[video of the week] Poppy Ackroyd – Trains

Poppy Ackroyd – a trailblazing and beguiling post-classical instrumentalist and composer, has shared the award winning short-film for brand new track “Trains”, taken from her brand new, self-produced full length record “Resolve”, set to be released via One Little Indian Records on February 2nd. Premiered on Nowness, the accompanying time-lapse video perfectly encapsulates the mood of London-based composer Poppy Ackroyd’s progressive and remarkably unique piano piece.

Directed by Paris-trained filmmaker Jola Kudela – the film is set along the beaches of Norfolk and Suffolk – drawing upon raw and peculiar landscapes, rigid with debris – providing the perfect setting for a landscape which erupts from the vibrating body of Poppy Ackroyd’s ground-breaking work. “Trains” simulates the sounds, movement, speed and changing scenery of a train journey. The short-film has won 12 awards, including the Gold Movie Awards and South London Shorts.

“Everything in life is a form of vibration. The musician becomes the creator of the world” explains director Jola Kudela of their captivating and mind-altering new film.

Having played alongside giants of the genre, Hauschka and Nils Frahm, the unique musician has returned, newly signed to Bjork’s label One Little Indian Records, fresh off the back of a mini-album Sketches, and set to release her brand new self-produced full-length record – her most ambitious and progressive piece of work to date.

The artist’s unconventional studio methods led to her use of unusual percussive textures using traditional classical instruments – something that is widely explored throughout Trains. Ackroyd plays a combination of both upright and grand piano, even playing the inside of the instrument using fingers, drumsticks and plectrums. The result is the emulation of an entire orchestra, using very few instruments.

Although a keen collaborator outside of her solo work – having created soundtracks for film, dance, physical theatre and radio – this is the first record for which Poppy has written for and employed other players, including Manu Delago (Bjork, Cinematic Orchestra, Anoushka Shankar) playing hang drum, Mike Lesirge (Bonobo, Andreya Triana) playing clarinets and flute, and Jo Quail on cello.

The ground-breaking album explores life’s constant challenges, and many of the songs are extremely personal to Poppy. In her own words: “Resolve is about the determination to embrace the good things in life whilst dealing with unexpected and challenging difficulties. Finding the light in the dark, facing sadness and loss head on, and developing a growing inner strength.”


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