For Saturday, a listening recommendation for you – from the very top of the British Isles. Thanks to the BBC you can spend half an hour on the Orkney islands right now, in the company of Erland Cooper.
The prolific Cooper has enjoyed a rich run of creativity since writing in a solo capacity about the island of his birth. A trilogy of albums based around the elements, begun with Solan Goose and working through Sule Skerry and Hether Blether, have themselves led to fruitful collaborations with the likes of Leo Abrahams, Hannah Peel and Paul Weller.
This programme finds Cooper journeying back to Orkney for the first time since lockdown, in the company of violinist Daniel Pioro, to celebrate the work of poet George Mackay Brown, a family friend of the Coopers. The two musicians have recorded a substantial three-movement work for violin and strings, but only one reel-to-reel recording exists, and the programme, while celebrating Mackay Brown’s book An Orkney Tapestry, documents its burial in the Orcadian soil. If it is not found beforehand, the piece will be released in 2024 on the Mercury KX label, where Cooper now resides.
For more behind that and many more stories, listen below!