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photo: Gwenaëlle Trannoy

The music of Galya Bisengalieva is dark and atmospheric. The Kazakh-British composer and violinist centers unyielding drones as she weaves across genres like folk, ambient classical, and electronic music. She released her first two records, EP ONE and EP TWO, on her own NOMAD Music Productions, a label she founded to champion experimental sounds.

This September she released her debut album ”Aralkum” on One Little Independent Records. Galya’s focus on wide expanses of tone suit the album’s subject: the Aral Sea and the desolate landscapes formed from its disastrous shrinking.

An internationally-recognized performer, Galya has played at venues including the Barbican, the Royal Festival Hall, the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai, Brooklyn Academy of Arts, ACE Theatre, Béla Bartók Concert Hall, Kings Place, Café Oto, Victoria Hall, Teatro Colòn, Strelka Institute and the Paris Philharmonie. Her work as a soloist, improvisor and leader of the London Contemporary Orchestra has led to features on albums, film soundtracks and TV productions. She is credited on projects including Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool, Frank Ocean’s dual-releases Blonde and Endless and the soundtracks for “Honey Boy”, “You Were Never Really Here”, “The Two Popes” and “Suspiria”. She has also toured key solos for live productions of “Phantom Thread”, “Under the Skin”, “The Piano” and “There Will Be Blood”.

Galya has worked with artists across genres like Moor Mother, Pauline Oliveros, Steve Reich, Suzanne Ciani, Terry Riley, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Mica Levi and Actress. Most recently, she has collaborated with the fashion house Alexander McQueen.

As part of NOMAD Music Productions, Galya has commissioned works from composers including Claire M Singer, Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch, Ipek Gorgun, Shiva Feshareki and CHAINES.
“Galya…a powerful force in new and primordial music” The Quietus

“creates teeming and imagistic environments with four strings and electronics” Pitchfork

“It makes for a challenging listen, but demands the listener return for more, and reveals Bisengalieva not only as a star violinist but as a producing force to be reckoned with.” The Guardian

“Technical versatility combined with an inquisitive temperament make Galya Bisengalieva a truly exciting violinist, as these appetising releases on her own label show.” The Wire

          LATEST RELEASE ↓

ARALKUM is out now

“absolutely thrilling” The Guardian

“a musical journey from beauty to desolation to hope” Uncut

“Aralkum is as deep, dark and inexplorable as the disaster it reflects. It advances like the poisoned sand. It is also beautiful and mesmeric, steeped in profound sadness, as if low sobs of protest were slowed to the pace of desiccation.” Metro 

“Bisengalieva’s meditation on aridity strikes the perfect tone. Concept albums are hard to pull off, especially debut concept albums. Aralkum leads listeners through a gamut of emotions, yet resists the urge to wrap it in a neat bow. The open-endedness reflects the nature of the artist herself.” A Closer Listen

Aralkum feels like a deep meditation on our interaction with and responsibility for nature. Between the menacing dissonance of “Moynaq” and the swelling harmonies of “Zhalanash”, an elegy morphs into inspiration.” Bandcamp