I am a singer, multi-instrumentalist and composer, and musical director. I work on both large scale and site specific performances, and also on smaller scales and as a creative facilitator. I play guitar, baglama, bouzouki, melodeon, banjo, symphonie, mandolin and a number of other instruments. I am also a solo performer, and producer.
My work is realised through a hybrid of media and narrative techniques, ranging from songs, to performances, to installations.
What is a symphonie? (originally posted for the RISE! May tour)
Below are some selected reviews from sources ranging from participants, to funders, to press:
“It gave me peace of mind to be in the music, the only time I didn’t think about problems” - Stone Flowers Participant
“Pain turned into something very beautiful!” - Stone Flowers Audience Member
“The performers feel that they were being taken seriously in performing ‘proper’ theatre. This was reinforced in the Q&A when performers expressed their pride in working to professional standards. This did not mean necessarily that they were producing professional standard performances, which was neither the aim nor the outcome, but for people with low self esteem and confidence the insistence by Collective Encounters on pushing themselves and each other had clearly been of great importance to participants”. - Clare McManus, Arts Council Independent Assessor, about Other Ways Of Telling.
“The community history of the town comes across – the town is a system which continues and evolves. It’s realistic, but affectionate. It’s not soppy, on occasions it’s quite hard. I can use it to differentiate the town; it’s not a corporate video. It makes us unique and that’s great’ - Steve Cranmer, Ellesmere Port and Neston Regeneration Officer about “Our Town”
“The piece was thought provoking and engaging. The multi-layered story depicted a range of contemporary issues effecting young people within rural communities and was remarkably well told. Sprinkles of humour and bursts of song created a lighter spin on darker and more sinister moments. Indeed, the deliberative style that highlighted contemporary social issues, such as broken families, incarcerated family members and the crude stereotyping of class-based assumptions, was well executed and performed”.- Claire Garrett, Arts Council England, about the Maize Field.
State Of Hysteria (2008)
"This is another fine album. The sound has a more international feel than before thanks very much to the contribution of Jilah Bakhshayesh who takes lead vocal on the superb title track & plays violin & kamanche” **** Rock n Reel
"A powerhouse songwriter with a big heart and a great voice" - Birmingham Post
"Aidan writes and sings with great passion and I found this album quite riveting. Ms Bakhshayesh's spine-chilling performance on the title track is outstanding, but that's the word I'd use to describe the whole album” - The Folk Diary
"Manchester based roots musician Aidan Jolly has crafted a fine acoustic folk album with the added spice of the Anglo/Iranian connection" - Classic Rock Society
"Aidan is a fine folk singer, and has a great gift of crafting a good song" -
System Fault (2006)
“The focus of this album is firmly on the impact this world has on ordinary people and the lives they lead. Quite brilliantly handled - a unique piece of work” Hi Fi + 9/10
“ ‘System Fault’ is a grower album, both musically & lyrically, & well worth the listen” ROCK’n’REEL ✰✰✰✰
"Passion, conscience, intelligence" MAVERICK MAGAZINE ✰✰✰
“An immensely accomplished product, especially so for a debut singer- songwriter. Aidan's extremely capable in both departments, and his work is enviably genre-defying, covering many bases: polished” NET RHYTHMS
"Impassioned, community-centred - [this] powerful set will appeal to the chill-out audience and traditional folk/rockers alike" Musician Magazine
“A good line in sardonic humour & righteous anger, & he allies this to strong reggae & Asian-influenced grooves & some good tunes - an agit-folk poet for the masses” Americana UK
"Looks like the bloke running the greengrocers - sounds like world music sung by Ian Dury" Manchester Music/BBC Radio Manchester
"Aidan Jolly's music is passionate, accessible and an absolute inspiration to listen to. Catch him when you can!" Ann Nicholls, Raise Your Banners Festival, Norwich 2005
Terminal Frontiers (With Virtual Migrants, 2001 - 2007)
“Not just brilliantly executed but downright compelling. This is art with the potential to engage us on deeper levels, and as such this is one of few.” Tim Birch, City Life
"Evocative, metaphorical and at times quite poetic" Guardian "The emotional and political truth is searing" The List, Glasgow
“Compelling” Metro News
“A hybrid of sounds and voices evoking east and west, fragility and
resilience.....memorable and passionate” Art Monthly
“’What if I’m not Real’ is not a piece you walk away from after a few seconds. When you take the time to fully experience it, it makes powerful statement” Joann Patel for Siggraph 2007, San Diego