Episodes

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Loyle Carner In Guyana2019091820190918 (6M)
20200830 (6M)
Gemma Cairney brings together artists from two different countries to combine their talents to make a new piece of music.

In this episode Gemma invites 24-year-old London rapper Loyle Carner to Guyana, South America, to join flautist and composer Keith Waithe, a leading figurehead and champion of Guyanese culture. Loyle aka Benjamin Coyle-Larner was raised in Croydon, south London, by his Scottish mother and stepfather. His biological father is of Guyanese descent, but he has never visited the country or explored his black roots.

Loyle earned a Mercury Prize nomination for his debut album Yesterday’s Gone in 2017. His second album Not Waving, But Drowning was released earlier this year, exploring everything from his ADHD and the pains of moving away from home, to his mixed-race heritage. His other passion is food, and he launched the Chilli Con Carner cookery school for kids growing up, as he had, with ADHD.

Loyle will be immersed in the culture, food and music of Georgetown, working with Keith and other traditional Guyanese musicians to learn about the roots of Guyanese music and explore his black identity.

Presented by Gemma Cairney
Produced by Jax Coombes
A BBC 6 Music Production for BBC Radio 4

Gemma Cairney takes rapper Loyle Carner to Georgetown, Guyana, for a musical collaboration

Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries.

In this episode Gemma invites 24-year-old London rapper Loyle Carner to Guyana, South America to join flautist and composer Keith Waithe, a leading figurehead and champion of Guyanese culture. Loyle aka Benjamin Coyle-Larner was raised in Croydon South London by his Scottish mother and stepfather. His biological father is of Guyanese descent, but he has never visited the country.

Loyle earned a Mercury Prize nomination for his debut album Yesterday’s Gone in 2017. His second album Not Waving, But Drowning was released earlier this year exploring everything from his ADHD and the pains of moving away from home, to his mixed race heritage. His other passion is food and he launched the Chilli Con Carner cookery school for kids growing up, as he had, with ADHD.

Loyle will be immersed in the culture, food and music of Georgetown, working with Keith and other traditional Guyanese musicians to learn about the roots of Guyanese music and explore his black identity and create a brand new track together.

Gemma Cairney and Loyle Carner travel to Georgetown, Guyana, for a musical collaboration.

Gemma Cairney brings together artists from two different countries to combine their talents to make a new piece of music.

In this episode Gemma invites 24-year-old London rapper Loyle Carner to Guyana, South America to join flautist and composer Keith Waithe, a leading figurehead and champion of Guyanese culture. Loyle aka Benjamin Coyle-Larner was raised in Croydon South London by his Scottish mother and stepfather. His biological father is of Guyanese descent, but he has never visited the country.

Loyle earned a Mercury Prize nomination for his debut album Yesterday’s Gone in 2017. His second album Not Waving, But Drowning was released earlier this year exploring everything from his ADHD and the pains of moving away from home, to his mixed race heritage. His other passion is food and he launched the Chilli Con Carner cookery school for kids growing up, as he had, with ADHD.

Loyle will be immersed in the culture, food and music of Georgetown, working with Keith and other traditional Guyanese musicians to learn about the roots of Guyanese music and explore his black identity and create a brand new track together.

Presented by Gemma Cairney
Produced by Jax Coombes
A BBC 6 Music Production for BBC Radio 4

Gemma Cairney and Loyle Carner travel to Georgetown, Guyana, for a musical collaboration.

Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries.

Nubya Garcia's Ethio-jazz Odyssey2019092520190925 (6M)
20200816 (6M)
Nubya Garcia travels to Addis Ababa Ethiopia for a musical collaboration with local musicians where Ethio-jazz is enjoying a comeback.

Saxophonist and composer, Nubya Garcia, is one of the leading forces behind the resurgence of jazz-influenced sounds in the UK and a rising young star of the London jazz scene and won UK Jazz Act of the Year Award in 2019.

Born and raised in north London, Garcia began her music education at Camden Music, before joining Tomorrow’s Warriors in her late teens, and completing her training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music. She went on to perform in small gigs and impromptu jazz sessions around London, her audience growing organically, and eventually began headlining her own shows around the world.

