Erland Cooper's third and final album in a trilogy of releases shaped by the islands where he grew up. Hailing from the archipelago of Orkney in Scotland, the contemporary composer and multi-instrumentalist has explored the birdlife (2018’s Solan Goose), sea (2019’s Sule Skerry) and, on Hether Blether, the land, manifesting an immersive collection of music, words and imagery.
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. Hether Blether weaves elements of Solan Goose and Sule Skerry, 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 every day, 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, which translates as ‘children’). Visual artist Alex Kozobolis has directed three films that accompany the release, set in Orkney. In the spirit of community, there are numerous collaborations on the album, including contributions from the renowned Scottish poet and novelist John Burnside, documented by the recent BBC Radio 4 programme, Wild Music, and Scottish musician Kathryn Joseph and Hinako Omori, among many more.
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