making Tracks Fellows selected from the UK and around the world
We are interested in emerging musicians whose work is based on, or clearly connected to, specific musical traditions. Making Tracks is particularly interested in adventurous and collaboratively-minded music professionals who double up as community organisers, environmentalists, ethnomusicologists, writers, storytellers and more.

10 day residency held at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales
The Making Tracks Residency gives selected Fellows the chance to create new collaborative works, explore and develop strategies for social and environmental engagement, and receive professional development and career advice from a team of industry experts.

2 week UK tour of 10 partner venues around the country
The Making Tracks Tour takes place following our opening residency. This year we visit Oxford North Wall, Cambridge Junction, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, Firth Hall (Sheffield), The National Centre for Early Music (York), The Stables (Milton Keynes), Queen’s Hall (Edinburgh), St George’s (Bristol), Norwich Arts Centre and King’s Place (London).

Fellow-led workshops held at 10 migrant centres and music education hubs
Held alongside the tour, our workshops bring Making Tracks out of venues and into local communities, increasing participation in music, promoting solidarity among people from diverse backgrounds and widening horizons through collaborative music-making.

Making Tracks towards...

Widening access to diverse global music throughout the UK
Making Tracks was founded partly in order to widen access to culturally diverse music in the UK, particularly for those living outside of London. We achieved this goal by working with leading partner venues throughout the country - but we want to do more. This year we're taking the Making Tracks Tour to Scotland for the first time, as well as launching a full programme of Fellow-led music workshops at 10 migrant centres and Music Education Hubs around the country.

Developing strategies to harness music as a tool for creative climate and environmental leadership
As part of the Making Tracks Residency, we explore what creative climate and environmental leadership might involve for musicians. Throughout history, music has been used to inspire and give strength at times of crisis and emergency - and yet there is currently a void within almost all music-making and performance when it comes to environmental engagement. As young people mobilise and discourse around climate change and the environment becomes increasingly mainstream, we believe that music can - and must - come to play a greater role. Since issues like climate change and biodiversity loss are global problems, we're interested in working with musicians from around the world.

Building the careers of young music professionals
Our 10 day residency contributes to the professional development of Making Tracks Fellows, with an emphasis on young music professionals and women in music. As part of the programme, we offer expert-led classes, workshops and masterclasses on a wide range of subjects, including music copyright, business planning and how to navigate the constantly changing digital landscape. Making Tracks Fellows will be introduced to a wide range of industry professionals and enter into a growing network of adventurous musicians and change-makers around the globe. Finally, we will aim to match each artist to a professional mentor and provide ongoing support to Making Tracks Alumni after the tour comes to and end.

Minimising our environmental impact
We are taking numerous steps within our operations to reduce our environmental impact. Firstly, we are working to minimise project-related air travel wherever possible. As well as avoiding indirect flights, we've established a complete ban on flying from anywhere within 15 hours reach of the UK by train, boat or car. In addition, we will offset all flights using the highest international standards of carbon offsetting. Offsetting is not a precise science, nor a perfect solution, but we have decided to make it part of our wider environmental strategy, while continuing to monitor the latest research. If we learn useful lessons along the way, we will share them. Elsewhere, we will use all available resources from organisations such as Julie's Bicycle and others to reduce the environmental impact of our other UK-based touring activities.

Values

When you make the strange familiar, you also make the familiar strange. This central, relativising principle of anthropology will always be at the core of Making Tracks’ thinking and mission. We believe it’s an encounter that has the power to foster greater empathy, tolerance and understanding across social, cultural and geographical borders. Part of our mission is to show that cultural differences are not a threat but something to be treasured. Sometimes it feels like there’s a tension between venerating specific cultures and traditions on the one hand and seeking inclusivity and connection on the other. We think that the answer is to celebrate and encourage difference through connection.

We also believe that our long-term survival as a species is dependent on us doing more to respect and understand the interconnectedness of all life on Earth.

History

Making Tracks was founded in 2010 by Katerina Pavlakis, launched as a travelling season of concerts bringing some of the newest and most exciting music from around the globe to a local setting in partnership with leading venues around the UK.

