Tamsin Elliott and Tarek Elazhar announce debut album

Tamsin Elliott and Tarek Elazhar (with Rowan Elliott)

So Far We Have Come is the debut duo album from Tamsin Elliott (UK) and Tarek Elazhary (Egypt), two artists who have recognised in each other a commonality in their relationship to music. They are both practitioners and composers deeply embedded in their own living traditions, while also leading genre-bending bands (Solana, Dokkan). Through their friendship and ongoing collaboration they have unearthed a series of intriguing connections between English & Arabic folk idioms and worked together to weave this affinity into a thrilling fusion of songs, tunes and textures.

Long before Tamsin began work on her critically acclaimed solo album FREY (Penny Fiddle Records, 2022), she spent several months in Egypt embarking on an exploration of Arabic music, during which she met Tarek on the Cairo live scene. When international travel was permitted again following the COVID lockdowns, she began to discuss plans with Tarek to bring him to the UK for a return visit, and to make the collaborative album they had dreamed of creating together. So Far We Have Come is a testament to their personal and musical perseverance, and a statement of hope and resistance during troubled times.

Most of the tracks on the album were composed together in early spring, inspired by and interspersed with English dance tunes and pieces from Arabic classical and folk traditions. Having received the EDFSS Alan James Creative Bursary, they began their conceptual process in residency at Cecil Sharp House in London, before travelling to Tamsin’s hometown Bristol to develop and record their ideas over the course of a month. The resulting album is a lively, yet thoughtful, conversation between their traditions and compositional styles.

Tamsin & Tarek will be touring the UK, throughout August and September, beginning with dates at festivals such as Sidmouth Folk Festival, Folk East, and Shambala, culminating with a launch concert at the beautiful St Mary’s Music Hall in Walthamstow, London on 21st September. Tickets and more tour information are available via Tamsin’s website.

Tour trailer:

We all give our spare time to run folking.com. Our aim has always been to keep folking a free service for our visitors, artists, PR agencies and tour promoters. If you wish help out and donate something (running costs currently funded by Paul Miles), please click the PayPal link below to send us a small one off payment or a monthly contribution.