This gifted multi-instrumentalist’s transformation from indie-folk auteur (see Erland & The Carnival and The Magnetic North) into one of our most elementally-attuned neoclassical composers has been a joy to behold.
Since 2018’s ‘Solan Goose’, an elegiac meditation on the bird life of his native Orkney Islands and the first of a triptych that includes 2019’s ‘Sule Skerry’ and last spring’s ‘Hether Blether’, we’ve seen his searching electronics become ever more poised and distinctive.
For this ambient companion piece to ‘Hether Blether’, Cooper worked closely with renowned Italian producer and recording engineer Marta Salogni. Her deft atmospherics add layers of opaque interpretive mystery to the original recordings, and help bring this body of work to a fittingly enigmatic close. ‘Cairn IV’ in particular is a perfectly weighted choral jewel suffused with the very essence of imperious Orcadian beauty, and plays like a spiritually charged requiem for the pristine landscapes that inspired it.