The aim of Making Tracks as a travelling concert series has been to give audiences the opportunity to experience multi-cultural, high-quality live music regularly and locally, thus creating accessible entry points for meeting and exchange, regardless of nationality, religion, age and other social or cultural factors. Originally produced by KAPA Productions, Making Tracks quickly developed a reputation for offering artistic excellence, fresh ideas in programming and rock-solid production skills. To date, we've organised 30 successful tours and 317 concerts, featuring 139 musicians from 36 countries, while maintaining long-term partnerships with several leading venues including Sage Gateshead, The National Centre for Early Music (York), Cambridge Junction and The Stables (Milton Keynes).

“Making Tracks has been a beacon of well-organized presentation of diverse music from around the world for the past eight years. The tour they organized for our Saz'iso group from Albania was impeccable, with great venues, promotion and sound.” - Joe Boyd

Previous Seasons & Artists

2017/18
Saz'iso
Chouk Bwa
Toko Telo

2016/17
Chango Spasiuk
Sklamberg & The Shepherds
Paolo Angeli
Derek Gripper

2015/16
Namvula
Otava Yo
Night
Söndörgő

2014/15
Cigdem Aslan
Pascuala Ilabaca & Fauna
Trio Da Kali
Mariana Sadovska

2013/14

Adewale Taubkin Duo
Ballake Sissoko Quartet
Mokoomba
Debashish Bhattacharya

2012/13
Yiddish Twist Orchestra
Melingo
Krar Collective
Johanna Juhola Reaktori

2011/12
Sambasunda Quintet
Aurelio Martinez
DoubleDuo

2010/11

Grupo Lokito
Le Trio Joubran
Ahmed Dickinson
Lo Còr de la Plana






Team

Merlyn Driver

Merlyn Driver

Artistic Director | Making Tracks

Merlyn Driver is a songwriter, vocalist, writer and educator focusing mainly on traditional and international musics, and on connections between music and nature. Born in Orkney in the north of Scotland, Merlyn was raised on a smallholding without electricity and didn’t attend school until his early teens. This unconventional upbringing continues to inform his music, which is influenced by Celtic folk as well as a reverence for the natural world. Merlyn’s studies in anthropology and ethnomusicology - focusing mainly on Scandinavian and African musics - have also played a key part in the development of both his own sound and his determination to unite music with social and environmental causes. Merlyn has worked with Making Tracks since 2016, taking over from Founding Director Katerina Pavlakis in 2018.

www.merlyndriver.com

Elena Moon Park

Elena Moon Park

Residency Facilitator | Found Sound Nation

Elena Moon Park is a musician and educator living in Brooklyn, New York. Originally from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, she studied anthropology and ethnomusicology at Northwestern University and completed her M.A. in Urban Policy from The New School in New York. Before moving to the city, Elena served as a development consultant for several grassroots social justice organizations on the south and west sides of Chicago. Today, she manages programs for Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation and actively engages in outreach with youth arts groups across the United States. Elena has recently released Rabbit Days and Dumplings, an album for families featuring folk and children’s music from East Asia. Elena still finds the time to play fiddle, trumpet, mandolin, and sing with Dan Zanes and Friends on stages worldwide.

www.elenamoonpark.com

Kyla-Rose Smith

Kyla-Rose Smith

Residency Facilitator | Found Sound Nation

Kyla-Rose Smith is a vocalist, musician and dancer from South Africa. As the violinist and backing singer for Freshlyground, one of South Africa’s premiere Afropop bands, she has toured extensively locally and internationally. Outside of her musical projects, Kyla is an emerging multi-media artist with an eye toward social engagement and community building. One of her many projects includes Hear Be Dragons, a sound mapping project based in Cape Town aimed at “discovering the unknown as a means of liberating awareness and access to a historically divided city.”

www.kylarosesmith.com

Gideon Crevoshay

Gideon Crevoshay

Residency Facilitator | Found Sound Nation

Gideon Crevoshay is a musician from Vermont. He uses the human voice to explore the countless dimensions of sound, language, and improvisation. Gideon studies traditional and ancient forms of singing from around the world, including the US, Caucasus, and Mediterranean, finding inspiration in the wisdom contained within these traditions and how they can inform present ideas of music-making and community. He performs, records, and tours extensively with many projects including Tenores de Aterúe, Trident Ensemble, Resonanda, OKAPIS, Starry Mountain Singers, Revels, and Briars of North America. Gideon has worked with the US music exchange programme OneBeat since its inception in 2012, having co-led projects in Turkey and Russia. He also teaches polyphonic singing throughout the US and beyond.

www.foundsoundnation.org/gideo...