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Benjamin Gustafsson:

The Nature Within

Singer/songwriter Benjamin Gustafsson grew up in the rural countryside of southern Sweden. Introspective and philosophical – he struggled with his mental health for many years, finding solace in music. He developed his artistic voice in isolation. A meticulous and highly critical self-producer.

Ben’s new album The Nature Within – his major label debut – is the culmination of a lifelong journey to understand the inner forces that have shaped his life, and the lives of those around him.

This project required Ben to step out of his comfort zone. To build a community of collaborators – centered on Tambourine Studios in the city of Malmö, Sweden – where he now holds a residency.

The Nature Within navigates the often turbulent, often beautiful, inner world of thought, ideas, and emotions.

Isata Kanneh-Mason:

Childhood Tales

Decca Classics is delighted to announce that pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason’s third album ‘Childhood Tales’ is out now. Continuing her developing legacy with Decca Classics that began in 2019, this album uses Dolby Atmos Technology to capture Isata’s signature virtuosic flair. The first single, Mozart’s Variation 11: Adagio from Twelve Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman”, is out today.

The eldest of the famous musical siblings, Isata’s first memory of playing the piano was as a five-year-old on holiday in the Caribbean and sitting in front of her grandparents’ instrument. With a reputation for inventive programs, expressive performance and accomplished technique, Isata is in increasing demand nationally and internationally and was the only classical artist to appear in TIDAL’s 2023 Rising Artists to Watch.

Isata evokes the magic of childhood in this charming collection of nostalgic music. The album is centred around Erno Dohnányi’s rarely performed Variations on a Nursery Song, expanding the well-known ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ into a truly virtuosic work which takes the theme through eleven musical variations and a fugal finale. Subtitled “for the enjoyment of friends of humour, to the annoyance of others”, it saw great success when it was introduced in the UK in the 1910s, with its witty, kaleidoscopic mix making this a concert favourite for many years afterwards before falling out of fashion – it was subsequently performed almost every year at the Proms from 1920s to 1950s. Isata is joined by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom she previously recorded Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto for her 2019 album “Romance” on Decca.

Freiburger Barockorchester:

Mozarts Mannheim

Mozart’s Mannheim has been carefully curated to give 21st-century listeners an idea of the sound world experienced by Mozart when he visited Mannheim in the late 1770s. The southern German city’s legendary court orchestra made it a go-to destination for 18th-century cultural pilgrims and the Freiburger Barockorchester (FBO) has chosen to paint a musical portrait of Mannheim for its debut Deutsche Grammophon album. Mozart’s Mannheim presents a variety of orchestral and chamber pieces by Cannabich, Danner, Holzbauer, Toeschi and Vogler – including four world premiere recordings – as well as two key works composed by Mozart while he was in the city. The album will be released on 19 May 2023 and the FBO will perform most of its repertoire on 20 May at Schwetzingen Palace, as part of this year’s Schwetzingen Festival.

“The Mannheim court of Elector Carl Theodor was famous for its vast orchestra in which the very best instrumentalists of their day played together,” explains Martin Bail, Dramaturge of the FBO. “That’s why we decided to begin our partnership with DG with music created in Mannheim around the time of Mozart’s visit in 1777-78.”


non e la fine

The new EP non è la fine of renown pianist and composer Yiruma is due to be released by Universal Music after two years since his 20th debut anniversary projects The Rewritten Memories and SOLO. It’s also a release consisting of completely new works for the first time since Room with a View (2020).

The title of the album and the first single ‘non è la fine’ released on April 14th comes from a sense of endlessness and hope found from it. “Writing ‘non è la fine’, the purpose was to empty out. I wanted to create an incomplete piece, where endless arpeggio feels like the main melody” says Yiruma. “The music came to mind in a moment when ‘end-less’ felt more hopeful than the term ‘eternal’. When there is an ‘end’ we prepare and wait for a certain moment and during that time it gives room for some kind of hope” he adds.

