Erland Cooper releases a new single, ‘Peedie Breeks’, via Phases.
Named after the local dialect for “short trousers”, meaning children, ‘Peedie Breeks’
is taken from ‘Hether Blether’ – the third and final part of a triptych of albums shaped by the Orkney islands where the composer and musician grew up.
Of the single, Cooper says: “This song is about noticing, preserving and taking value in some things perhaps we take for granted. It’s about our relationship with the outside world but also the magic of the everyday for us, the generation after us and the generation after them”
In the opening two-thirds of the set of long-players, Cooper has so far explored birdlife (2018’s ‘Solan Goose’), and the sea (2019’s ‘Sule Skerry’).
On ‘Hether Blether, he turns his attention to the land and its people. The album is named after a hidden island in folklore, said to rise green and fertile from time to time from the foam. The composer admits to being inspired, in essence, by Orcadian poet George Mackay Brown, filmmaker Margaret Tait and composer Peter Maxwell Davies before him
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, Cooper 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.
‘Hether Blether’ is set for release digitally and on standard and limited-edition vinyl and CD on 29 May 2020 via Phases.
Where I Am Is Here
Cooper also has a string of live shows planned for later in the year:
24 Sept – Halle St Peter’s, Manchester
25 Sept – Leeds College of Music, Leeds
27 Sept – Hidden Notes
28 Sept – Summerhall, Edinburgh
29 Sept – Summerhall, Edinburgh
30 Sept – St George’s Bristol, Bristol
1 Oct – St George’s Church, Brighton
2 Oct – Gulbekian Theatre, Canterbury
9 Oct – The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Belfast
Tickets are on sale now: www.erlandcooper.com