Songlines Encounters Festival 2023 | Songlines

Songlines Encounters Festival 2023


May 18-24, 2023 Kings Place, London

Songlines Encounters Festival returns to Kings Place in May for one of its most exhilarating line-ups ever – a celebration of great voices, instrumental prowess, danceable mayhem, sacred ritual and even a spot of ‘zombie folk.’ There’s music from Mali, Colombia, Turkey, Georgia, Estonia, Tibet and the skies above. The venue’s Hall Two has had a sonic makeover with the installation of a d&b audiotechnik Soundscape (only in use for certain gigs). “As an analogy,” say Kings Place, “you might think of it as like turning from Standard Definition to High Definition television. But maybe it would be better to think of it as like turning from Standard Definition television to gazing through an open window at a captivating view.”


Festival Lineup

Constantinople (©Samadoss)

Thursday May 18

Constantinople

(Hall One)

The ensemble’s Traversées programme features Kiya Tabassian (setar) Ablaye Cissoko (kora) and Patrick Graham (percussion). A poetic encounter between strings and voice from the epics of West Africa to the Persian court. Traversées was one of Songlines’ albums of the year in 2020.

More information: kingsplace.co.uk


Ialoni

Thursday May 18

Ialoni – Georgian Song

(Hall Two)

This award-winning female choir herald from the magnificent mountain hideaway of Georgia in the Caucasus. Performing since 2009, they perform the spectacular polyphonic folk repertoire for which their country is famous, along with sacred pieces and urban songs.

More information: kingsplace.co.uk


Vieux Farka Touré (©Kiss Diouara)

Friday May 19

Vieux Farka Touré

(Hall One)

One of the world’s most respected guitarists, Vieux plays songs from his last solo album Les Racines, a tribute to the Songhai music of northern Mali and the legacy of his late father Ali Farka Touré. ‘This is Songhai blues at its finest,’ said our Top of the World review in July 2022 (#179). There will also be music from Ali, his collaboration with US psych-soul trio Khruangbin.

More information: kingsplace.co.uk


Mariachi Las Adelitas

Friday May 19

Mariachi Las Adelitas

(Hall Two)

This London-based female mariachi band was born out of a desire to shatter stereotypes in this traditionally male-dominated genre. Taking their name from a group of women revolutionaries in Mexico, they perform mariachi classics and original songs, with some surprises thrown in for good measure.

More information: kingsplace.co.uk


Gaye Su Akyol (©Ali Guclu Simsek)

Saturday May 20

Gaye Su Akyol

(Hall One)

This Turkish singing sensation provocatively describes her last album, Anadolu Ejderi, as ‘an archaeological excavation of the imprints of Anatolian people that were demolished culturally, socially and politically by coups and anti-democratic practices.’ Building upon her mélange of Turkish psychedelia, empowered commentary and retro-futurist sonics, her vision is more personal and uncompromising than ever before. Here she performs in her captivating Elektro Meyhane iteration. Akyol was crowned Best Artist at the Songlines Music Awards 2019.

More information: kingsplace.co.uk


Puuluup (©Taavi Arus)

Saturday May 20, 5:30pm

Puuluup 

(UK Premiere, Hall Two)

Estonian duo Puuluup are Ramo Teder and Marko Veisson. Together they bring a show like no other, with a pinch of surrealism, modern folklore and the revival of the primitive bowed lyre or talharpa. Describing their music, they say: “Our style is ‘zombie folk,’ as this instrument was dead for a while and with these electronics and Loop Station we are reviving it.”

More information: kingsplace.co.uk


Thrills, trills & whistles

Saturday May 20, 9pm

Singing with Nightingales

(Hall Two)

Join us for a unique experience bringing The Nest Collective’s Singing with Nightingales to the concert hall. Introduced by Sam Lee from the Sussex woodlands, special guests will join for an unforgettable performance with the nightingale’s courtship song. Presented in immersive surround sound.

More information: kingsplace.co.uk


Estonian National Male Choir (©Jaan Krivel)

Sunday May 21

Estonian National Male Choir

(Hall One)

We’re thrilled to welcome this legendary ensemble, which was founded in 1944. Since that time they’ve given more than 6,000 concerts all over the world. Performing music from the Renaissance to the present day, much of it linked with folk traditions, theirs is a truly thrilling a cappella sound. 

More information: kingsplace.co.uk


Meridian Brothers

Sunday May 21

Meridian Brothers

(Hall Two)

Hailing from Bogotá, Colombia, Meridian Brothers are a futurist electro-cumbia act led by composer and multi-instrumentalist Eblis Álvarez. The group meld historic and modern experimental Latin rhythms and genres. Colombian shape-shifters, these guys have been twisting dance floors with their tropical oddities since 1998 and are making their first London appearance in six years.

More information: kingsplace.co.uk


Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Tashi Lihunpo Monastery

Wednesday May 24

Sacred Dance and Music from Tibet

(Hall One) 

The exiled Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Tashi Llhunpo Monastery are renowned for their musical traditions. From their mesmerising chants of Buddhist texts to costumed masked dances accompanied by skull-drums, cymbals, bells and the shattering sound of the dungchen (long horns), the Monks evoke the atmosphere of sacred Tibet. This is an experience of an ancient culture accessible to all, with introductory explanations offering additional insight into this endangered world.  

More information: kingsplace.co.uk


For tickets, visit www.kingsplace.co.uk or call the box office: +44 (0)20 7520 1490

 

Subscribe from only £7.50

Start your journey and discover the very best music from around the world.

Subscribe

View the Current
Issue

Take a peek inside the latest issue of Songlines magazine.

Find out more