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 "I hope in this new work, a listener will be rewarded for their patience from a cold, glacial ascent by a slowly thawing, burning hope” Erland Cooper






  • Conceptual Art, Storytelling & Music converge in an album on themes surrounding the Climate Crisis
  • The piece was produced using drastic temperature changes, from sub-zero to the hottest on record
  • Featuring UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage & other voices including activist Greta Thunberg & multi-award-winning conservationist Dara McNaulty
  • A percentage of the copyright share will go to Brian Eno’s EarthPercent charity


5 MAY 2023 (TORONTO, ON) — Prolific Scottish composer Erland Cooper, who merges music with evocative storytelling and conceptual art will release his brand new album Folded Landscapes this Friday (May 5th). The album pushes the composer's connection to the environment further into unchartered new realms.. Cooper performs the new album in full, alongside Scottish Ensemble in four intimate sold-out shows at  Barbican on the 11th-13th of May.


Last week, Cooper, a multi-faceted artist,  staged a slow protest surrounding the narrative of climate change.  In a gentle act of patience, Erland remained beside a  tall, monolithic ice sculpture for over 12 hours observing as the structure melted, to engage with the project's themes of the natural world, time, temperature and the slow violence of change.  The event was a prelude to the Barbican shows which will feature conceptual art and storytelling.


Folded Landscapes, sees Erland work through the lens of urgent observations surrounding climate change creating a potent, experimental new work. In early 2022, Erland began a collaboration with Scottish Ensemble, a collective of pioneering musicians crossing art forms, to champion music for strings.


In his fourth studio album, Erland presents his observation on climate change; his belief in the need to come together and take positive action.  Using drastic temperature changes - from sub-zero to hottest on record - he developed this piece for chamber string ensemble, piano, voice, harpsichord, electronics & field recordings.  While the resulting album takes the subject matter and observations surrounding climate change as its underlying theme, it works ultimately as an opportunity to celebrate and cherish the natural world.


The finished album thaws over 7-movements and features UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and other special guests and samples, including activist Greta Thunberg, visual artist Norman Ackroyd and multi-award-winning author, naturalist and conservationist Dara McAnulty leading a murmuration of familiar voices. Field recordings include the California wildfires and crashing glaciers.  Yet, out of the doom and gloom, beauty and hope bloom on Folded Landscapes.


Erland explains "I hope in this new work, a listener will be rewarded for their patience from a cold, glacial ascent by a slowly thawing, burning hope”


Hailed as ‘nature’s songwriter’, for his work celebrating themes of the natural world, place, people and time, the installation Glacier aimed to combine science, music and art to inspire change. While the resulting album takes the subject matter and observations surrounding climate change as its underlying theme. While Erland wants to inspire the audience to consider their role in climate change and the natural environment, no finger-pointing is intended. “I hope it’s more a feeling of inward reflection, ‘How can I waste less, and value more? What tiny thing can I do?’”


At the beginning of his 40-minute work, we hear frosty, mournful strings playing elegant but spare, almost Baroque-styled music, over what sounds like the eerie creaking of the hull of a ship - a field recording of an ice lake in Finland. Sparse strings shiver and eventually start to mimic Cooper’s tape machine, in fast forward or reverse.


For the early movements, Scottish Ensemble was recorded in sub-zero temperatures in an old industrial factory in Glasgow in winter. The punishing conditions mirror the iciness of the music.  By the sixth movement, Cooper has slowly ramped up the temperature in Edinburgh’s Castle Studio, mimicking a great thawing process, all in the name of experimentation that fed into the sound. 


Listen to the final movement and while your heart warms to the uplifting music - an almost classical Ceilidh - there’s a vulnerability that you can’t quite put your finger on. Cooper had purposefully left the recorded audio on ¼ inch tape bathing on his London studio roof on the hottest UK day of all recorded time: 40.9C in July 2022.


The heat, moisture, salt and sunlight worked their way into the fabric of the tape, which has been mixed into the finished work. So throughout the album, as the music is arguably becoming more enjoyable, the underbelly is it has much less fidelity, tarnished by burning with crackles and pops. These changes creep up surreptitiously on the listener and are ever more apparent in the final Movement 7. This acts as an epilogue to the preceding movements, where ambient guitar from Leo Abrahams undulates while the final notes of soloist Daniel Pioro linger in an achingly poignant resolve.


Acting in some way as a poetic navigator, an extremely moving addition to the album is from Simon Armitage.  Armitage offered up some poems, which Cooper immediately put to melody.


Simon Armitage explains, “It was a natural fit. Erland is a poet who works with the language of music; finding and folding words into the landscapes of his compositions was a near-spontaneous happening. If geology could speak its dreams and geography could sing in its sleep, this is what it would sound like.”


Human responsibility and deep ecology weigh most heavily on the tipping point in the record, a powerful fifth movement. It starts with field recordings of burning wildfires and sounds of news reports of Europe’s hottest day, all these voices coming at the listener in a cacophony of alarm.  It morphs into a tastefully chosen section of Greta Thunberg’s landmark U.N summit speech (New York, September 2019), before the euphoric ascending arpeggios and soprano vocals herald a sense of hope. Ending with a murmuration of voices in multiple languages led by young naturalist Dara McAnulty stating, “I feel a responsibility towards it” with children’s voices asking the listener to waste less and value more, to celebrate and cherish. It is as effective as a call to arms can be.