Nubya will travel to Ethiopia where Ethio-jazz is enjoying a comeback amongst the younger generation at venues across the city in Addis Ababa.

She will be collaborating with local jazz musicians including guitarist Girum Mezmur who has played a central role in the resurgence of live music and Ethiopian jazz in Addis and founder of the Addis Acoustic Project as well as incorporating Edom Bahru a local poet who performs at Fendika Arts and Culture Centre.

Presented by Gemma Cairney
Produced by Jax Coombes
A BBC 6 Music Production for BBC Radio 4

Jazz saxophonist Nubya Garcia travels to Addis Ababa for an Ethio jazz collaboration.

Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries.

Nubya Garcia travels to Addis Ababa Ethiopia for a musical collaboration with local musicians where Ethio-jazz is enjoying a comeback.

Saxophonist and composer, Nubya Garcia, is one of the leading forces behind the resurgence of jazz-influenced sounds in the UK and a rising young star of the London jazz scene and won UK Jazz Act of the Year Award in 2019.

Born and raised in north London, Garcia began her music education at Camden Music, before joining Tomorrow’s Warriors in her late teens, and completing her training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music. She went on to perform in small gigs and impromptu jazz sessions around London, her audience growing organically, and eventually began headlining her own shows around the world.

Nubya will travel to Ethiopia where Ethio-jazz is enjoying a comeback amongst the younger generation at venues across the city in Addis Ababa.

She will be collaborating with local jazz musicians including guitarist Girum Mezmur who has played a central role in the resurgence of live music and Ethiopian jazz in Addis and founder of the Addis Acoustic Project as well as incorporating Edom Bahru a local poet who performs at Fendika Arts and Culture Centre.

Presented by Gemma Cairney
Produced by Jax Coombes
A BBC 6 Music Production for BBC Radio 4

Jazz saxophonist Nubya Garcia travels to Addis Ababa for an Ethio jazz collaboration.

Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries.

Roxanne Tataei On The Isle Of Lewis2019100220191002 (6M)
20200830 (6M)
Singer and composer Roxanne Tataei travels to Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis to collaborate with Calum Martin for a Gaelic psalm singing collaboration.

Based on the Isle of Lewis off the coast of Scotland, Calum has a special interest in Gaelic Psalm Singing, a unique acapella improvisatory singing style still practiced by congregations during their Sunday worship services, although the average age in the church is well over 50, and the Gaelic-speaking congregation is dwindling.

According to musicologists, Gaelic Psalms shouldn’t really work harmonically, but they do. They come from the Presbyterian tradition, meaning they are very much word based. It's a beautiful and bleak sound, often compared to the landscape of the Hebrides and the rolling seas surrounding it.

Born and raised in Norbury, South London, Roxanne heritage is half-Jamaican and half-Iranian and she grew up learning psalms in church with her grandparents before being classically trained and establishing her career as a singer.

She will be learning this ancient song form as well as exploring if there are any similarities with Black American Church music and if the two sounds are able to combine to create a piece of music.

Presented by Gemma Cairney
Produced by Jax Coombes
A BBC 6 Music Production for BBC Radio 4

Singer Roxanne Tataei explores Gaelic psalm singing in Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis.

Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries.

Singer and composer Roxanne Tataei travels to Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis to collaborate with Calum Martin for a Gaelic psalm singing collaboration.

Based on the Isle of Lewis off the coast of Scotland, Calum has a special interest in Gaelic Psalm Singing, a unique acapella improvisatory singing style still practiced by congregations during their Sunday worship services, although the average age in the church is well over 50, and the Gaelic-speaking congregation is dwindling.

According to musicologists, Gaelic Psalms shouldn’t really work harmonically, but they do. They come from the Presbyterian tradition, meaning they are very much word based. It's a beautiful and bleak sound, often compared to the landscape of the Hebrides and the rolling seas surrounding it.

Born and raised in Norbury, South London, Roxanne heritage is half-Jamaican and half-Iranian and she grew up learning psalms in church with her grandparents before being classically trained and establishing her career as a singer.

