Two years on from the release of La Saboteuse, Bahrain-raised, London-based trumpeter and composer Yazz Ahmed has a third album on the way called Polyhymnia. Slated for an October release through Ropeadope Records, Polyhymnia is a suite of music inspired and dedicated to six female role-models, from Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai to civil rights activist Rosa Parks.
Preceding the album release, and bringing her La Saboteuse project to a close, the celebrated musician put out ‘A Shoal of Souls’, a special limited release 12″ single, available on her bandcamp. ‘A Shoal of Souls’ is a tribute to the many lives lost by those who have tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Yazz explains:
“I was already thinking about the migrants who perished at sea when I named the chapter The Shoal of Souls, and this new composition is dedicated to all the people who have lost their lives crossing the sea in search of a better future. I hope the music conveys the strength and power of the human spirit, the bravery to risk everything for their families, the anger I feel at the response of the West, a lack of empathy, a lack of compassion. They are not a swarm, they are us – humans. The music is also inspired by Sufism, the idea of whirling and turning, falling into a trance, a dream. I see a mirror with the whirling, turning ocean, a whirlpool of lost souls, of untold stories, talents and lives unfulfilled, joining together in the eternal dance and rhythm of a vast shoal of fish which seems to beat like a heart.”
‘A Shoal of Souls’ is a staggering piece. Take a listen now.