Organ preview – Critically acclaimed contemporary pianist and composer James Heather is set to perform at St Matthias Church, Stoke Newington, London on the 22nd April in support of his new album ‘Invisible Forces’, released the same day via Ahead of Our Time, Ninja Tune founders Coldcut’s first record label. Influenced by the sensibility of electronic, ambient, orchestral and post-rock music but channelled through solo piano and his classical and jazz grounding, the album follows the release of the critically acclaimed ‘Modulations: EP2’, in 2021.
“Heather’s new album is about becoming aware of invisible forces around us to help deepen understanding of self and our connection to the world, from tuning into the natural world and getting lost in its patterns and energies to gaining more knowledge around ancestral lines such as the concept of epigenetics. It’s about looking that bit deeper into things, into areas that are not instantly visible but are all around us to achieve this. “Composing these songs gave me an anchor to feel more present in life after some troubling times and sent me on a journey to rediscover a kind of wonderment with the world. I hope the Invisible Forces universe will bring warmth to other people too.”
Since the release of his 2017 debut ‘Modulations: EP1’ and the subsequent full length, critically acclaimed album ‘Stories From Far Away on Piano’, Heather has amassed over 120 million streams on the major streaming platforms, reached number 2 on the UK Classical Album Charts in iTunes, number 14 in the Billboard Classical Crossover charts and gained major critical and fan support; notable supporters of Heather’s music include James Lavelle (UNKLE), Nils Frahm, Cillian Murphy, Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder (via his live session he did for them in 2021) and The Cinematic Orchestra, who commissioned Heather to rework their single ‘A Caged Bird / Imitations Of Life’ for their ‘To Believe’ remix album for Ninja Tune in 2020.
His high calibre 2018 ‘Reworks’ remix release, featured reworked original tracks by Sarah Davachi, DJ Seinfeld, Marry, Lattimore, Aparde, Chihei Hatakeyama and Echo Collective further cementing his position as an important figure in the modern classical scene and also highlighted his adroitness at bridging the gaps of his influences. He has collaborated with Dawn Richard, Coldcut, Mumdance and Roger Robinson (King Midas Sound). In October 2021, Heather shared a double single release with Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto with a strings version of ‘And She Came Home’ in the lead up to the Coldcut ‘@0’ ambient compilation on which he also played piano on their new version of the seminal ambient track ‘Autumn Leaves’.”
The album itself can be explored, well at least a rather warm couple of tastes from it, via Bandcamp. Contemporary pianist and composer James Heather’s second album ‘Invisible Forces” is a rich piece of solo piano composition – reflective, quietly engaging without ever needing to demand anything other than your time. Beautifully warm, slowly moving forward in the most rewarding heartwarming of ways. it sounds simple, that is an art in itself, not quite a case of less is more, there is a lot here in the unclutted painterly detail, in the lines taken by the music, in the inviting glow of it all..