She will be learning this ancient song form as well as exploring if there are any similarities with Black American Church music and if the two sounds are able to combine to create a piece of music.

Presented by Gemma Cairney
Produced by Jax Coombes
A BBC 6 Music Production for BBC Radio 4

Singer Roxanne Tataei explores Gaelic psalm singing in Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis.

Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries.

This Is The Kit In Casablanca2019091120200823 (6M)Gemma Cairney brings together artists from two different countries to combine their talents to make a new piece of music.

Kate Stables is the staple of folk project This is the Kit who have released four albums - now based in Paris, Kate has found herself drawn to the hypnotic rhythms of Saharan music and gnawa music.

Dating back to the 12th century, gnawa, which is played on a three stringed instrument called the guembri, is the music of formerly enslaved black Africans who came to Morocco from Sub Saharan countries , and founded a model to preserve the traditions and folkloric music of their ancestors.

Traditionally, women do not play gnawa and performing in public is still a widespread taboo. But despite its deep traditions, modern Gnawa is evolving. Asmaa Hamzaoui is the daughter of a famous “maalem” (Gnawa master) Rachid Hamzaoui. Encouraged by her father, she has become the first female guembri player in Morocco and one of the first around the world with her band Bnat Timbouktou.

Kate will be travelling to Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco and home to gnawa music o to collaborate with Asmaa and see if they can merge together the banjo and the guembri to create something new.

Presented by Gemma Cairney
Produced by Jax Coombes
A BBC 6 Music Production for BBC Radio 4

Kate Stables travels to Casablanca for a collaboration with gnawa player Asmaa Hamzaoui.

Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries.

Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries.

01Charlotte Church Travels To Georgia20181003 (6M)
20200823 (6M)
The Sound Odyssey is a new series in which Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries around the world, hearing the musicians in a new light, and exposing their artistic process as they create something new in different and unfamiliar surroundings with an artist they have never met before.

In this programme singer-songwriter, actress, and political activist Charlotte Church travels to Kutaisi in Georgia to learn about Georgian polyphonic singing, a genre of music she's fascinated by. Situated on the border of Europe and Asia, Georgia has a strong history of Polyphonic singing, at celebrations as well as in everyday life, and was recognized by UNESCO as a Human masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage in 2001. A typical Georgian song is sung acappella by men, singing in at least three vocal ranges together.

Charlotte who has sold more than 10 million records worldwide is from Llandaff, a district of Cardiff in Wales. She will be collaborating with a polyphonic choir in Kutaisi to create a new recording.

Kutaisi has connections with Wales having been twinned with the town of Newport since 1989. The two countries are similar in size and population, both are mountainous with their own distinctive language and culture and, furthermore, both are strongholds of singing and rugby, a sport which has a considerable following in Kutaisi.

Presented by Gemma Cairney
Produced by Jax Coombes
A BBC 6 Music Production for BBC Radio 4

Gemma Cairney takes Charlotte Church to Georgia for a musical collaboration.

Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries.

01Kojey Radical Travels To Ghana20180926 (6M)
20200819 (6M)
The Sound Odyssey is a new series in which Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries around the world, hearing the musicians in a new light, and exposing their artistic process as they create something new in different and unfamiliar surroundings with an artist they have never met before.

For this programme, MOBO-nominated musician Kojey Radical, travels to Ghana, a country that he hasn’t been too since he was 12 years old.

Born and raised in East London 25-year-old Radical is a spoken word-poet and rapper, a dancer, model, illustrator and video artist. The son of Ghanaian parents, he grew up channelling his energy into writing poetry, and went on to study illustration at London College of Fashion before turning to music. His sound is a unique blend of soul, jazz and gospel, grime, rap and electronica.

Ghana has a proud and long history as one of Africa’s richest musical hotbeds, thanks in part to its inception of ‘highlife’, the genre that originated there.

Kojey will be collaborating in Accra with Kyekyeku, part of a new generation of young lively Ghanaian musicians combining the musical traditions of highlife and afrobeat , who also sees himself as a social chronicler of contemporary Africa.

