Artist News Releases

Galya Bisengalieva announces debut album inspired by Aral Sea environmental disaster

By | Published on Friday 10 July 2020

Galya Bisengalieva

Violinist Galya Bisengalieva – best known for her work with Radiohead and Frank Ocean – has announced that she will release her debut album, ‘Aralkum’, through One Little Independent on 4 Sep.

The album is inspired by the Aral Sea in Central Asia. That was once the fourth largest lake in the world but is now all but gone, after the rivers that fed it were diverted for Soviet irrigation projects in the 1960s – a move dubbed “one of the planet’s worst environmental disasters”.

The themes of the album are laid out in its first single ‘Barsa-Kelmes’ and the accompanying video.

“It was important to me that this was made by somebody, who, like myself, grew up with the story of this disaster, as well as visiting the area and experiencing the devastation first hand”, says Bisengalieva. “I felt that making a music video was important to convey the horror of the Aral disaster, as it’s not well documented in the West”.

That person turned out to be director Damir Otegen, who is based in Bisengalieva’s hometown of Almaty, Kazakhstan. “This story is about a being who lost everything in life and makes a desperate attempt to return everything to its place”, says Otegen. “Something mystical is happening. Whether it is a dream or a parallel reality, we don’t know. But one thing is clear: we see death, the death of the sea, and the death of everything connected with it”.

Watch the video for ‘Barsa-Kelmse’ here: