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GALYA BISENGALIEVA




photo: Gwenaëlle Trannoy

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

In September 2020 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-recognised performer, Galya has played at venues including the Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai, Brooklyn Academy of Arts, ACE Theatre, Béla Bartók Concert Hall, Victoria Hall, Teatro Colòn, Strelka Institute and the Paris Philharmonie.

In 2021 she was invited to perform Aralkum Live at National Sawdust, Kiezsalon, Berliner Festspiele, Le Guess Who, Rewire and WOS Festivals and her compositions were featured in Fact, Boiler Room, Pitchfork and Nowness. She has closely collaborated with some of the world’s finest musicians spanning many genres including Moor Mother, Pauline Oliveros, Suzanne Ciani, Laurie Spiegel, Terry Riley, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Mica Levi, Thom Yorke and Actress.

Galya’s solos and improvisations can be heard on numerous albums, film soundtracks and TV productions including Cyrano, You Were Never Really Here, The Mauritanian, Rocks, Honey Boy, American Animals, The Two Popes, The Matrix Resurrections and Suspiria. She has also toured key solos for live productions of Phantom Thread, Under the Skin, The Piano and There Will Be Blood.

Her latest collaborations have been with fashion houses Norlha, Phoebe English and Alexander McQueen.
“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





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“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