Label: Ahead Of Our Time
Release: Modulations: EP2
Date: May 28, 2021
Artwork By: Suki
James Heather somewhat cautiously tipped his foot into the wide seas of modern classical to test out the waters – after all, there was already an ocean of piano music. This was four years ago now, with his debut Stories From Far Away On Piano, released on Ninja Tune‘s very own Ahead Of Our Time imprint. And those waters responded warmly, welcoming him into the somewhat crowded ecosystem, where he was still a special voice begged to be heard. Heather’s music is deeply personal, a little sentimental, and more importantly, touching. His latest Modulations: EP2 uses muted keys, dusky tones, and dim light textures to create that intimate atmosphere of a friend playing just for you. Indeed, the pieces were recorded in Heather’s home studio, in a single take during this lockdown, built from structures of previously composed melodies, and improvised along the way. “The release follows a journey from the tragic loss of his father through learning to cope, existential rumination and ultimately, optimism…” And the piece “Beginnings” marks a time to start anew…
Beginnings is about emerging from the fog and having the courage to start again. It’s about connecting to the natural world around us as a way to transcend whatever may be holding us back. The art for the release is a photo taken in my studio of a Stargazer Lily opening, photographed by Suki. The photo uses UV light techniques to reveal a fluorescence that is usually hidden. The Stargazer Lily symbolises purity and rebirth and this image is a reminder to me that our inner light is ever-present even though you can’t always feel it.
— James Heather
The five-track EP is released on May 28th, available on all of your favourite streaming platforms.