The Nine Pure Gifts

A taster track from the album – an arrangement of the traditional West African song Jula Jekere by Holly Marland for kora and voice. The arrangement was devised in close collaboration with Holly’s incredible teacher Muhammed Saho in the Gambia and it features improvised kora, calabash and vocal parts played by Sura Susso, one of The Gambia’s hottest musical exports!

An exquisite and inspirational new song cycle, Holly Marland’s reflections on life and humanity draw on classical, world and folk music influences. The work was written during a 9 month sabbatical funded by the Katherine McGillivray Get a Life Fund in Scotland, Africa, Paris and Suffolk. It has recently been recorded as an album and will premiere at Stoller Hall in Manchester on Saturday 16 March 2019 when the album will be released for sale, available as a CD and for online purchase.

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Click on the photo taken by Geri Mcaulay below to reserve your tickets for this unique event.

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In 2019, Holly will be curating a tour of the work in order to share her composition with people of all ages in all kinds of unusual places.

She is developing an immersive performance that can be delivered in any size or type of venue. The music will be subtly  enhanced by the addition of an accompanying, abstract “narrative” of visual projections. She is working closely with acclaimed artists Dawn Prescott and Liam Curtin to develop these innovative ideas.

This whole experience will tell a story… the story of what it means to be a human with the gift of life.

As well as promoting a larger scale immersive stage show to festivals, Holly is keen to share the experience more intimately with the wider community. The performance will be adaptable to all kinds of different settings such as schools, prisons, hospitals, oil rigs, tea-rooms, remote islands…

For further information please email and visit for Holly’s full biography.

Dawn Prescott, acclaimed visual artist, is creating the artwork for the album and for future events. The image on this site is her first artistic response to the song cycle but not finalised artwork.