Australian composer Sophie Hutchings stays with the Preserved label for her fifth full length album Yonder. Easily placed in the shelf with Dustin O'Hallaron, Max Richter and Nils Frahm, Hutchings crafts delicate and solitary pieces that tilt the modern classical genre into ambience and cinematic solemnity.
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A piano is nice. Sometimes you can play it and it sounds like the whole room around it. Sometimes it sounds like a whole region of mountains and shrubbery and the like; I remember listening to the wonderful Madeleine Cocolas record on FutureSequence last year and imagining someone making neo-classical in a valley of snow-tipped hillside, kinda like that Vanessa Carlton music video but by an ambient person. Listening to Sophie Hutchings new record, the splendid ‘Yonder’, I get the same feeling of a whole setting being paved out of the notes: it feels both indoorsy and massively pastoral, as if she’s playing piano from an open-air living room in the Lake District.
For lovers of serene neo-classical, this one is a bit of a pile-on: Hutchings’ playing is deeply emotive, constantly moving along heart-melting melodies, while additive flourishes of strings occasionally make their way into the distance, looking over her shoulder with a heavy sigh. It’s pretty much in that vein the whole way, the tunes separating what feels like a full-bodied suite of lovely playing. In a way, the production makes me think of Sakamoto doing a piano score -- big and bolded, it still feels like it belongs to one person alone.
Forget Nils Frahm and piano day -- I feel like you should be required to have a piano license to make this beautiful a sound.
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- Yonder by Sophie Hutchings
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