The world-renowned musical line up behind *Freedom To Roam, have announced their first UK tour after successfully gaining Arts Council backing.
Leader of the Freedom To Roam project, flautist Eliza Marshall (Peter Gabriel/The Lion King), will be joined by album co-writers Catrin Finch (BBC Folk Award Winner), Jackie Shave (Britten Sinfonia leader) and Dónal Rogers (Ranagri/Tony Christie) plus special guests including Kuljit Bhamra MBE (award-winning Bhangra pioneer) and Robert Irvine (BASCA Award) for live dates at Bury St Edmunds, Aberystwyth, Manchester, Leeds and Bristol from 22nd February 2022.The live show includes their critically acclaimed album played in its entirety as well as a screening of the accompanying documentary by multi-award-winning director Nicholas Jones (A Greenlander, You Are Here).
Eliza Marshall has spearheaded this humanitarian and environmental project, first conceived of during a visit to the Inner Hebrides in 2018. The result is a beautifully crafted journey in music and film through universal responses to our own and the planet’s most pressing needs. Traversing themes such as climate change, conflict, displacement, restriction, the erosion of natural habitats and the need for empathy when addressing these challenges.
Championed by Virginia Mckenna, the resultant work of widescreen, world music fuses folk with classical via Africa, Scotland and India, crossing illusory borders, telling untold stories whilst simultaneously challenging us to see the world with new, and more hopeful, eyes.
Eliza said: “Freedom To Roam approaches the interconnected challenges of climate change, environmental destruction and human displacement within the context of our needs for freedom, empathy and hopefulness. It’s the starting point to an all-encompassing project that aims to change our understanding of nature, wildness and our pivotal role in the future of life on this planet.
Taking it on tour for the first time after securing Arts Council Funding is hugely significant for us and affirms how this project is resonating with others during these challenging times.”
Virginia McKenna added: “This is an important and thought-provoking journey with some of the world’s top musicians”
Catrin Finch said: “When Eliza approached me I immediately jumped at the chance as I thought it was something we all needed. Suddenly there was time to think, be inspired and create. We could turn to nature, think about how to care more fully for the planet. I was inspired by the themes of openness and freedom at the heart of this project and to work with these wonderful musicians.”
An acclaimed and much in demand musician who has worked with Peter Gabriel, Sir Paul McCartney, The Divine Comedy and sarod guru Amjad Ali Khan – Eliza has a love for crossing musical boundaries. The poignancy of her vision for Freedom To Roam found new focus during the pandemic and it was eventually written and recorded at Rockfield Studios.
The tour aims to raise funds for The Born Free Foundation, The Lost Woods rewilding project for children and the Odyssey cancer charity. The launch event at Cecil Sharp House on 18th December is in aid of ‘Save Africa’s Giants’ – Born Free’s urgent campaign to prevent the extinction of Kenya’s giraffes and lions.
Jackie Shave added:
“I was driven to write these tracks because of the ever-increasing plight of displaced people, refugees, and asylum seekers, and the lack of compassion they so often experience in so-called ‘civilised‘ countries. After being forced to leave their homelands in extreme and horrendous situations, whether it be from war, famine, or climate extremes, we must ask ‘what would we wish for ourselves, our friends, and our children in their situation?’. I hope this music reinforces the fact that we are a global family and inextricably connected.”
The tour follows on from the album launch show at Cecil Sharp House, London on Saturday 18th December with shows at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds on Tuesday 22nd February; Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Wednesday 23rd February; The Stoller Hall, Manchester on Thursday 24th February; St George’s, Bristol on Wednesday 2nd March.
TOUR DATES AS FOLLOWS:
Saturday December 18 – Cecil Sharp House
Launch tickets freedomtoroam.earth/live
Tuesday February 22 – The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
Wednesday February 23 – Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Thursday February 24 – The Stoller Hall, Manchester
Friday February 25 – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds
Wednesday March 2 – St George’s, Bristol
For Spring Tickets Visit: freedomtoroam.earth/tou
*About Freedom To Roam
Eliza Marshall’s Freedom to Roam is a humanitarian and environmental project inspired by a desire for universal compassion and respect for nature. The project traverses themes such as climate change, conflict, environmental destruction, rewilding, restriction, empathy and what it means to be displaced without choice.
A musician who has travelled the world – working with Peter Gabriel, Sir Paul McCartney, The Divine Comedy and sarod guru Amjad Ali Khan, Eliza has a love for crossing musical boundaries. An ambassador for Global Music Match, she is passionate about cross-cultural creativity and initiated Freedom To Roam during a visit to Coll, the inner Hebridean island, in 2018. As the project gained support from musicians such as Catrin Finch, Kuljit Bhamra, Jackie Shave, Dónal Rogers and others, it gained momentum after a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign and a partnership with The Born Free Foundation.
Each facet of the project (album, documentary and live concerts) has been crafted with world-class creatives and forms part of a journey through universal responses to our own and the planet’s most pressing needs. An ever-evolving initiative, Freedom To Roam aims to simultaneously ask deep questions about our humanity, our connection to nature and how best to respond positively to our current crises.
Full information is available from the Freedom To Roam website.