'Stillness'

Brighton based composer Poppy Ackroyd has always had an intimate edge to her songwriting.

Across her varied, sometimes intense, always revelatory catalogue her work thrives on hauling down the barriers that would otherwise block up communication.

New album ‘Pause’ however takes this instinct even further. 10 solo piano works, Poppy moves from more standard playing through to something more avant garde.

Out on November 12th, it’s a gorgeous listen, one prompted by motherhood, reflection, and her growing relationship with the instrument itself.

She comments: “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.”

Album cut ‘Stillness’ is a pensive, hugely evocative listen, reminiscent of Bill Evans in places, with its sharpened repetition locating a very beatific sense of minimalism.

We’ve obtained a live video of Poppy Ackroyd performing the song at RAK Studios, and her total involvement with the piece takes it to another level.

At times whispered, at others roaring, you can check out ‘Stillness’ below.

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