TUNE Poppy Ackroyd - Paper
Haunting new single Paper (Impacts 4th May)
Brand new album RESOLVE OUT NOW
ONE LITTLE INDIAN RECORDS
“Ackroyd’s most rewarding collection.”
“Resolve puts her comfortably on par with neo-classical giants Nils Frahm, Max Richter and Hauschka.”
“Occupying a space somewhere between Nils Frahm and warped electronic composer Anna Meredith.”
*** Q Magazine
"It's a beautiful, elongated five minutes or so and Ackroyd makes the whole thing seem completely effortless.”
The Line of Best Fit
8/10 Loud & Quiet
“Poppy Ackroyd can conjure whole worlds of sound out of the barest essentials.”
“…a neo-classical force to be reckoned with.”
“It’s great to see the minimal music of pianist Poppy Ackroyd getting some love.”
London In Stereo
“a stunning listen.”
“…your life needs modern classical composer Poppy Ackroyd.”
On February 2nd, breath-taking post-classical artist Poppy Ackroyd released her first full-length album with One Little Indian Records, Resolve. A classically trained pianist, violinist, producer, and composer, Ackroyd turned heads in the neo-classical world with her previous works Escapement and Feathers, as well as her involvement in Hidden Orchestra (Tru Thoughts).
Having played alongside giants of the genre, Hauschka and Nils Frahm, the unique musician has returned, newly signed to Bjork’s label One Little Indian Records who released her brand new self-produced full-length record - her most ambitious and progressive piece of work to date.
On opening track and new single ‘Paper’, the musician creatively recorded and manipulated experimental beats, born from using paper over piano strings. The ground-breaking track (and the album from which it was born) explores life's constant challenges.
Much of the album is extremely personal to Poppy. In her own words: “Resolve is about the determination to embrace the good things in life whilst dealing with unexpected and challenging difficulties. Finding the light in the dark, facing sadness and loss head on, and developing a growing inner strength.”
In contrast to Ackroyd's previous albums, for which the artist manipulated field recordings, Ackroyd has this time employed guest players on the record, in conjunction with her trademark and unique use of unconventional studio methods. Ackroyd creates percussive textures from traditional classical instruments, and the result is almost the emulation of an entire orchestra, using very few instruments combined with the artist’s incredible production skills.
Ackroyd plays a combination of both upright and grand piano, and even plays the inside of the instrument using fingers, drumsticks and plectrums – and then arranges and multi-tracks the resulting sounds. The artist employed the same technique to record herself playing violin, pianino, harmonium and spinet, as well as record other musicians who played cello, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet and hang. Describing this process, Poppy said: “With the other musicians, I asked them to explore the instrument and to create as many weird and wonderful sounds as they could. I then spent hours sifting through the recordings and choosing sounds and short percussive ideas that I could rearrange and build the track from. The opening of ‘The Calm Before’ is built out of the clicking of clarinet keys and ‘Quail’ starts with eerie sounding harmonics.”
Although a keen collaborator outside of her solo work – having created soundtracks for film, dance, physical theatre and radio – this is the first record for which Poppy has written for and employed other players, including Manu Delago (Bjork, Cinematic Orchestra, Anoushka Shankar) playing hang, Mike Lesirge (Bonobo, Andreya Triana) playing clarinets and flute, and Jo Quail on cello.
Through studying contemporary classical piano works and listening to electronic music, Ackroyd quickly developed her signature compositional style on previous albums, using contemporary pianistic ideas whilst also inhabiting the world of sound beyond the keyboard, using extended techniques to 'play' other parts of the instruments as well. The intelligent artist works by recording improvised contemporary classical piano motifs and then rearranging and manipulating these sounds digitally. The result is a fantastic fusion of acoustic and electronic in a post-classical setting.
Upcoming Live Shows
29th March Piano Day @ Barbican, London
3rd May The Vortex , London
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