Making Tracks is an international music exchange programme with an environmental focus, based around an annual UK residency and tour. We bring together exceptional emerging artists - as well as more experienced musicians deserving of wider recognition - to showcase diverse music, initiate new collaborations and explore strategies for music-based environmental engagement.
Each year we select eight artists whose work is connected to musical traditions and/or the environment (this includes soundscape artists) to take part in a two-week artist residency. We bring together exceptional emerging artists, as well as more experienced musicians deserving of wider recognition. Our two-week Making Tracks Residency at Cove Park gives selected Fellows the chance to create new collaborative works, explore and develop strategies for environmental engagement, and receive professional development and career advice from industry experts.
Following the residency, the fellows take their new collaborations (as well as solo performances) on tour, with a series of public concerts at some of the most beautiful independent venues in the country. We also carry out free workshops alongside our concert programme. The workshops provide young people (especially those facing barriers to diverse music and culture) with unique opportunities to meet Making Tracks fellows, and take part in the collaborative creation of music. Workshop participants are also given free access to our public concerts.
Making Tracks means…
During our annual Making Tracks residency at Cove Park, overlooking Loch Long, we facilitate new collaborative works among eight selected fellows from the UK, mainland Europe, and further afield, from duos to larger ensembles. Our approach to collaboration - largely based around the theme of listening - aims to find meaningful musical overlaps, while respecting individual traditions and creative practice. Each year we have a different nature theme, which provides further creative parameters for musicians to respond to.
Music as a vehicle for change
Making Tracks is based around the idea that the creation and sharing of music is a powerful vehicle for bringing people together, and affecting positive social and environmental change. We are particularly interested in facilitating opportunities for musicians to explore ways of using their music to inspire reverence and engagement with the natural world. Creativity and culture brings wide-reaching benefits to society as a whole, which is why we focus both on building the careers of our Making Tracks fellows, and widening access to culturally diverse music in the UK - particularly for those living outside of London - through our programme of public concerts and free youth music workshops.
All artists selected from mainland Europe travel to the Making Tracks residency by train, as part of our work to explore and develop more environmentally responsible touring practices, and to help us reduce our carbon footprint at source. As part of this, we pay a daily stipend for each day spent en route, and using the journeys to start conversations about music and the environment. Since 2019, our focus on rail travel has helped us to reduced our transport emissions by an estimated 79%.
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