Another song ‘la bianca primavera’ is a piano and cello duo piece depicting a moment of season, moving on from winter to spring with snowing cherry blossom petals. The cello part gives the impression of leaving traces across the piano sound as if winter passes by the warm spring earth.

“They may seem unfinished but becomes complete when it’s filled with the listener’s emotion and stories” says Yiruma, wishing the music can be sometimes consolation, sometimes hope and inspiration to the audience.

Along with the release, Yiruma will be back on international concert tours beginning with Singapore in April 2023 and an Australian tour including Sydney Opera House later in the year.

Devonte Hynes:

Master Gardener OMPS

Milan Records today releases MASTER GARDENER (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK) featuring music by acclaimed producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, songwriter and vocalist DEVONTÉ HYNES. Available everywhere now, the album features an original score composed by Hynes for Academy Award® nominee Paul Schrader’s new crime thriller. Included within the 28-track collection is a special cover of S.G. Goodman’s “Space and Time” newly rearranged by Hynes and featuring vocals by singer-songwriter, rapper and producer Mereba. Master Gardener premiered worldwide at the 2022 Venice Film Festival and Magnolia Pictures has released it in theaters today.

Directed by Academy Award® nominee Paul Schrader based on his original screenplay, Master Gardener follows Narvel Roth (award-winner Joel Edgerton – The King, Zero Dark Thirty, The Great Gatsby), the meticulous horticulturist of Gracewood Gardens. He is as devoted to tending the grounds of this beautiful and historic estate as he is pandering to his employer, the wealthy dowager Mrs. Haverhill (three-time Academy Award® nominee Sigourney Weaver – Alien, Ghostbusters, Avatar). When Mrs. Haverhill demands that he take on her wayward and troubled great-niece Maya (Quintessa Swindell – In Treatment, Black Adam) as a new apprentice, chaos enters Narvel’s spartan existence, unlocking dark secrets from a buried violent past that threaten them all.

Anna Lapwood:

Midnight Sessions at the Royal Albert Hall

Anna Lapwood is like no other musician, and after recently signing a major label deal with Sony Classical, she releases her 5 track Midnight Sessions At The Royal Albert Hall EP of film transcriptions - out now - recorded on the organ of the Royal Albert Hall. An album will arrive later this year, as well as a host of prestigious organ recitals and concertos this Spring.

The first single from the EP - ‘Cornfield Chase (From “Interstellar”)’ is composed by Hans Zimmer - is out today (listen here), and you can get to know this extremely exciting and talented artist via her Introduction video here.

Of the EP and first single, Anna comments; “Over the last 11 months I’ve been lucky enough to be let into the Royal Albert Hall in the middle-of-the night for practice sessions on the hall’s magnificent organ. As I’ve explored the strange, beautiful and wonderful colours that it has to offer, I’ve written a set of new film music transcriptions with that specific instrument in mind, capturing some of the magic that I feel in that iconic building after hours. Cornfield Chase is a special one because it started me off on this huge journey of exploration and discovery. I was performing a concert at Temple Church in London, where the Interstellar soundtrack was originally recorded, and couldn’t resist trying a little bit out. I posted a short clip on TikTok and it blew up straight away – I didn’t really look back after that!”

The 27-year-old from a small Oxfordshire village has been making waves with her exciting approach to organ playing, awakening the senses of young and old alike, opening the gateways to classical music and shining a light on an often under-appreciated instrument.

The Sunday Times described her as “a star on a mission and a social media sensation”. The New York Times heralded her as “the world’s most visible organist” while The i declared: “TikTok organist told to ‘play like a man’ is leading musical gender equality movement.”

By day she runs choirs and teaches at Cambridge University’s Pembroke College, practising the organ at every opportunity. By night, her role as Associate Artist of the Royal Albert Hall sees her granted special access to the majestic instrument while most of us are fast asleep. This has led to an entirely spontaneous collaboration with electronic musician Bonobo - one late-night practice session was interrupted by a request shouted up from the stage, which turned out to come from a couple of members of Bonobo’s band. 18 hours later, she was helping them close their show to an unsuspecting audience of 5,000.

