In Motion 2024 Q&A: Namvula

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Sound and Music’s In Motion programme brings together a diverse group of composers, each with a unique voice and vision. This Q&A series offers a glimpse into their creative worlds, revealing their musical influences, current projects, and aspirations for the future.

Here, we speak to In Motion 2024 composer Namvula.

Can you tell us about your musical influences?

Lyric, groove, humanism, geographical freedom: all these draw me. My listening ears are wide open and take in a lot. Having grown up in four different continents to bi-cultural parents, in my early years I listened to and was influenced by artists as varied as Miriam Makeba and Cassandra Wilson, to Wayne Shorter and the Counting Crows. Recently I have been drawn to artists that lean deeply into a humanist sensibility, such as Naissam Jalal and Benjamin Clementine, while remaining a lover of African and afro-groove based music (popular and less known) like Sona Jobarteh and Parranda la Cruz. And I have always been a lover of lyrics, include the likes of Michael Kiwanuka and Leonard Cohen.

What are you working on at the moment?

Finishing up Chasing Shadows, the twin to its first EP All Shades of the Sun; a collaboration project that combines improvised dance and live vocals for disenfranchised families; a couple of projects delivering music for wellbeing, for women experiencing post natal depression; and touring the All Shades of the Sun project.

What are you looking forward to most about In Motion?

Having space to sit with, play with, dive into, pull the edges, shape and reshape ideas that are bubbling under the surface; to explore how to bridge artistic forms that are of interest and discover new artistic possibilities for my creative expression; and to do this within a network of support.

Sound and Music is a PRS Foundation Talent Development Network Partner supported by PPL.

In Motion is made possible with the generous support of Arts Council EnglandJerwood Developing Artists FundThe Garrick Charitable Trust, Creative Scotland National Lottery and PRS Foundation.

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