Making Tracks

What we do

8 Making Tracks Fellows selected from the UK and around the world
Although we aim to not be restrictive when it comes to genre, we're mainly interested in music with deep roots and a strong heritage. Making Tracks is particularly interested in adventurous and collaboratively-minded music professionals who double up as community organisers, environmentalists, ethnomusicologists, writers, storytellers and more.

2 week 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. Our current partner venues are 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 Kings 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. In 2019 we took the Making Tracks Tour to Scotland for the first time and launched 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.

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 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. These actions, combined with our new model (one long annual residency and tour, rather than four short seasonal tours), have already resulted in a 60% decrease of flight-related emissions in 2019 compared to the previous season (2017/2018). In addition, we offset all flights using the highest international standards of carbon offsetting, plus additional 'DIY offsets' focused on conservation, rewilding and forestry projects. We recognise that offsetting is not a precise science, nor a perfect solution, but for now we've decided to make it part of our wider environmental strategy. 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. Many of the elements within Making Tracks (e.g. our opening residency and community workshops) are based around the central message advocated by OneBeat and others - that the collaborative creation of music is an ideal vehicle for crossing cultural and political divides. Sometimes it feels like there’s a tension however, 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.