This November will see the release of Pause, the new album from talented multi-instrumentalist and composer Poppy Ackroyd. After sharing the delicate and delightful first single, ‘Seedling’, she has unveiled ‘Release’, a stunning new track said to be “about the feeling of wanting to run free, and embracing life and love”. ‘Release’ is offered with a video made by designer, creative technologist and long-time collaborator Tom Newell. Speaking about the visuals, he explained they were “made by melting ice with a hair dryer under a macro lens, then using different light sources and a rotating plate to capture different movement and reflections, this video is an attempt to capture some of the beauty of this natural reaction”. Here’s the video.
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.”
2018 started off magnificently with the release of Resolve, the marvellous new album from incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist and composer Poppy Ackroyd, who has been a firm favourite of ours over the last few years. Poppy has unveiled a new video to accompany the magical single ‘Paper’, directed by Tom Newell. Watch it below and by all means, embrace Resolve from the start till the end.
Following the magnificent ‘The Calm Before’, multi-instrumentalist and composer Poppy Ackroyd is enticing us again with her new single ‘Trains’. The track is taken from her forthcoming album Resolve, and it comes with a stunning video filmed in the beaches of Norfolk and Suffolk. Jola Kudela directs.
Poppy Ackroyd has been a favourite of ours for a long time, first conquering our ears with her 2012 wonderful debut album Escapement and the beguiling Feathers which was one of our 15 Album Picks of 2014. Earlier this summer, the marvellous multi-instrumentalist and composer announced a brand new album. Preceding the record, and serving as an enticing introduction to her music, Poppy released Sketches, a stunning mini-album featuring solo piano arrangements of some of her favourite tracks from previous records as well as from four new tracks off the upcoming album. Entitled Resolve, and marking her first full-length album release on One Little Indian, the album will see the light of day in early 2018. “Resolve is about the determination to embrace the good things in life whilst dealing with unexpected and challenging difficulties”, explained Poppy. “Finding the light in the dark, facing sadness and loss head on, and developing a growing inner strength.”
Ahead of the album’s release, we can already hear the magnificent first single ‘The Calm Before’. Speaking about the track, Poppy said this:
“The Calm Before is almost entirely made up of clarinet sounds. The percussion was created using layers of clicking clarinet and bass clarinet keys, starting with a looped and chopped rhythm taken from an improvisation that appears throughout.”
Press play and let yourself get lost in the beauty and serenity of ‘The Calm Before’.
With two magnificent albums under her belt, the incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist and composer Poppy Ackroyd is ready to dazzle us again with a third full-length album arriving this Autumn. Preceding the album, Poppy has just released Sketches, a stunning mini-album featuring solo piano arrangements of some of her favourite tracks from previous records as well as from four new tracks off the upcoming album. Here’s what Poppy said about the recording of Sketches:
“I have loved creating this solo piano album. There are normally all these layers that I use to create a world of sound, that I love to build and sculpt, but there is something really special about communicating simply through the instrument alone. With other layers there is always something to hide behind, with only the piano you can just focus on your technique and expression, everything feels very audible and exposed and that is very exciting, especially in a live context.”
The beautiful and compelling ‘Time’ is one of the new tracks reworked into acoustic solo piano arrangements. Wrap your ears around it now.