Holly’s current portfolio is outlined below. For more detail, click on each heading.

The Nine Pure Gifts

“Phenomenal” (Studio Z)

This outstanding collection of reflective and inspirational songs draws on African and Celtic folklore and moves seamlessly between folk, world and contemporary classical styles.

I am constantly fascinated by what it means to be a human being and these pieces reflect on nine archetypal characteristics of our shared humanity.” (Holly Marland)

The 9 Pure Gifts are listed in an old Scottish incantation collected by Alexander Carmichael during his travels to the Western Isles of Scotland.  

I bathe thy palms in showers of wine, in the lustral fire, in the seven elements, in the juice of the rasps, in the milk of honey, and I place the nine pure gifts in thy fair fond face. The gifts of form, voice, fortune, goodness, eminence, charity, integrity, nobility and speech. 

The album is available here https://hollymarland.bandcamp.com/releases

So Many Beauties

Funded by Arts Council England, this project involves creating and performing new artistic works with different groups of older people with dementia and their carers.

In the first project ideas generated through workshops with groups were crafted into an accessible, secular oratorio for mixed voices accompanied by Kora (West African Harp) and ensemble. This unique work was performed at Manchester Cathedral in April 2017 at 7pm. and you can access the live recording of the performance here

You can also watch a film about the So Many Beauties dementia friendly music festival in September 2019 by visiting the webpage here www.somanybeauties.org


Holly has worked as a commissioned composer for BBC Radio 3 and 4, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Manchester Cathedral Choir and RNCM amongst others. Her work fuses folk, wold and contemporary classical genres and often feature voices and Kora.

Listen to

Live recording of You are the Mirror written for Manchester Cathedral Choristers

Living Flames commissioned by BBC Radio 4 for Daily Service Broadcast December

Solo performance

Holly has an established reputation as a versatile multi-instrumentalist, using the Kora, singing, recorder, percussion and storytelling to delight audiences of all ages and abilities. She was nominated as Best Vocalist at Buxton Fringe Festival in 2016 and 2019. Recent highlights include

  • performances and recordings for BBC Music Day (CBeebies Our Song and Zest Fest)
  • broadcasts on BBC Radio 4 (Daily Service)
  • recordings of lute songs and kora solos for Boost Music
  • performances with Delphic for Manchester International Festival
  • tour of New York.

Visit www.koraqueen.wordpress.com for more information.

Listen to


Holly works as a duo with internationally acclaimed double bass player Michael Cretu, creating an exciting fusion of world, gypsy, folk, jazz  and contemporary classical styles. Stringboxes won the Small Ensemble Award at Buxton Festival last year and are in the process of recording their first album. Recent highlights include commissioned performances at the RNCM and Muzeul Taranului Roman, Romania.

Listen to

Stringboxes EP 

Commissioned healthcare projects

Holly pioneered the Music for Health programme at Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester 15 years ago, spearheading the development of music for health practise across the UK through participation in a number of large scale European ventures. An experienced music for health practitioner (and Registered Music Therapist), Holly has since undertaken a number of commissioned projects within healthcare settings ranging from work with children with Autism at Grange School and work with adults with Schizophrenia at Cheadle Royal Hospital to projects with premature babies and their families at Royal Stoke Hospital and the Soundspaces programme in the Paediatric Emergency Department at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital as part of LIME Music for Health where Holly worked up until August 2017.