In Accra, Kojey begins to discover and understand more about his own diaspora, visiting Independence Square and the mausoleum of Kwame Nkrumah, who he first learnt about through conversations with his dad who was in Accra in 1957 when Ghana became independent.

He also visits YFM the number one Urban Youth radio station in Ghana, before heading to a local rehearsal studio, the challenge, to create a new track with Kyekyeku and a group of local musicians.

Presented by Gemma Cairney
Produced by Jax Coombes
A BBC 6 Music Production for BBC Radio 4

Gemma Cairney takes Kojey Radical to Ghana, West Africa for a musical collaboration.

Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries.

0101Nadine Shah Travels To Beirut20180912The Sound Odyssey is a new series in which Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries around the world, hearing the musicians in a new light, and exposing their artistic process as they create something new in different and unfamiliar surroundings with an artist they have never met before.

In the first of a series of journeys Nadine Shah a British Muslim artist travels to Beirut, to collaborate with Lebanese singer songwriter and musicologist Youmna Saba. The challenge will be for them to create a track together in Beirut in just two days.

Both have very different musical styles and cultural heritages. Nadine was born in Whitburn, South Tyneside, to an English mother of part-Norwegian ancestry and a Pakistani father. Her music is very much inspired by conflict, immigration, and cultural and religious identity, and her latest Mercury Prize nominated album, Holiday Destination was written about the Syrian refugee crisis. Although Nadine's lyrics have been very much inspired by the conflict in Syria she has never been to the Middle East.

Youmna Saba holds a master's degree in Musicology, focusing mainly on the parallels between classical Arabic music and Arabic visual art. She is a part-time instructor at the musicology department at the Antonine University. Her sound borrows elements from the Arabic music tradition, and blends them with electronic treatments, sonic textures and loops.

They will meet and collaborate in Beirut, a city once ravaged by civil war that has been gaining a reputation as a burgeoning cultural hub where cultural and religious diversity sits side by side.

Once dubbed "the Paris of the Middle East", the Lebanese capital is a beautiful and daringly hopeful vision of what the future of the region might hold - A city of new ideas -art, fashion, political movements, multiculturalism and a thriving music scene.

Whilst in the city Gemma Cairney meets local artists including Dima Matta the host of Cliffhangers, a storytelling group and platform which offers a safe space for people to express themselves in a country where this is very problematic and censorship is very much a real thing. And we hear from Syrian rock group Tanjaret Daghet, who now live in Beirut as exiles, anxious about their families and homes.

Presented by Gemma Cairney
Produced by Jax Coombes
A BBC 6 Music Production for BBC Radio 4.

Gemma Cairney takes Nadine Shah to Beirut for a musical collaboration.

Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries.

0102Johnny Flynn Travels To Colombia2018091920200816 (6M)The Sound Odyssey is a new series in which Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries around the world, hearing the musicians in a new light, and exposing their artistic process as they create something new in different and unfamiliar surroundings with an artist they have never met before.

In this programme musician and actor Johnny Flynn heads to Bogota in Colombia. Here he will be collaborating with Carmelo Torres the Colombian accordion legend of Cumbia, to combine his British folk storytelling with the folk sounds of Colombia. The aim, to see if they can create a new track together in just two days.

Johnny is the lead singer and songwriter of the band Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit. He's also an acclaimed stage and screen actor and has scored the BBC Four television series Detectorists. Johnny grew up surrounded by old folk music and developed an interest and deep passion for the traditions of folk song collecting, and the migration of musical instruments especially in South American and Amazonian culture.

Carmelo Torres is the greatest representative of the San Jacinto accordion-style cumbia, a music legacy he inherited from the legendary accordionist Andres Landero, his teacher. Carmelo is now one of the last living legends of this Sabaneros style of accordian playing which is sadly on the decline.

Carmelo talks about the movement of the accordion from Europe to Colombia, where it arrived in boats and found its way into the Colombian countryside to become a staple traditional sound of Cumbia music. Johnny draws the links between this same diatonic button accordion being used in British and Irish folk music, and shares his books of ancient folk ballads and poems with Carmelo for their collaboration.