Eydis Evensen:

The Light

Icelandic pianist and composer, Eydís Evensen will release her much anticipated second album ‘The Light’ on 26th May via XXIM Records.  Following on from her successful 2021 debut ‘Bylur’, which put her firmly on the map as one of neo-classical’s leading artists and which has amassed over 40 million audio streams to date and her subsequent 2022 EP ‘Frost’, ‘The Light’ further expands on this young artist’s scope for talent and expression, presenting her not only as a pianist, arranger and lyricist but also for the first time as a vocalist.  

Evensen cites two underlying themes to the ‘The Light’: it is both a deep reflection on the rough and rugged landscapes of Iceland and how they have shaped her personality, as it is a personal expression of a sense of hope and brighter times following hardship.  Both are represented by the theme of light – the inner light that guides us and the natural light, so rare in the dark Icelandic winters.  Written from personal experience at a time of relief and closure in her own life, Evensen is passing on here a message of both personal and collective hope and resilience to her listeners that better must come.  Having dealt with personal challenges in the very best way she knows how – at the piano, making music, this cathartic experience of intense composition and performance has culminated in ‘The Light’.



Award-winning composer, pianist, and musical visionary HAVASI announces his second release, Metamorphosis, since signing to Universal Music Group earlier this year. Displaying the exceptional Hungarian artist’s trademark energy and imagination, the ten-track album is mixed by AIR Studios’ Grammy award-winning film scoring master Geoff Foster (The Dark Knight, Interception, Black Swan). It will be released on 5 May 2023 and follows on from the earlier beautifully curated best-of album THE WORLD OF HAVASI

Metamorphosis is the result of an intense two-year period for HAVASI, which was filled with lots of inspiration, personal moments, and time spent in the studio transforming his original compositions into extraordinary music and songs. "The title [Metamorphosis] stands for the infinite possibilities of creating new things all the time. As a musician, I can take very different elements from all genres, from the great classical masters to pop, rock, and now electronic music – it's about change and freedom", says HAVASI. 

The new album features elements of pop, rock, and electronic music as well as a complete symphony orchestra (Budapest Art Orchestra), marking the beginning of an exciting new chapter in HAVASI’s creative output, as he explains: “This was the first time in my career that, as a composer, I used electronic music elements in the centre of some of the tracks and combined them with symphonic sound. This was great fun for me since I have always been a huge fan of electronic music from Vangelis to Avicii. Metamorphosis also symbolizes the transformation of the piano itself, and I think we were able to create some tracks that could change the view of the audience of how a ‘classical piano’ or ‘piano music’ sounds.”  

Conveying an overall message of hope and encouragement to remember our strengths, the upcoming recording features new original compositions that create powerful images and spine-tingling sound experiences. Taking listeners on a cinematic, emotional journey, this is the perfect soundtrack for our emotions, memories, and dreams. HAVASI notes: "The common theme, if you can call it that, is certainly the feeling of hope that resonates in all the songs. And the piano. For me, music has exceptional power."

The variety on Metamorphosis is simply impressive - from gentle, subtly instrumented songs and a childlike lightness to powerful, driven songs of pure energy. ‘Out Of The Woods’ is the opening track of the album and conveys the sentiment that life always goes on, even if the world around us just seems dark. It's also an homage to Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre, and electronic music which have been great influences on the artist. 

Kris Bowers:


Sony Music Entertainment today releases two albums of music from Netflix and Shondaland’s new series and the latest in the Bridgerton universe, QUEEN CHARLOTTE: A BRIDGERTON STORY. Available everywhere now, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (Covers from the Netflix Series) features a brand-new reimagining of “If I Ain’t Got You” by 15-time GRAMMY Award-winning artist and global superstar Alicia Keys. The captivating new rendition, “If I Ain't Got You" (Orchestral Version) by Alicia Keys featuring Queen Charlotte's Global Orchestra was recorded alongside a 70+ piece Global Orchestra, made up entirely of women of color. A powerful companion video for “If I Ain’t Got You” will be released on Netflix’s YouTube channel.
The album further features the series’ six signature instrumental covers of modern pop songs. From creator, writer and executive producer Shonda Rhimes, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is available exclusively on Netflix now.

Ryuichi Sakamoto:

Travesia - currated by INARRITU

Milan Records today releases TRAVESÍA, an album of music by the late composer RYUICHI SAKAMOTO curated by award-winning filmmaker ALEJANDRO G. IÑÁRRITU. Available now both digitally and in vinyl format, Travesía features selections from Sakamoto’s prolific catalogue handpicked by Iñárritu, who famously collaborated with the composer on his Oscar-winning film The Revenant. Originally conceived as a surprise project celebrating Sakamoto’s 70th birthday, the album is the result of nearly two years of planning and six months of meticulous curation by Iñárritu. Now arriving in the wake of the iconic musician’s passing, Travesía, meaning “journey” in Spanish, takes listeners on a one-of-a-kind trip through the last four decades of Sakamoto’s musicmaking career, showcasing his immeasurable influence and lasting legacy – listen here.

Of the project, ALEJANDRO GONZÁLEZ IÑÁRRITU says: When Jean Christophe Chamboredon from Milan Records, and Norika Sora, Ryuichi’s manager, invited me to this project, my first instinct was to resist. Sakamoto’s musical universe is so vast that the responsibility to honor him by choosing only 20 stars from his complex galaxy would be practically impossible. But after finding out that they were planning this as a surprise present for him, I had no other choice but to accept the challenge.

Brandee Younger:

Brand New Life

GRAMMY®-nominated harpist and composer Brandee Younger announces her new album, Brand New Life (Impulse! Records), set for release on April 7th. Out now, the first single off of the Dorothy Ashby inspired album is the previously unrecorded and evocative Ashby composition, “You’re A Girl For One Man Only.” 

Produced by multi-hyphenate drummer and composer Makaya Mccraven, on Brand New Life, Younger celebrates one of her greatest inspirations, iconic jazz harpist and composer Dorothy Ashby. Ashby is widely credited with having asserted the harp’s place in contemporary music, showcasing the traditionally-classical instrument on groundbreaking albums such as Afro-Harping and Dorothy’s Harp. Her unparalleled body of work has continued to be influential for decades and has been heavily sampled and transposed across jazz, hip-hop, and R&B, by artists including Jay-Z, J. Dilla, Pete Rock and Flying Lotus.

Brand New Life is a stunning amalgamation of past and present, combining original works from Younger, select reinterpretations of Ashby’s work, and previously-unrecorded compositions by Ashby. Younger was initially introduced to Ashby’s work through the many hip-hop artists who sampled her music, and now collaborates with some of those very artists on Brand New Life, including the legendary Pete Rock and 9th Wonder. Brand New Life also includes features by Meshell N’degeocello, Mumu Fresh, and production by drummer and composer  Makaya McCraven. Younger says of the album, “Creating this album has been a longtime dream of mine. I really had a lot of living to do before being able to execute it, genuinely. The finished product is truly representative of where I am now and it is an honor to convey that through the compositions of one of my heroes.”

Cast Albums:


Sony Masterworks Broadway, along with show producers Mike Bosner and Jason Owen, debut Shucked - Original Broadway Cast RecordingAvailable digitally now and on CD on June 9, the album features music from the Broadway show, including “Independently Owned,” the showstopper performed by Alex Newell; “Somebody Will,” a fierce country ballad performed by Andrew Durant; and “Maybe Love,” a tender love song performed by Caroline Innerbichler.  Also featured on the Shucked cast album are two bonus tracks “Friends” and “Maybe Love” performed by Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally. 

Shucked, Broadway’s homegrown new musical comedy, is now nominated for 9 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical (Robert Horn), Best Original Score (Brandy Clark & Shane McAnally), Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Kevin Cahoon, Alex Newell), Best Scenic Design (Scott Pask), Best Sound Design (John Shivers), Best Direction (Jack O’Brien) and Best Orchestrations (Jason Howland).

Cinco Paul:

Schmigadoon - Apple TV Original Soundtrack

Milan Records today releases the soundtrack to Season 2 of “SCHMIGADOON!,” the Apple Original musical comedy series from Universal Television executive produced by Lorne Michaels. Available everywhere now, the album features original music and lyrics by the show’s co-creator, executive producer, and showrunner Cinco Paul, who has crafted all-new songs to match the Season 2 setting of “Schmicago,” a reimagined world of musicals from the ‘60s and ‘70s.  The album’s 26 vocal tracks are performed throughout the series’ 6 episodes by returning stars Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key, Ariana DeBose, Martin Short, Dove Cameron, Jaime Camil, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Ann Harada, Jane Krakowski, and Aaron Tveit as well as season two newcomers Tituss Burgess and Patrick Page. Season 2 of “Schmigadoon!” is now streaming in its entirety on Apple TV+.

Samara Joy:

Linger Awhile - Deluxe Edition

Samara Joy has announced Linger Awhile (Deluxe Edition) an expanded version of her GRAMMY-winning album Linger Awhile featuring never-before-heard b-sides and alternate arrangements, and Linger Awhile Longer, a D2C Exclusive LP with bonus material. Both editions include brand new music plus fan-favorites like “Guess Who I Saw Today” and “Can’t Get Out Of This Mood,” which Samara performed at the GRAMMY Premiere Ceremony earlier this year before taking home awards for Best New Artist and Best Jazz Vocal Album. While reinvigorating beloved songs and standards for a fresh audience with her timeless, irresistible sound, the 23-year-old is quickly making the case to join the likes of Sarah, Ella, and Billie as the next mononymous singing sensation recorded by the venerable Verve Records. 
Since Samara’s GRAMMY wins, Linger Awhile has reached #1 on Amazon Best Sellers, Billboard Jazz, Pandora Trendsetters, iTunes and Amazon’s digital-music and CD-sales, and more. Samara has garnered over 2 billion views on TikTok, and her tour dates all over the world are selling out, including highly-anticipated headline shows at NYC’s Village Vanguard that kicked off this week. Simultaneously, outlets like Vulture are declaring “jazz is back, baby” and notable artists like Sam Smith ( are calling her “my favourite female voice right now.” Jimmy Fallon said “unbelievable… she is my jam!” before Samara’s late night TV debut performance on The Tonight Show. Other recent TV appearances include the TODAY Show, MSNBC, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Drew Barrymore.
Recorded at Sear Sound in New York City by Chris Allen and produced by Matt Pierson, Linger Awhile features exemplary musicianship by Pasquale Grasso (guitar), Ben Paterson (piano), David Wong (double bass), and Kenny Washington (drums). The tracklist is comprised of treasured songs by George Gershwin (“Someone To Watch Over Me”) and Thelonious Monk (“Round Midnight”), and also includes Samara’s original lyrics on Fats Navarro’s “Nostalgia (The Day I knew).” While paying homage to those who came before her, Samara is introducing a new audience to standards several times older than she is with her “one of a kind voice” and “ageless talent” (CBS Mornings).

Alexis Ffrench:


This poignant & emotional body of work features five tracks, including original compositions Peace, St Andrews and When The Bells Ring, inspired by the untouched beauty of nature, and gorgeously arranged versions of Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze and Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.

Alexis’ deep reverence for nature shines through in every note of his solo piano EP, drawing inspiration from his personal experiences exploring the stunning landscapes of the Scottish Highlands with his youngest son Jobim. Alexis effortlessly weaves together his interpretation of the soothing sounds of nature with his signature classical-soul style. 

The EP is not only a celebration of the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural world, but also a call to action to protect our planet for future generations.

Zoe Ackah:

This Hen

Singer-Songwriter Zoe Ackah (pronounced Zow-ee Ah-kah) releases her sophomore album This Hen, and announces her Toronto album release show on May 31st at The Cameron House with special guests Katey Morley and Steve York. This Hen is a collection of 8 original songs - steeped in classic country - written and produced by Zoe, including the brand-new single "This Hen (Is Starting To Hate Men)". "Not all men, not individual men, just men as a collective body,” Zoe explains. Sure to draw the ire of 50% of the world’s roosters, this song is an interrogation of the patriarchy, sung from the perspective of a chicken from the familiarity of her coop. A banger of a tune, with all the cluckin’ and pluckin’ you’d imagine from a song made inside the barnyard that is a mother’s daily life. Listen & buy the new album here.

The album also features the catchy lead single "Gotta Stop Loving You (But I Can't)" - a song that tells a very familiar tale of self-inflicted heartbreak, "I Miss You (But My Aim is Getting Better)" - a quirky old-fashioned ballad inspired by corny punchlines from Zoe’s Grandfather’s personal writings, discovered after his death, and "Just A Trickle, Just A Nickel" - a Country tune with a Reggae twist that considers the lives of homeless women. The album includes a duet with John Borra called "Let Somebody Love You". Read the track by track here.

The album features an A-list of Toronto musicians including Kevin Breit, Ian de Souza, Rebecca Hennessy, and Davide Di Renzo. Full album credits are here.

Zoe’s work resists any attempt at genre pigeonholing. Stylistic eclecticism is rooted deep in her musical soul and her unique and agile voice has many faces. “I have been in every type of singing situation you can imagine, and that has given me the flexibility to follow my imagination,” she explains.

The new music has garnered buzz from Americana UK, Canadian Beats, CBC Radio One "Fresh Air", CFMU's "Freewheelin' Folk", Corby's Orbit, COVE FM's "When We Wake", Exclaim, FYI Music News, Just Us Folk, Out of the Woods Radio, Slow City, Tinnitist, UMFM and more.

Randall Goosby:

Max Bruch - Florence Price Violin Concertos

On May 19, 2023, dynamic American violinist Randall Goosby releases his keenly awaited second album with Decca Classics: Randall Goosby, Yannick Nézet-Séguin • Max Bruch & Florence Price Violin Concertos. Out today is the album’s first single, Adoration (arr. Jim Gray for Violin and Orchestra) by Florence Price.

The recording is an impressive collaboration with the Grammy Award-winning partnership of Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra cementing Goosby’s ever-growing stature as a multifaceted talent. Building on his debut album Roots (2021), which celebrated Black classical composers, this album showcases the trailblazing composer Florence Price and German romantic composer and conductor Max Bruch.

Goosby says, “I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to record three stunning concertos with Yannick
Nezet-Seguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra. I fell in love with Bruch Concerto No. 1 when I was a kid, and it’s one of those pieces that just doesn’t get old. It is loaded with drama, excitement, heartbreak, and everything in between. What a joy it was to record this all-time favorite with the lush and expressive sound of the Philadelphia Orchestra behind me!

Erland Cooper:

Folded Landscapes

Radical Scottish composer Erland Cooper, who merges music with evocative storytelling and conceptual art, today announces his ambitious fourth studio album ‘Folded Landscapes’. Hailed as ‘nature’s songwriter’, for his work celebrating themes of the natural world, place, people and time, ‘Folded Landscapes’ pushes Cooper's connection to the environment even further into unchartered new realms.

‘Folded Landscapes’, to be released on 5th May on Mercury KX, sees Cooper work through the lens of urgent observations surrounding climate change creating a potent, experimental new work. In early 2022, Cooper began a collaboration with Scottish Ensemble, a collective of pioneering musicians crossing art forms, to champion music for strings. The announcement coincides with Erland’s European tour. Tickets for the show go pre-sale on the 1st March via

In his fourth studio album, Cooper presents his observations on climate change; his belief in finding solutions to complex problems between despair and the spirit of hope. Using drastic temperature changes - from sub-zero to hottest on record - he developed this piece for chamber string ensemble, piano, voice, harpsichord, electronics & field recordings.  

The finished album figuratively and literally thaws over 7-movements and features UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage along with other special guests and samples, including activist Greta Thunberg, visual artist Norman Ackroyd and multi-award winning author, naturalist and conservationist Dara McNaulty leading a murmuration of familiar voices. Field recordings of the natural world include the California wildfires and crashing glaciers. Yet, out of the doom and gloom, beauty and hope bloom on Folded Landscapes.

Cooper explains "I hope in this new work, a listener will be rewarded for their patience from a cold, glacial ascent by a slowly thawing, burning hope”

With science running in his blood – Cooper’s father was a zoologist graduate, his mother zoology and geography - the composer married his music and practice to the physical recording process; the temperature in which the musicians recorded mimicked the temperature of the piece. At the beginning of this 40-minute work, we hear frosty, mournful strings playing elegant but spare, almost Baroque-styled music, over what sounds like the eerie creaking of the hull of a ship - a field recording of an ice lake in Finland. Sparse strings shiver and eventually start to mimic Cooper’s tape machine, in fast forward or reverse.

For the early movements, Scottish Ensemble were recorded in sub-zero temperatures in an old industrial factory in Glasgow in winter. The punishing conditions mirroring the iciness of the music.  By the sixth movement Cooper has slowly ramped up the temperature in Edinburgh’s Castle Studio, mimicking a great thawing process, all in the name of experimentation that fed into the sound.  

Listen to the final movement and while your heart warms to the uplifting music - an almost classical Ceilidh - there’s a vulnerability that you can’t quite put your finger on. Cooper had purposefully left the recorded audio on ¼ inch tape bathing on his London studio roof on the hottest UK day of all recorded time: 40.9C in July 2022.

The heat, moisture, salt and sunlight worked its way into the fabric of the tape, which has been mixed into the finished work. So throughout the album, as the music is arguably becoming more enjoyable, the underbelly is it has much less fidelity, tarnished by a burning with crackles and pops. These changes creep up surreptitiously on the listener and are ever more apparent in the final Movement 7. This acts as an epilogue to the preceding movements, where ambient guitar from Leo Abrahams undulates while the final notes of soloist Daniel Pioro linger in an achingly poignant resolve.

“The album examines a sort of slow violence. There is a juxtaposition to the music, asking the question, how do we get from A to B without noticing landmark things, whether in the personal or natural world. The tape machine itself activates and concludes the piece and at times the musicians  are playing often complex new, orchestral articulations, mimicking the mechanics of tape rewinding and fast-forwarding through a timeline, perhaps over 100 years of temperature records”, explains Cooper further.
While the resulting album takes the subject matter and observations surrounding climate change as its underlying theme, it works ultimately as an opportunity to celebrate and cherish the natural world.

Acting in some way as poetic navigator, an extremely moving addition to the album is from Simon Armitage. Cooper wrote to the Poet Laureate, asking if he had anything along these themes to be sung by a soprano (acclaimed French/British composer Josephine Stevenson) and Armitage offered up some poems, which Cooper immediately put to melody. On hearing his words sung for the first time, Armitage was moved to tears. He said, ‘You found some of the rhythm in how I wrote it.’ Before he left, Cooper suggested he also record Armitage reading the poem himself.

Simon Armitage explains, “It was a natural fit. Erland is a poet who works with the language of music; finding and folding words into the landscapes of his compositions was a near-spontaneous happening. If geology could speak its dreams and geography could sing in its sleep, this is what it would sound like.”

Human responsibility and deep ecology weigh most heavily on the tipping point in the record, a powerful fifth movement with the most overt story-telling commencing side B. It starts with field recordings of burning wildfire and sounds of news reports of Europe’s hottest day, all these voices coming at the listener in a cacophony of alarm.

It morphs into a tastefully chosen section of Greta Thunberg’s landmark U.N summit speech (New York, September 2019), before the euphoric ascending arpeggios and soprano vocals herald a sense of hope. Ending with a murmuration of voices in multiple languages led by young naturalist Dara McNaulty stating, “I feel a responsibility towards it” with children’s voices asking the listener to waste less and value more, to celebrate and cherish. It is as effective as a call to arms can be.

“Perhaps it is often between despair and the spirit of hope, that good solutions tend to show themselves best?”, asks Cooper
To add to the already ambitious undertaking, this conceptual album project will also be experienced live, with its UK premiere at the Barbican announced for 11th, 12th and 13th of May 2023.  Cooper has  designed a live show to feel like part gallery installation and part concert when he takes over the Pit Theatre in the hull of the building and will perform the album in full.  Following the Barbican premiere Cooper will also perform dates in Scotland, England and Europe.  While Cooper aims to inspire an audience to consider their role in climate change and attitudes towards the natural world, no finger-pointing is intended. “I hope it’s more to evoke a feeling of inward reflection, ‘How can I simply waste less, and value more? What things can I do within this echo chamber of opinion?’”

A percentage of the copyright share will go to Brian Eno’s EarthPercent charity as a beautiful way of embedding the planet as a stakeholder in musical creativity and raising money for climate/environmental organisations. The Earth’s share of the song - and its income - will be directed to EarthPercent to redistribute to organisations tackling the climate crisis.

Erland commented, "I often write with the natural world as my collaborator, whether with the soil or the elements themselves, birdsong or simply a sense of place in mind. The earth being credited as a co-writer and further still, as a producer of a new work, seems an entirely befitting courtesy to me. There is of course a

Paul Hughes:

My Lucky Stars

Singer Paul Hughes is in the midst of recording a new album of songs written by Nashville’s Byron Hill. Hill who has worked for such greats as Ray Charles and Kenny Rogers, also penned George Strait’s first number one hit, Fool Hearted Memory. Produced by Sal Oliveri (PINK) the tracks are being recorded at legendary Capitol Records Studio in Los Angeles where the likes of Frank Sinatra and so many other greats made hit songs. Paul Hughes would now like to share 3 of these songs with you. ‘My Lucky Stars,’ ‘I Bet You Weren't Expecting This,’ and ‘Then Came You’ Born in Manchester England. Paul Hughes is an exceptional talent who exudes style and poise.

June Release: Paul Hughes - My Lucky Stars

Joep Beving:


Berlin, 5 May. As Joep Beving celebrates the landmark achievement of surpassing one billion streams across his UMG catalogue, he unveils the four-track Post EP. His latest Deutsche Grammophon release includes the eight-minute single version of Post, two different edits of the track and a remix. Also out today are the 10-inch vinyl version of the Post single and an e-single featuring the upbeat Delyrian Remix, available in Dolby Atmos.  

Speaking about the remix, for which he’s added his own lyrics, Beving says: “I’m known for melancholy music so I deliberately chose to do something cheerful that people can dance to. It’s like something you’d hope to hear at a summer festival, something that is joyful and hopefully gets the message across that life is worth living.” 

Five years in the making, Post is a work full of rich instrumental colour that evolved organically and collaboratively. Beving worked with Luke Flowers (piano, synthesiser, percussion), Tugce Albayrak (ney flute), and members of Bulgarian Voices Berlin, Scoring Berlin and Filmorchester Babelsberg. They recorded the piece from different locations, using state-of-the-art streaming software. Beving then joined forces with Dutch writer-director Hugo Keijzer (The Occupant) and production company MikeTeeVee to create a moving short film set to and inspired by his music.  

Premiered on Beving’s YouTube channel on Monday, Keijzer’s short film reflects the relationship between a mother and her teenage daughter (played by Renáta Martinová and Klara Müller). The young girl is engulfed by the darkness of depression and anxiety, but when her mother takes her out of the city and into the countryside, she starts to make progress towards recovery. 
“I always felt Post needed to be a soundtrack to a story,” says Beving. “I was waiting for the story to reveal itself.” Together, music and images send out a message of love and hope for anyone struggling with the challenges of life today.

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