Balladeste string duo sillohete photo duplicated, girl on the left Preetha Narayanan is holding a violin and girl on the right, Tara Franks is holding a cello

Balladeste: ‘Beyond Breath’

Sat 4 December, 20:00
£14.50 + bkg fee

A string duo playing original compositions that are vibrant, experimental, melodic and contemplative in quality.

String duo Balladeste explore the versatility of just two string instruments, leading a new genre of contemporary classical meets alt-folk. Drawing on influences as far ranging as Arvo Pärt, Purcell, Hildegard of Bingham, Philip Glass, as well as the Madras String quartet and Silk Road Ensemble. Yet the result is completely unique, described by Katie Derham of BBC Radio 3 In Tune as defying “easy definition…very very special indeed.”

This special evening will celebrate the launch of Balladeste’s new album Beyond Breath, described as “an extraordinary and beautiful listening experience” by Folk Radio UK, as well as performances from friends, and internationally renowned artists; vocalist and violinist Alice Zawadzki and oud-master Saied Silbak.


“Cinematographers looking for music that can radiate suspense but at the same time is warm and intimate... then look no further”


“Absolutely stunning”

Anita Rani, BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour


A collaboration between Preetha Narayanan (Violin) and Tara Franks (cello), the string duo explore the versatility and sound potential of two string instruments.

Balladeste unique way of writing and weaving in and out of each other’s voices as musicians and composers create a musical narrative that is ancient yet contemporary with traces of Indian classical and folk. Their original compositions that are vibrant, experimental, melodic and contemplative in quality – Songs without words with contemporary alt-folk twist.

Drawing on influences as far ranging as the singular melodies of visionary Hildegard of Bingham, the modal minimalism of Arvo Pärt, harmonic palette of Purcell via the minimalism of Philip Glass. Balladeste‘s musical breadth is equally akin to the likes of Caroline Shaw and Liam Byrne as the Madras String quartet and Silk Road Ensemble.

Alice Zawadzki

Alice Zawadzki is an award-winning Anglo-Polish vocalist, violinist, songwriter and composer based in London. Her work as a performer, collaborator, composer and speaker has seen her gain considerable repute from The Guardian as a distinctive and individual presence on the creative European music scene.

Alice’s rich musical background and “whimsical hyper-creativity” (MOJO Magazine) creates a sound which draws upon her early exposure to New Orleans jazz and gospel with the legendary Lillian Boutté. Her extensive classical training as a violinist, and a continuous exploration of improvisation, poetry, and folk music from diverse traditions, is not one to miss.

She performs extensively as both a soloist and as a collaborator, with headline performances at most of the major UK alternative and jazz venues and festivals, including the Royal Albert Hall, Ronnie Scott’s, the London Jazz Festival.

An awestruck hymn to nature that masters all manner of styles.” The Guardian

Saied Silbak

Palestinian composer and oud player Saied Silbak returns to Grand Junction. Silbak began training in classical piano at the age of four, before moving onto the oud in his early teens in order to delve deep into the nuances at the base of Arabic music. His signature sound, created through his artful ability to fuse these styles together, has seen him perform around the world at festivals and concert series in the UK, Belgium, France, Palestine, Morocco, Argentina and beyond.

Date: 4 December 2021

Start Time: 20:00 (Doors and bar open from 19:00)

Length: TBC

Tickets: £15 + booking fee

Venue: Grand Junction is a new mult-arts venue and community hub based at St Mary Magdalene Church. Our mission is to create and present an eclectic, collaborative programme of music, arts and performance for young people, families and adults. We also have a café serving delicious food overlooking the canal.

Covid-19 Policy for this event 

In line with guidance from the UK Government, this performance is on sale at full capacity.

For the safety and enjoyment of our audiences and staff, Grand Junction will follow a number of Covid safety measures:

If you have tested positive for Covid-19 or are feeling unwell, and experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19 (in particular high temperature, cough, or sore throat), we ask you to stay at home and not travel to the event. Please contact us at to discuss a refund at the earliest opportunity.

We are asking all audience members over the age of 12 to wear face masks whilst in the building, unless exempt. This includes during the performance, unless you are eating or drinking. Staff and volunteers will wear face masks during events and when interacting with visitors.

We encourage all visitors to check in using the NHS Test and Trace app. Although no longer compulsory this will help keep everyone safe.

We advise all visitors to take a lateral flow test on the day of their visit. Staff are also testing regularly.

Where possible, please observe social distancing while moving around the building.

Hand sanitiser stations are positioned around the building.

Careful consideration of entry and exit points to avoid crowding. We will check your ticket at the entrance to the venue to avoid queuing and crowds forming indoors.

Regular cleaning and regular ventilation of the space, to ensure a flow of clean air.

We are not currently asking visitors to show a negative test or proof of vaccination as a condition of entry. If this becomes a mandatory requirement, or government guidance changes, we will update the information on this page accordingly.

Click here to view Grand Junction’s full Covid-safety information. Please feel free to contact us at if you have any further questions.