Whilst the book world is becoming replete with nature-based books spanning the farthest reaches of our little planet, Erland Cooper seems to be taking his own approach to the ‘naturemania’ which is gaining more attention and getting people to notice the world around them, by producing his second in a trilogy of albums influenced by his childhood home, the Orkney Islands.
Coopers latest release, Sule Skerry continues the classical, electronic ambience of its predecessor, 2018’s Solan Goose and again takes in the natural landscape of the Orkneys, in this case, it’s Sule Skerry, a remote island off the North coast of Scotland.
Sule Skerry has its own Lighthouse, fishing and local folklore, all of which are contained, acting as interludes to various songs. This makes Sule Skerry somewhat different from other albums I’ve listened to over the years which follow much the same vein as Cooper is not only just creating a soundscape for the island but creating the atmosphere of the island and its folklore contained within one album. It certainly makes for wonderful listening if, like me, you tend to listen while walking, the album just resonates with the Orkneys and how I imagine them to feel.
I wasn’t really aware of Erland Cooper before listening to Skule Skerry, though I’m certainly aware now. My friend who loaned me the album said that Erland Cooper “has made a beautiful 21st-century classic.” Who am I to disagree?
- Sule Skerry by Erland Cooper is available via Phases Records (£9.00 for CD, £16.00 for Vinyl). To order a copy go to www.erlandcooper.com
Founder and Editor of Pilgrim House, currently undertaking a research degree at Bangor University and working on a book on Folklore and early Welsh Christianity. Tom’s other work on music, poetry, health along other writings and images can be found at tomasstanger.com