Erland Cooper new video for Skreevar from third and final album in his triptych
31 May 2020
ERLAND COOPER today releases the third and final album in his triptych shaped by the Orkney islands where he grew up - Hether Blether is out now on standard and limited-edition vinyl, CD and digitally via Phases.
Directed by long-time friend and collaborator Alex Kozobolis, the new video for ‘Skreevar’ sees Cooper take us on a single shot journey through the narrow streets of Stromness, down to the shore:
Hailing from the archipelago of Orkney in Scotland, the contemporary composer and multi-instrumentalist has so far explored the birdlife (2018’s Solan Goose), the sea (2019’s Sule Skerry) and, on Hether Blether, he turns his attention to the land and its people. Named after a hidden island in folklore, said to rise green and fertile from time to time from the foam. Inspired, in essence, by Orcadian poet George Mackay Brown, filmmaker Margaret Tait and composer Peter Maxwell Davies before him, this final album is a celebration of the Islands’ memory held in timeless landscape, community, myth and mythology. The album looks to the past through the stories of the island and to the present and future through its people.
Cooper recently unveiled a specially created piece featuring over 300 field recordings sent in to Chris Hawkins’ BBC 6Music programme. The field recordings, all sounds listeners had noticed since lockdown began, appear on ‘A Nightingale Sings Outside Our Window’ alongside the voice of Florence Nightingale, Galya Bisengalieva (Solo Violin), Robert Ames (Solo Viola) and Paul Weller:
The new album, Hether Blether, weaves elements of the first two albums in the trilogy, bringing them together in a full circle around the cycles of the changing seasons. Throughout the triptych, Cooper explores a restorative path in the rhythm and poetry of the everyday, deep within a land and community at the edge of the world. On Hether Blether, as on the albums before, song titles are taken from local dialect and nod to the places and stories of the island (‘Noup Head’, ‘Rousay’, ‘Longhope’) as well as the people themselves (‘Peedie Breeks’).
This may be the last in the series, but Cooper hasn’t left the Orkneys behind him just yet. “It’s still with me,” he says. “I’m only just coming to terms with where it’s taken me – from a place of necessary escape, to a very different world.”
To accompany the album, Erland is also making a children’s sheet music book for beginner to intermediate, piano, violin and recorder called ‘Fledgling’. It involves pictures from a local school on the Island, local artists, as well as contributions from nature writers and will be released later in the year.