The Calais Sessions
The Calais Sessions is a collective of creatives from the UK who use the universal language of music to empower and entertain Europe's refugees.
Our team travel armed with a colourful array of instruments, and on arrival at camp we connect with the local musicians, hear their stories and see where we can collaborate. Meanwhile, a makeshift studio is set up on site in which to capture these tracks by day, as is a venue to host performances by night.
Excited news of our arrival travels fast; just under the surface is a deep and heavy yearning for self-expression.
From the raw Syrian folk song to the nectar-sweet Ethiopian gospel lullaby, and the clannish Sudanese drum circle to the most infectious Afghan pop, it is clear that Europe has been bestowed a treasure chest of rich and exotic cultural heritage. Let's embrace it we say.
These are the people behind the headlines. Will you listen to them?
The project started in a weekend in late september 2015 when a group of international musicians, based in the UK, went to see if they could find musicians in the camp to collaborate, rehearse, write, perform and record with. They as musicians wanted to do something in response to the escalating humanitarian crisis unfolding on their doorstep. Calais, being just 22 miles from the UK coast is so close to us.