ORCADIAN genius Erland Cooper has today revealed that his next musical project will be a collaboration with the vocal ensemble Shards, on an EP again an evocation and a love letter to his home archipelago. It’s to be a digital release of four tracks entitled Egilsay, and follows thus in the conceptual footsteps of his deservedly lauded Orkney trilogy of albums.
He’s also unveiled a first track, “Glimro”, which you can luxuriate in here. In the Orcadian dialect a glimro is a phosphorescent glow, as its sound might suggest. It’s rendered music with incredibly moving vocal beauty. Handle with care, as it’s emotionally charged, almost holy.
Erland says: “From sea pink to the shimmer of the aurora polaris, in Orkney the light shifts so many times a day, you rarely see the same view twice.”
Recorded in recent months, the EP sees the composer reunite with Shards, who contributed so much to last year’s Eynhallow EP. Upon release, it will be accompanied by a short film detailing one evening’s recording session at Erland’s London studio, shot by Alex Kozobolis.
“It was a huge delight to continue our collaboration with Erland this time singing together in person in his intimate studio,” says Shards’ Keiran Brunt.
Erland expands on the thinking behind these new recordings thus: “Song titles are words associated with changing light in local dialect and the cover artwork is a still photograph at dusk of reflections over sand and sea – a hopeful glimmer of tiny, growing estuaries among dark sand patterns. Water and light always find their way to the surface.”
As with last year’s Eynhallow, the EP closes with a poem version. Here Paris-based composer Uèle Lamore and Kathryn Joseph overlay “Glimro” with passages from Keats.
Egilsay follows last month’s Never Pass Into Nothingness EP, his first for Mercury KX, which was inspired by the modernist architecture of The City of London.
Pre-orders are also now open for the currently buried Carves the Runes Then Be Content With Silence, due to be exhumed and released in 2024 unless found by someone else first; read our full story about this musical treasure hunt here.
Erland Cooper’s Egilsay will be released digitally by Mercury KX on November 26th and is available to pre-order here.