Erland Cooper Folded Landscapes

Mercury KX
5th May 2023

Format Info

Black Vinyl LP
1LP (Recycled vinyl, Encased in a compostable bag)
1CD (encased in a compostable bag)
Indies Black Vinyl LP (with print)
1LP + Litho Print

Groundbreaking Scottish composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper shares his ambitious fourth studio album Folded Landscapes. Known for merging modern classical-electronic music with evocative storytelling and conceptual art, Erland shares his urgent observation on climate change, temperature and time. This poignant chamber string work figuratively and literally thaws over seven movements, unfolding with electronics, poetry, soprano, piano, harpsichord, field recordings and samples. The work features Scottish Ensemble, UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and other voices including activist Greta Thunberg, multi-award winning conservationist Dara McNaulty and & visual artist Norman Ackroyd. Field recordings of the natural world include the California wildfires and crashing glaciers.

The creative process mimicked the rising temperature of the piece from glacial to a threatening burn – musicians were recorded in subzero temperatures and the audio master tape was sun-burnt on the hottest day in UK history. The heat, moisture, salt and sunlight worked its way into the fabric of the tape, which has been mixed into the finished work, underscoring the work with an unsettling burn that crackles and pops.

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.

In Spring 2021, Cooper planted the only existing copy of his album on tape in Orcadian soil, near his childhood home. An eccentric 18-month quest followed with several clues found in Erland’s interviews, across his social media, website and newsletter released every equinox and solstice since he announced nature’s involvement in his album’s sound. Whilst on holiday this month, two delighted locals flexed their detective skills to unearth the nature nurtured tape after following the idiosyncratic treasure hunt from the very beginning. The tape, drying on the top of Victoria and Dan’s kitchen cupboard, will now start a long, slow ‘dry out’ walk back to London’s Barbican via a series of local record shops, where it will be on display alongside its accompanying artefacts until 2024. We’ll be displaying the only existing copy of the music & original artefacts in the shop for all of April.

Other Releases by Erland Cooper