Who we are
Merlyn Driver is a songwriter, vocalist, creative producer, writer and nature enthusiast focusing mainly on traditional and international musics, and on connections between music and the environment. Born in Orkney in the north of Scotland, Merlyn’s unconventional upbringing and studies in anthropology and ethnomusicology have played a key part in shaping his music and determination to unite music with social and environmental causes. He has worked with Making Tracks since 2017 and took over from Founding Director Katerina Pavlakis in 2019, transforming what was a travelling concert series into a new environmentally-focused music exchange programme, based around an annual residency and tour.
Making Tracks alumni Luna Silva is a singer-songwriter and choir-leader who was born in France; the daughter of an English actress and a Spanish clown. Singing in three languages and playing several instruments, her compositions are informed by numerous multicultural travels and experiences. In 2016 she spent time in Indonesia, carrying out research on two Indonesian ukulele-like instruments, the cak and the cuk. She performs in the female polyphonic vocal trio Samaïa - focusing heavily on Turkish and Kurdish music - as well as part of her own quartet whose arrangements touch on eastern European, English folk, pop, rock and jazz. Luna is co-artistic leader at the residency, a remit that also includes running our morning warm-ups and singing sessions.
Artemis Anastasaki is an ethnomusicology postgraduate student, recorder player, and nature enthusiast. Born into a musical family and raised in rural Crete, Artemis learned to appreciate music from a young age; exposed to classical music from her mother, and traditional Greek from her father. The combination of these worlds have inspired Artemis in numerous ways. During her studies in archaeology in Athens, she became involved in the baroque scene under the guidance of Greek musicologist Dimitris Koudouras, while taking part in numerous workshops, seminars and masterclasses in Athens, Volos and Thessaloniki. Artemis is particularly interested in the transformative power of music in society, and how it can be a bridge to the natural world.
Kaviraj Singh is a British santoor player, vocalist, sound engineer and occasional craftsman. A Making Tracks alumni, Kaviraj's journey with the santoor started at the age of six under the tutelage of Ustad Harjinderpal Singh, senior disciple of the international maestro, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, alongside the guidance of his pioneering father, Ustad Dharambir Singh, MBE. After learning vocal music throughout his childhood, Kaviraj went on to train in India under Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty for an intense period during his teenage years. Growing up in a family where service to music was of the highest importance, Kaviraj was surrounded by visiting musicians, live concerts and new ideas. He is now making his own mark by showcasing the beauty and intricacy of one of India’s finest instruments, the santoor.
Making Tracks alumni Rapasa Otieno is a Kenyan vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, based in Newcastle upon Tyne. His principle instrument is the nyatiti, an eight-string lyre from the lake region Lüo community of western Kenya. Rapasa has made a career out of his passion for the preservation of local indigenous music. An accomplished educator, Rapasa has partnered with non-profit Ketebel Music as well as contemporary dance groups, art centers, schools, and orphanages in and around Nairobi with the aim of imparting venerated cultural traditions to Kenyan youth. Rapasa has also proved himself a talented performer and earned a number of high profile honors including taking part in OneBeat 2017 in the United States and collaborating with the prestigious Nile Project.
Board of Directors
Merlyn is a songwriter, creative producer, writer and nature enthusiast who focuses mainly on connections between music and the environment. His latest music project is a groundbreaking multi-artist album of newly-commissioned music and soundscapes, inspired by the Eurasian curlew. Merlyn took over and relaunched Making Tracks in its current format in 2019, based around an annual residency and tour and the twin themes of musical traditions and the environment.
Martel is a creative producer and an international arts broker. With a wide portfolio of skills and interests, she works with artists, organisations and festivals to create and produce work that is pioneering and often genre blurring. Martel is currently Vice President of the Europe Jazz Network, and as a creative producer has conceived and delivered acclaimed live work for a diverse array of artists and organisations.
Adriano is a percussionist and composer, known for his versatile, unconventional and exploratory approach to music, and for his ability to create magical soundscapes from the seemingly banal. A charismatic performer and creator of dynamic projects of all kinds, from visual arts to dance and theatre, Adriano has toured the world with his own distinctive sounds as well as working alongside international collaborators from a variety of musical genres.
Lilly is a lawyer, specialising in asylum, trafficking and public law at Duncan Lewis Solicitors. She has previously worked with the British Red Cross, working primarily with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, vulnerable migrants, and people in immigration detention. Lily is also a co-founder and organiser of the London Migration Film Festival and Migration Collective.
Michael is an experienced financial director who has worked for various high profile Arts institutions throughout his career, including the Royal Albert Hall, English National Ballet, and the Roundhouse - where he is current Finance and Business Resources Director at the Roundhouse.
Ron is a finance transformation specialist who specialises in restructuring financial processes across a range of industries. A qualified chartered accountant, he is currently Business Change Lead at Deloitte UK, having previously worked for J.P. Morgan and Lloyds.
Katerina is an independent music producer, shopkeeper and real food advocate. Born in Athens and trained in Berlin as an ethnomusicologist, she set up KAPA Productions in London in 2002, dedicated to international touring and artist management, and became the founder and driving force behind the first nine years of Making Tracks. During this time she organised thirty UK tours for artists from around the globe. Katerina has also worked for WOMEX and SOAS, University of London.
Nabihah is a musician, DJ and BBC radio presenter (6 Music, Radio 1). Her debut album, ‘Weighing of the Heart’, was released in 2017 to widespread critical acclaim. She is currently working on her second album at Somerset House Studios in London, where she’s an artist-in-residence. Aside from working on her own music and presenting on the BBC, Nabihah has hosted a bi-weekly show on NTS Radio for the past eight years, exploring the musical traditions of different countries.
Ben is Founding Director of WOMEX, as well as an award-winning independent record producer and multi-instrumentalist. Through his work with WOMEX and GlobeStyle Records, Ben has played a crucial role in nurturing interest in diverse international music. Alongside Roger Armstrong, he called the meeting of industry professionals that led to the foundation of 'world music' as a concept in the late 1980s. As a musician, Ben co-founding the band 3 Mustaphas 3 and has performed alongside numerous artists including Billy Bragg and Justin Adams.
Lucy is Professor of Music at SOAS - University of London, as well as a radio broadcaster and a Grammy-nominated producer. She's spent four decades researching the music of the Mande peoples in Gambia, Senegal, Guinea and Mali. In addition to her published writings, Lucy has produced 23 albums of West African music including the debut solo albums by Toumani Diabaté (kora) and Bassekou Kouyaté (ngoni). Durán has also had a long career as a radio broadcaster and presented BBC Radio 3’s World Routes for many years.