Welcome to Moon Arkestra, a series of podcasts created by students of the charity University of the Underground’s Moon Arkestra Whistleblowing Residency. This tuition free programme was led by Artist Head of Programme Dr. Aditi Jaganathan from April 2022 to June 2022, as an investigation into whistleblowing as a political action but also an instrument and language.

This podcast was created by King Ali and Zoë as a part of this practice-based residency. Students unraveled the relationships between nation-states, music, political action and displacement. Moon Arkestra was composed of unique multidisciplinary creatives and musicians. Who joined Moon Convoy and toured with Tour de Moon around England, during May and June of 2022. Moon Arkestra members put together a series of experiences, and creative interventions involving political theory and musical practice with this podcast being one of them.

In ‘Reflections from A to Z’, Ali and Zoë discuss a range of topics that have inspired them over the years. 

Ali talks about coaching in relation to sports and music, how imposter syndrome affects confidence, mental well-being and ultimately team working abilities. 

Whilst Zoë talks about how species are categorised in the western science and fantasy realms, mermaids and the impact that classical musical education can have on in beating out creativity. 

Both understand the importance of listening, believing in yourself, re-learning how to be fluid and entering collaborative situations with an open mind-set.

They use percussive and melodic looping extracts from Vee’s sound archive, recorded during Tour De Moon’s Moon Convoy to illustrate how improvision and collaboration are used in music, sports, fantasy and daily life. 

“Hi, I’m Zoe, I’m a mermaid. I like to introduce myself like this because it’s telling a story about the human connection with mermaids and other otherworldly creatures out there.  Saxophone and Cello are my on-land instruments – I haven’t yet learnt to play them underwater – which is why I’m here to jam in space with the one and only Tour de Moon Arkestra.” Zoe

“My name is Ali, also known in Barking as King. Growing up in Barking I found it hard to connect with the over achievers in my area, which lead me to a life of trouble. I’m the oldest son of a family of five kids, so weight has always been on my shoulders to be a man and an achiever. Since the age of 14 I used to miss my lunch break to go to the gym in Barking Abbey School, something I’ve always enjoyed. My family has never seen my passion in fitness and has always try to steer me towards the University route which deep down I hate, but try saying no to a family in my community? It never ends well.

My ambition is to create a league for young people through boxing which can later become an international success. When I started fighting with my friends it helped me battle my own inner demons. At first, I didn’t see it as a business potential, but when a number of people on social media started reaching out, I knew this could become something. In my research, I found that a man in Jamaica started something similar, and it was a success. I believe this would have good potential in the UK, and I would love to start it of in Barking. I’ve also reached out to the man in Jamaica and if this project works in the UK, I’m looking forward to working with him to globalize this project. My plan is to build a platform for young boxers just like in music with likes of GRM daily and Link Up TV.” King Ali