Poppy Ackroyd announces new album, Pause, and shares video for lead single ‘Seedling’

The tremendously talented multi-instrumentalist and composer Poppy Ackroyd has been a favourite of ours since the release of her debut album, Escapement, in 2012. So we´re excited to know she has a fourth album on the way entitled Pause. A collection of 10 solo piano works, the record came to life during the pandemic, following the birth of her first child. Poppy explains:

“For previous albums almost as much of the creative process was spent editing and manipulating recordings as it was composing at the piano, however after having my son, I struggled to spend time sat in front of a computer. The only thing I wanted to do while he was still small, if I wasn’t with him, was to play the piano. In fact, much of the album was written with him asleep on me in a sling as I used any quiet moment to compose.

It therefore made sense that this album should be a solo piano album. I used extended technique – playing with sounds from inside the instrument – like I do in my multi-tracked recordings, however it was important to me that every track on the album could be entirely performed with just two hands on the piano.”

Along with the album news, Poppy has shared the delicate and delightful first single ‘Seedling’. The track is offered with a fittingly gorgeous video by videographer Jola Kudela who offered some insight into it:

“I was trying to imagine the process of nature waking up, beginning with a seed, that then slowly transforms itself into a seedling. So, we begin with a frozen environment that encapsulates the seed – it seems trapped and immobilised by the icy world. Then gradually it starts to warm up and defrost, fighting with the power that has been holding it frozen.

I collected small pieces of plants and leaves, submerged them in water and put them in my freezer. Then I observed the process of defrosting, filming it in time-lapse. The technical approach has turned into a form of meditation and confrontation with time. Time-lapse by its nature involves recording long periods of time and changes that happen within the period wouldn’t be normally visible to the naked eye. So in a way it transforms the standard perception of time. You need to sit tight and wait, almost meditating for hours in order to see your final shot.

The second part of the video when the music grows was filmed in time-lapse with the infrared camera. By using infrared I wanted to push the idea of a seed perceiving the world around it even further: IR light isn’t visible to our eyes. The IR filter had cut out most of the visible light (400-700nm) and I was left with a fraction of it (720nm), visible only by extending the exposure time to 2 min per frame. As a result I was able to see a very narrow spectrum of light which is close to the infra-red frequency: a different aspect of electromagnetic radiation that surrounds us.

The post-production process was made on Autodesk Flame and I used a shader to project and manipulate images mapped inside a sphere. It completed my idea of simulating a point of view of a little seed.”

Pause will see the light of day on November 12th through One Little Independent Records. Now wrap your ears around ‘Seedling’.

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