Quinta: Musicians in Residence, China

Quinta is a classically trained pianist and violinist who has worked alongside artists from Bat For Lashes to Penguin Café and has composed music for everything from TV, circus and live animation right through to the Rambert Dance Company. In April 2017, Quinta travelled to China as part of the Musicians in Residence programme – a joint partnership between the British Council and PRS For Music Foundation which transports musicians to new musical settings and gives them an opportunity to explore new ideas and collaborations over a six week residency. Based in Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou Province, China, Quinta explored the rich folk music history of the “Forest City”. She released her second album, The Quick of the Heart, in July 2017 – "Quinta plays virtually all the instruments ... a sound world of extraordinarily powerful emotional resonance."


Introducing Quinta


Quinta in China Blog

Quinta's fascinating diary of her time in China provides an insight into Guizhou Province, Chinese culture and, the challenges of a musician in residence.

"I wondered whether I could manage it," she says. "Parachuted alone into a completely unfamiliar culture, without, in my case, knowing the language and without of course knowing my future collaborators was tough. There was a lot of attention ... the intensity of the spotlight took a bit of getting used to. The cross-cultural dimension of the residency also made for a number of balancing acts. How was I going to navigate my cultural ambassador-type role on the one hand with my ambitions as a visiting artist?"

Following her residency, we asked Quinta a few questions about her time in China and she provided some fantastic answers. Read the full interview, featured in the British Council Voices magazine.


We Can Build Bridges

Quinta's beautiful video, We Can Build Bridges, shows the preparation and culmination of a dance and music performance in China during her residency. This ground breaking collaboration, fusing technology with dance and encouraging Chinese performers to improvise as never before, moved the audience to tears in some cases with one remarking "it was the most creative concert I’ve ever seen.”


Quinta on Twitter

Quinta has been keeping us up to date through her Twitter updates during and after the residency. You can also follow the hashtag #MIRChina for the latest news on the whole programme.


Listen to Quinta

Here's a playlist featuring just some of the music Quinta has been a part of over the last few years. Quinta plays violin on Bat For Lashes' "Daniel". She played numerous instruments on Philip Selway's 2014 album Weatherhouse and you might just make out her musical saw on the track "Don't Go Now". From Quinta's own album, 2009's My Sister, Boudicca, we pick out "The Ballad of the Ice Dancer" and from Collectress you'll hear "Spell". Collectress are Quinta's regular band. 


More music from Quinta


Part of: 
Musicians in Residence