Track: Erland Cooper – A Nightingale Sings Outside Our Window

Erland Cooper, photographed by Alex Kozobolis

To highlight Mental Health week; BBC Radio 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins invited composer and multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper to write a piece of music that highlights how music and sound can help our mental health. The finished track features field recordings by 6 Music listeners made whilst in lockdown, Paul Weller, Galya Bisengalieva (Solo Violin), Robert Ames (Solo Viola), Tom Wraith (Cello), Guy Passey (Clarinet) alongside a 130-year-old recording of the voice of  Florence Nightingale, and mixed by Attica Audio Recording in the fresh air of Donegal.

Chris Hawkins expands, “I’m a long-time fan of Erland’s, he has an amazing way of working magic with sound. Listener’s to my show responded in their droves to our request for their isolation sounds, which he then weaved into this soundscape. It feels like a hopeful musical snapshot full of aural moments, reminding everyone that everyday sounds – that may usually go unnoticed – can lift our mood and help us feel better”

Erland describes this piece “A small and wide snapshot of this moment in time. Part remembrance, part celebration” First and foremost this is an astonishing beautiful piece full of emotion so deep its felt not just heard. Starting with the soar of strings clearly mimicking the flight of a nightingale and Paul Weller reading a quote from Florence before the swirling beauty of the track unfolds. The violin and viola passages are interwoven with bird song, garden sprinklers and even a baby’s hiccup, capturing life during lockdown. I’m not afraid to admit this affected me. Thank you Erland.

Check it out, here

Buy a copy here. 100% of proceeds from the single will be donated to Black Minds Matters UK.

Erland Cooper recently released the third and final album in his triptych of albums shaped by the Orkney islands where he grew up. Hether Blether is out now via Phases.

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