“Perhaps it is often between despair and the spirit of hope, that good solutions tend to show themselves best?”, asks Cooper


While Cooper aims to inspire an audience to consider their role in climate change and attitudes towards the natural world, no finger-pointing is intended. “I hope it’s more to evoke a feeling of inward reflection, ‘How can I simply waste less, and value more? What things can I do within this echo chamber of opinion?’”


A percentage of the copyright share will go to Brian Eno’s EarthPercent charity as a beautiful way of embedding the planet as a stakeholder in musical creativity and raising money for climate/environmental organisations. The Earth’s share of the song - and its income - will be directed to EarthPercent to redistribute to organisations tackling the climate crisis.


Erland Cooper’s Folded Landscapes is out May 5th via Mercury KX



For Tickets visit


London, Barbican, The Pit Theatre

Thursday 11th May Premiere

Friday 12th May Performance #2

Saturday 13th May Performances #3 & #4


Monday 15th May Edinburgh Assembly Rooms

Tuesday 16th May Glasgow SWG3

Sunday, 17th September Norwich Norwich Arts Centre

Monday, 18th September Brighton Komedia

Tuesday, 19th September Bristol Redgrave Theatre

Wednesday, 20th Sept Manchester The Stoller Hall

Thursday, 21st September Leeds Left Bank

Friday, 22nd September Gateshead Sage Gateshead

Saturday 23rd September      Aberdeen  Aberdeen Music Hall - Just Announced

Sunday 24th September Lancaster Library

Saturday 16th July  - Hebden Bridge Hebden Bridge Trades Club (on sale soon)

Saturday 5 November  Hamburg Elbphilharmonie - Just Announced

Sunday 7 November  Berlin Prachtwerk - Just Announced

Monday 8 November  Hasselt Cultuurcentrum Hasselt - Just Announced

Tuesday 9 November  Leuven 30CC

Monday 10 November  Paris Les Trois Baudets




SIDE A     

  1. Movement 1
  2. Movement 2
  3. Movement 3
  4. Movement 4

SIDE B      

  1. Movement 5
  2. Movement 6
  3. Movement 7




  1. Movement 1
  2. Movement 2
  3. Movement 3
  4. Movement 4
  5. Movement 5
  6. Movement 6
  7. Movement 7

Deluxe Album - DSP

Disc 1

  1. Movement 1 - Pt. 1
  2. Movement 1 - Pt. 2
  3. Movement 2 - Ft. Simon Armitage
  4. Movement 3 - Pt. 1
  5. Movement 3 - Pt. 2 - Ft. Simon Armitage, Josephine Stephenson
  6. Movement 4
  7. Movement 5 - Pt. 1
  8. Movement 5 - Pt. 2 - Simon Armitage, Josephine Stephenson
  9. Movement 5 - Pt. 3
  10. Movement 6 - Simon Armitage, Josephine Stephenson
  11. Movement 7 - Pt. 1 - Leo Abrahams
  12. Movement 7 - Pt. 2 - Ft. Daniel Pioro


Disc 2


  1. Movement 1 - Pt. 1 - Instrumental
  2. Movement 1 - Pt. 2 - Instrumental
  3. Movement 2 - Instrumental
  4. Movement 3 - Pt. 1 - Instrumental
  5. Movement 3 - Pt. 2 - Instrumental
  6. Movement 4 - Instrumental
  7. Movement 5 - Pt. 1 - Instrumental
  8. Movement 5 - Pt. 2 - Instrumental
  9. Movement 5 - Pt. 3 - Instrumental
  10. Movement 6 - Instrumental
  11. Movement 7 - Instrumental


About Erland Cooper

Erland Cooper is a Scottish composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist originally from Stromness, Orkney. As a solo artist, he has released three acclaimed studio albums, with four additional companion albums and multiple EP's, including a trilogy of work inspired by his childhood home, as well as themes of nature, people, place and time. His work combines field recordings with traditional orchestration and contemporary electronic elements. Through music, words and cinematography he explores landscape, memory and identity. He develops these themes further by partnering with artists, writers and poets. Cooper also works across mixed media projects including installation art, theatre and film. Cooper was commissioned to create the original music to soundtrack the Superbloom installation at the Tower of London celebrating The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. He’s widely known for burying the only existing copy of the master tape of his first classical album in Scotland, deleting all digital files and leaving only a treasure hunt of clues for fans and his record label alike to search for it. The tape has recently been found and unearthed by two fans.


About Mercury KX

Mercury KX, launched in 2017 as part of Universal Music Group/Decca Records, celebrates genre-defying, multi-disciplinary artists. Home to acclaimed composers and innovative musicians such as Ólafur Arnalds, Isobel Waller-Bridge, Keaton Henson, Lara Somogyi, Jean-Michel Blais, Lambert and tstewart (aka Machinedrum). Mercury KX curates audio-visual adventures of vast and distinct sound worlds across electronic, modern classical, cinematic, alternative and ambient music. Find out more at: