Andrew Poppy Ark Hive Of A Live

Four Walls
2nd May 2023

Format Info

4xCD Boxset
4 x CDs; 128 page book; slipcase Dimensions: 280mm x 173mm x 23mm Limited edition: 500 copies

Ark Hive of A Live is a 4 CD set of recordings by Andrew Poppy, along with a 128 page book, including writing by Andrew Poppy; an introduction by Paul Morley; other writing by Leah Kardos, Nik Bärtsch and Rose English; and archival photographs.

Andrew Poppy developed Ark Hive of A Live as a place for unreleased music from the 80s 90s 00s and 10s. ‘Live’ in the title indicates these works originated in public performance as opposed to the recording studio — however, these live recordings have been processed, and while they remember their original acoustic vibration are now transformed, transplanted and almost the same.

Ark Hive of A Live isn’t a box set ‘best of’ or mini series. Each disc has been ordered to play like an album, with an indelible ‘suite-like’ order, even if many of the pieces were written at different times and with different production details. Volumes 1 to 4 are focused respectively on: the orchestra with a soloist; a collection of vocal pieces, for ensemble or orchestra; music written for independent ensembles; and the contrast between acoustic music and music which creatively exploits electrical and electronic technology.

The Ark Hive is an ironic meditation on the archive. It brings together element of biography and materials from a lifetime of creative endeavour in sonic, language and visual forms. Tracks, writings, performance photographs and scores: 1+1+1+1 = Ark Hive. The project holds it all together with some irony, because it is aware of the absurdity of the enterprise but plows ahead relentlessly anyway.

“The animating spirit is Poppy’s protean musical imagination, as light as wings beating one moment, thunderous and dark the next. … It’s not just an archive [but] otherwise unreleased works caught in live performance and gently transformed in the editing suite into the components of four well-shaped albums. … Poppy’s music is like Madagascar — you discover species there you don’t find anywhere else.”
— Brian Morton, Wire magazine, on ARK HIVE OF A LIVE