This is the eighth year of Songlines Encounters Festival and the most ambitious yet.
As always the festival brings together high-quality artists from around the world championed by Songlines magazine to perform in the superb environment of King’s Place. Some of the concerts feature new or unusual collaborations – like the opening evening with 3MA – others have particular themes – like the special exploration of time in Indian music. All give you a chance to encounter superb musicians with something special to say.
Highlights of this year’s festival include…
Thu 31 May, 7.30pm
Opening this year’s Songlines Encounters Festival and celebrating their UK premiere is 3MA, an extraordinary trio that combines three sublime instruments and interweaves three musical traditions from Mali, Morocco and Madagascar.
Fri 1 Jun, 9.30pm
Named after the Finnish goddess of the wind, the four young women of Tuuletar describe themselves as ‘vocal folk-hop’. They thrillingly combine ancient Kalevala poetry with contemporary beatboxing and gorgeous harmonies.
Their performances are energetic and unpredictable with a vocal dexterity that is breathtaking.
Film: My Heart Lies in My Country + Q&A
Sat 2 June, 3.30pm
My Heart Lies in My Country is a 25-minute film featuring Syrian musicians in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. It shows the importance of music as a consolation and expression of identity.
The discussion, chaired by Simon Broughton, includes filmmaker Olly Burton and the Syrian musicians Basel and Mohammad Saleh and Maya Youssef.
Sat 2 Jun – 7.30pm
Born in Damascus, Maya Youssef is a virtuoso on the qanun, the magnificent Arabic zither that is at the heart of Arabic classical music. Now based in the UK, thanks to an Arts Council Exceptional Talent Scheme, she released her highly-praised debut album Syrian Dreams in November.
Accompanied by percussion and cello, she performs music lamenting the war in her homeland and celebrating its rich cultural and architectural heritage.
Wed 6 June, 8pm
Anda Union are a magnificent band from Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia. Their galloping music of the steppes is related to similar traditions in Outer Mongolia and Tuva with astonishing overtone singing and horse-head fiddle playing.