Making Tracks 2021 Fellows announced
Posted Sep 6, 2021
We're delighted to announce this year's cohort of eight Making Tracks Fellows! Read more about each of them below. Making Tracks 2021 will begin with a two-week Autumn residency at Cove Park on the west coast of Scotland, followed by a UK tour starting on the 27th October.
Rooted in the singing traditions of Aberdeenshire, Iona Fyfe has quickly become one of Scotland’s most celebrated young folk singers. Having spent her early years learning from local singers of bothy ballads (songs traditionally sung by farm labourers in the northeast region of Scotland), Iona became the youngest ever winner of Scots Singer of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards in 2018, and has become a fierce advocate for the Scots Language and a fine exponent of the Doric dialect. Despite her young age, she has already toured extensively in the UK and beyond, and earlier this year reached the final of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year for the second time.
Simon Leleux is a Belgium-based percussionist specialising in doholla, darbuka and other Arab and Middle Eastern percussion instruments and styles. Shaped like a tumbler, the darbuka provided the starting point for Simon’s percussion journey and his interest in many other instruments, including frame drums, tombak, riqq, and drum kits. Simon has focused on studying the doholla (bass darbuka) since 2014 with the musician who broke new ground with this instrument, Levent Yildirim. He also performs in Belgium and throughout Europe as part of the percussion trio Hands in Motion (HiM) and several other projects. Simon recently released his debut solo album, 'Letter to Levent' (2021).
Azin Zahedi (Iran / Germany)
Born in the Iranian capital Tehran, Azin Zahedi began playing flute at the age of seven, and took up the santour (Persian dulcimer) four years later, winning first prize at Iran's National Festival of Youth Music in 2007. She moved to Germany in 2010 to continue her music education - first at the Folkwang University of Arts and later at Berlin University of the Arts. In addition to teaching, and playing in various professional orchestras in Germany, she is a member or several music projects including the wind quintet Solhmido and the Middle Eastern music ensemble, Babylon Orchestra (Berlin), whose aim is to promote artistic exchange between the musical cultures of the Near and Middle East and Europe.
Robert Bisha (Albania / Italy)
Robert Bisha, originally from Shkodra in northern Albania, is a pianist, improviser and composer who plays an array of other instruments including accordion, çifteli (a stringed instrument found in Albania and some surrounding countries), frame drums and guitar. While much of his music is improvisatory, with avant-garde and jazz leanings, Robert is also heavily influenced by traditional Albanian and Balkan music. He has worked extensively, for example, on transcriptions of Balkan folk melodies, embracing the pentatonic scales and intervals found in southern Albanian music, and the influence of the Byzantine and Ottoman periods in the epic songs of northern Albania, rebetiko, çam, and arvanitas music.
Thamires Tannous (Brazil / Austria)
Thamires Tannous is a Brazilian singer and songwriter. She hails originally from the state of Mato Grosso do Sul in the central area of Brazil, home to the world's largest tropical wetland, the Pantanal. Her style blends the musical heritage of her home state with contemporary Brazilian music, as well as occassionally paying subtle homage to the heritage of her Lebanese family, who settled in Brazil two generations ago. With a growing profile in Europe and Brazil - where she has won various awards including Prêmio Grão de Música - her latest album 'Canto Correnteza' (2019) was produced by Austrian guitarist Michi Ruzitschka, and features other renowned musicians including Brazilian singer Chico César and French cellist Vincent Segal.
Liz Hanks is a cellist, composer and collaborator based in Sheffield. While she has worked with an impressive array of high-profile artists across many different genres, she is particularly drawn to folk, Indian classical, and other music traditions. In recent years Liz has performed and collaborated with, among others, Martin Simpson, Jasdeep Singh Degun, and South Asian Arts UK. She is currently working on a debut solo album, funded by Help Musicians UK, which draws upon her key influences - minimalism, folk, Indian classical music and improvisation. Her own cello works are inspired by local history and the negative impact of urban development on wild spaces and biodiversity.
Ahmet Ozan Baysal (Turkey / UK)
Ahmet Ozan Baysal is a Turkish bağlama (saz) player, composer and performer, specialising in şelpe - an Anatolian bağlama performance technique that dispenses with a plectrum. Having played the instrument from a very early age, much of his music is a synthesis of traditional bağlama şelpe performance practices and harmonic practices in tonal and jazz music. Ozan has performed throughout Europe, including at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in Marseille and Nuoro Jazz Festival in Sardinia. He is also a dedicated and passionate researcher of şelpe technique. After first studying at Istanbul Technical University, Centre for Advanced Studies in Music (MIAM), Ozan is now a visiting scholar at SOAS, University of London.
Brigitte Hart (Australia / UK)
Brigitte Hart is an Australian sound artist, working across performance and installation. Currently based in London, her practice explores relationships between voice, objects, histories and ecologies. She often engages with text, environmental sound recordings, remnants and archives. Brigitte is particularly interested in exploring the art of small and imagined sounds, and the memory of sound. As a vocalist, she is a member of the in-demand London Bulgarian Choir, and has supported renowned Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq, performing a capella folk songs from around the world. Her work has been featured by Supernormal Festival, Tate Britain, and many others. This year Brigitte will be developing a series of experiments around sound, listening and the River Thames.