Presented by Gemma Cairney
Produced by Jax Coombes
A BBC 6 Music Production for BBC Radio 4.

Gemma Cairney takes Johnny Flynn to Bogota Colombia for a musical collaboration.

Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries.

Johnny is the lead singer and songwriter of the band Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit. He's also an acclaimed stage and screen actor and has scored the BBC Four television series Detectorists. Johnny grew up surrounded by old folk music and developed an interest and deep passion for the traditions of folk song collecting, and the migration of musical instruments especially in South American and Amazonian culture.

0103Kojey Radical Travels To Ghana2018092620200819 (6M)The Sound Odyssey is a new series in which Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries around the world, hearing the musicians in a new light, and exposing their artistic process as they create something new in different and unfamiliar surroundings with an artist they have never met before.

For this programme, MOBO-nominated musician Kojey Radical, travels to Ghana, a country that he hasn’t been too since he was 12 years old.

Born and raised in East London 25-year-old Radical is a spoken word-poet and rapper, a dancer, model, illustrator and video artist. The son of Ghanaian parents, he grew up channelling his energy into writing poetry, and went on to study illustration at London College of Fashion before turning to music. His sound is a unique blend of soul, jazz and gospel, grime, rap and electronica.

Ghana has a proud and long history as one of Africa’s richest musical hotbeds, thanks in part to its inception of ‘highlife’, the genre that originated there.

Kojey will be collaborating in Accra with Kyekyeku, part of a new generation of young lively Ghanaian musicians combining the musical traditions of highlife and afrobeat , who also sees himself as a social chronicler of contemporary Africa.

In Accra, Kojey begins to discover and understand more about his own diaspora, visiting Independence Square and the mausoleum of Kwame Nkrumah, who he first learnt about through conversations with his dad who was in Accra in 1957 when Ghana became independent.

He also visits YFM the number one Urban Youth radio station in Ghana, before heading to a local rehearsal studio, the challenge, to create a new track with Kyekyeku and a group of local musicians.

Presented by Gemma Cairney
Produced by Jax Coombes
A BBC 6 Music Production for BBC Radio 4

Gemma Cairney takes Kojey Radical to Ghana, West Africa for a musical collaboration.

Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries.

For this programme, MOBO-nominated musician Kojey Radical, travels to Ghana, a country that he hasn't been too since he was 12 years old.

Ghana has a proud and long history as one of Africa's richest musical hotbeds, thanks in part to its inception of 'highlife', the genre that originated there.

Presented by Gemma Cairney
Produced by Jax Coombes
A BBC 6 Music Production for BBC Radio 4.

Gemma Cairney takes Kojey Radical to Ghana, West Africa, for a musical collaboration.

0104Charlotte Church Travels To Georgia20181003The Sound Odyssey is a new series in which Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries around the world, hearing the musicians in a new light, and exposing their artistic process as they create something new in different and unfamiliar surroundings with an artist they have never met before.

In this programme singer-songwriter, actress, and political activist Charlotte Church travels to Kutaisi in Georgia to learn about Georgian polyphonic singing, a genre of music she's fascinated by. Situated on the border of Europe and Asia, Georgia has a strong history of Polyphonic singing, at celebrations as well as in everyday life, and was recognized by UNESCO as a Human masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage in 2001. A typical Georgian song is sung acappella by men, singing in at least three vocal ranges together.

Charlotte who has sold more than 10 million records worldwide is from Llandaff, a district of Cardiff in Wales. She will be collaborating with a polyphonic choir in Kutaisi to create a new recording.

Kutaisi has connections with Wales having been twinned with the town of Newport since 1989. The two countries are similar in size and population, both are mountainous with their own distinctive language and culture and, furthermore, both are strongholds of singing and rugby, a sport which has a considerable following in Kutaisi.

Presented by Gemma Cairney
Produced by Jax Coombes
A BBC 6 Music Production for BBC Radio 4

Gemma Cairney takes Charlotte Church to Georgia for a musical collaboration.

Gemma Cairney takes British artists for musical collaborations in different countries.