organ Thing of The Day: Hannah Peel has announced the release of a new album, Fir Wave, out on 26 March 2021 via her own label, My Own Pleasure. Listen to the first track, ‘Emergence in Nature’ right here
“The new album, a sonic shimmer of textures and pulses that switches between raw atmospheric edges and environments, arrives with a fascinating history. As Peel explains, “The specialist library label KPM, gave me permission to reinterpret the original music of the celebrated 1972 KPM 1000 series: Electrosonic, the music of Delia Derbyshire and the Radiophonic Workshop.”
Her process of re-sampling and generating her own new digital instruments, allowing for fresh inspiration in pioneering, experimental electronics from the early 1970s, is at the core of the album. Peel has made connections and new patterns that mirror the Earth’s ecological cycles through music.
Peel explains, “I’m drawn to the patterns around us and the cycles in life that will keep on evolving and transforming forever. Fir Wave is defined by its continuous environmental changes and there are so many connections to those patterns echoed in electronic music – it’s always an organic discovery of old and new.”
As Delia Derbyshire revealed in 2000 to BBC sound engineer, journalist and academic Jo Hutton: “I like new things that don’t seem new . . . as though they’ve always been there.”
Drawing on the Japanese Ensō design movement, the artwork is made by ceramics designer James Pegg, making fresh connections between the artwork, music and original creation of the work. The mixer / engineer TJ Allen (Bat For Lashes, Portishead and Anna Calvi) collaborated with Hannah Peel on the beat-driven tracks ‘Emergence In Nature’ and ‘Ecovocative’. Known more recently for curating and presenting on BBC Radio 3’s Night Tracks, the Northern Irish Emmy-nominated composer and producer’s work is ambitious and forward-looking, adapting and re-inventing new genres and hybrid musical forms. Recent albums include the solo electronic and pop work of Awake But Always Dreaming, which became an ode to her grandmother’s mind as she lived with dementia; the electronic ruralism of Chalk Hill Blue, an album recorded with the poet Will Burns; and the space and the unparalleled vastness of Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia, scored for synthesisers and a 30 piece colliery brass band. In 2019 she composed and recorded the soundtrack for Game of Thrones: The Last Watch which earned her an Emmy nomination for ‘Outstanding Music Composition For A Documentary Series Or Special (Original Dramatic Score)’.
She scored a documentary film about the ground-breaking photographer and model, Lee Miller, which aired on BBC 2 in May 2020 and has just been nominated for a UK Music Producers Guild Award for Soundtrack of the Year for her work on Channel 5’s The Deceived, one of Electronic Sound and The Quietus’s Soundtracks of 2020. Her studio work also includes collaborations with Erland Cooper and Simon Tong as the band The Magnetic North, Paul Weller, John Foxx and The Maths, Beyond The Wizards Sleeve (Erol Alkan, Richard Norris) plus the new Henry Darger inspired project Outsider featuring Philippe Cohen Solal of Gotan Project and Mike Lindsay of Tunng and Lump with Laura Marling”.