New music: Poppy Ackroyd

One Little Independent have today announced the return of Poppy Ackroyd with new music for piano. Her fourth album Pause, set to be released in November, is a collection of ten pieces for the keyboard which, in the label’s words, ‘utilize the full instrument, with a mixture of inside piano strumming and playing the keys’.

Evidence of this can be seen in the new track Seedling, and its accompanying video directed by Jola Kudela. She collected small pieces of plants and leaves, submerged them in water and put them in her freezer, then observed the process of defrosting, filming it in time-lapse. The second part of the video was filmed with infrared camera. “I was trying to imagine the process of nature waking up, beginning with a seed, that then slowly transforms itself into a seedling”, says Kudela. “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.”

Poppy gave some background to Pause. “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.”

Watch and enjoy below…while looking forward to Poppy’s full-length return.