Juste Survilaite

Galya Bisengalieva submerges into an icy abyss on “Elina’s Fears”

You’ve probably heard Kazakh-British violinist/composer Galya Bisengalieva‘s immersive sound abstractions on some of your favorite recent soundtracks and albums, namely Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool or Frank Ocean’s Blonde. At last year’s Le Guess Who? festival, she was responsible for one of the most breathtaking, visually stunning performances in recent memory.

This year, Bisengalieva was enlisted to soundtrack the Nextflix documentary Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive, a portrait of freediver Johanna Nordblad as she tries to break the world record for distance travelled under ice with one breath. “Elina’s Fears” is a stunning single from it, aptly evoking the strange calm of propelling through a submerged abyss.

“Composing music to Johanna’s story was a completely new challenge,” Bisengalieva says. “Until now my writing has been based on more abstract concepts but now I had the opportunity to engage closely in a clearly defined journey of an individual. A story of the freediver and her attempt to break the world record (men’s and women’s) for distance travelled under the ice, no fins, no wetsuit, on a single breath. What Johanna achieved is truly inspiring and incredibly brave. It would have been extremely easy for me to focus on the jeopardy of her record attempt. However, the story that is being told is her love of the cold water, her sister, family, and the nature she communes with every day. My music needed to reflect the personality of an extremely determined and loving woman.”

Listen to “Elina’s Fears” below and find it on streaming services elsewhere.



You can preorder a physical and digital copy of the album via Galya Bisengalieva’s Bandcamp page. Keep track of her work via her official website, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.