British trumpeter Yazz Ahmed has shared her powerful new album, Polyhymnia.
The six-track record began life in 2015 as a work commissioned for London’s WOW! International Women’s Day festival. Polyhymnia—named for an ancient Greek muse of music, poetry and dance—is “a celebration of female courage, determination and creativity,” Ahmed said in a statement, and is thus inspired by female artists and activists.
Opening track “Lahan Al-Mansour” is dedicated to the famed Saudi director Haifaa Al-Mansour, while “2857” honors activist Rosa Parks and “Ruby Bridges” the civil rights activist of the same name. One of the strongest tracks on Polyhymnia is “One Girl Among Many,” which features extracts from Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai’s 2013 speech at the United Nations.
In an interview with Clash Music, Ahmed said she was “struck by the distinctive musical qualities of her [Yousafzai’s] speaking voice. In this composition I extracted the hidden melodies from the phrases, choosing those that made the greatest impression on me.”
Polyhymnia follows Ahmed’s acclaimed 2017 album, La Saboteuse. Stream the new record below: