Last month saw the release of Poppy Ackroyd‘s Pause, her magnificent fourth album comprising 10 solo piano works that came to life during the pandemic, following the birth of her first child. The extraordinary multi-instrumentalist and composer Poppy Ackroyd has shared a new single from the record called ‘Suspended’. She had this to say about the track:
“It’s about the eerie quiet of a city in lockdown. Walking through Brighton in the early hours of the morning, often with the streets to myself, I found myself imagining what the bird’s eye view of the city would be like. Everything was so still, time almost felt suspended. This track was my attempt to capture that feeling. It is performed with both hands inside the piano, using the instruments strings rather than the keys. The left hand gently hammers the strings repeatedly from above, while the right picks out a plucked melody that floats over the top.”
‘Suspended’ comes with a gorgeous video by videographer Jola Kudela, who comments:
“I knew about the genesis and Poppy’s intention when I started working on the video – empty quiet city, deserted by covid. But I live in London, not in Brighton, so I was experiencing anxiety rather than quietness created by this artificial state of suspension. That’s why I imagined a mysterious presence walking through the city, something that had taken the ownership of our space. But what at first seemed menacing became salvation and escape.
From a technical point of view, I shot the video in the post-lockdown era so it wasn’t easy to find empty streets anymore. So I based most of the process on still images that I projected into simple 3D forms and moved the camera in that space. This process is called camera mapping. The clouds where generated based on VDB objects (OpenVDB is an open-source library comprising a hierarchical data structure and tools for manipulation of sparse volumetric data discretized on three-dimensional grids). It required 3 weeks of rendering at a render farm of 8 computers. It was quite a technical challenge for me, working on my own, but it was very fulfilling to achieve the final result.”
Watch the video below.
Pause is out now through One Little Independent Records.