Watch Poppy Ackroyd’s video for new single ‘Suspended’

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.

Poppy Ackroyd releases new single ‘Murmurations’; new album Pause out this Friday

With just a few days to go until the release of Pause, the new album from talented multi-instrumentalist and composer Poppy Ackroyd, she has shared another gorgeous single called ‘Murmurations’. The track is based on the flocking behaviour of starlings and “focusses on big, sweeping migrations, until it fixes on a singular bird’s journey”. ‘Murmurations’ comes with an accompanying video filmed at Rak Studios by Sound Network. Watch it below and grab the below when it’s out on Friday through One Little Independent Records.

Watch Poppy Ackroyd’s video for second single ‘Release’

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.

Pause is out on November 12th through One Little Independent Records.

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’.

Poppy Ackroyd unveils new video for ‘Paper’

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.

Resolve is out now through One Little Indian.