Galya Bisengalieva makes the world premiere performance of two tracks from her newly-released album, Aralkum, an elegy for the former Aral Sea, now the Aralkum Deser, in Kazakhstan.

February 25, 2021
6:00 pm
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On February 25th, Galya Bisengalieva will present the world premier performance of two tracks from her newly-released album Aralkum on One Little Independent Records. Described by The Guardian as a “meditation on natural disaster”, the work is an elegy for the former Aral Sea, now the Aralkum Desert, in Kazakhstan. It evokes an intimate grief and enduring hope for what has been called one of the worst environmental disasters on the planet. Galya’s tribute to the barren sea, desecrated by Soviet irrigation projects, is laid out in three parts: Pre Disaster, Calamity and Future. It is the future that Bisengalieva will focus on for National Sawdust, partnering with fellow Kazakh artist Sana Serkebaeva. The event will be followed by a conversation with the artist. 

“A musical journey from beauty to desolation to hope.”


Galya Bisengalieva’s music is dark and atmospheric. The Kazakh-British composer and violinist centers unyielding sonic drones as she weaves across genres like folk, ambient classical, and electronic music. Her first two records, EP ONE and EP TWO, were released on her own label, NOMAD Music Productions, founded to champion experimental sounds. Bisengalieva has closely collaborated with some of the world's finest musicians spanning many genres; including Moor Mother, Pauline Oliveros, Steve Reich, Suzanne Ciani, Laurie Spiegel, Terry Riley, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Mica Levi, Thom Yorke, Sarah Davachi and Actress. 

Sana Serkebaeva is a Kazakh-British artist and filmmaker born in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Sana studied at Central Saint Martins and Royal College of Art, and lives and works in London, UK. Her work queries ideas of storytelling, memories and language in relation to filmmaking.

“Absolutely thrilling” The Guardian

“Galya…a powerful force in new and primordial music” The Quietus

“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

Feb 25

Galya Bisengalieva and Sana Serkebaeva