Monthly Exclusive - Karine Polwart & Pippa Murphy - Lightseekers


Can you believe it, one whole year of the Hudson Club, thank you so much for your support and involvement you are helping our little ecosystem to create new snippets of beautiful music each month and making sure our label can continue to develop and support our artists, we are all so grateful that you are along for the ride.

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So twelve exclusives in and the thirteenth is an absolute corker!! Probably one of Hudson's best known releases is by Karine Polwart & Pippa Murphy, A Pocket of Wind Resistance, if you haven't listened you need to straight away, grab a cuppa first though! Well this month Karine & Pippa have given us three little audio postcards, beautiful short soundscapes and stories, they are really special and we can only hope that these might be the start of some new audio adventures for Karine & Pippa, check out what Karine has to say below.

Andy x

Karine Polwart & Pippa Murphy - Lightseekers


Night Bees

Ballon De Paris

Here is what Karine has to say...

When the boats arrive in at the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth, the first to greet visitors are the Common and Arctic Terns, scores and scores of them, dive bombing in a frenzy to protect their nesting grounds, like a scene from The Birds.

Back in 2013, I was privileged to spend four nights on the Isle, at the invitation of storyteller, Claire McNicol and erstwhile Scottish Natural Heritage (now called Nature Scot) ranger, Dave Pickett. Claire and myself shared our days with the small and hardy community of bird scientists who’re resident on the isle between spring and early autumn, studying Guillemots and Razorbills, Puffins and Shags, as well as the Terns. I wrote a song called Cornerstone in honour of those scientists and the history of the Isle of May. It had its first public outing in the isle’s resonant south horn on the last day of our stay. And I recorded that song later for Laws of Motion, my album with my brother Steven Polwart and Inge Thomson, which Hudson released back in 2018.

I learned the mimetic word “tirrick”, Shetlandic for Arctic Tern, from Inge. My first recollection of them is at Lunan Bay in Aberdeenshire. At the time, my beloved was working as a bird surveyor for the Scottish Wildlife Trust in Montrose Basin, and he took me out across the sands to watch the Terns cleave a cloudless sky with their immaculate white, swallow-like tails.

Arctic Terns see more daylight than any other creature on Earth in the longest of all annual migrations between the northern and southern hemispheres. In an average tern lifetime, a single bird might fly several times the equivalent of a return journey to the Moon.

A handful of topographic lunar wonders get a wee hymnal nod in Lightseekers, a musical postcard that myself and sound designer and composer, Pippa Murphy are gifting to Hudson Club on this, its first birthday. There’s an imagined birthday in the story too, a nod to the oldest Arctic tern ever recorded in Scotland. It was ringed as a chick at Budden Ness in Angus and found dead 32 years later at Forvie Nature Reserve in Aberdeenshire.

If a trip to sea isn’t for you, then take to the skies instead. Pippa and myself crafted a demo of Night Bees shortly before the first COVID lockdown and we’d all but erased it from memory. There’s irony in this as you’ll hear from the piece itself. The text is inspired by something I wrote to accompany the image on a birthday card I gave Pippa a few years back. We reckon those dream bees have been working overtime for us this past week!

Our final musical postcard offering, Le Ballon de Paris, is inspired by the first ever manned hydrogen balloon flight, engineered by brothers, Anne-Jean and Nicolas-Louis Robert in collaboration with physicist and inventor, Jacques Charles.

Bon voyage! And to Hudson Club - Bon anniversaire!

Karine - and Pippa x

Karine and Pippa’s 2017 album A Pocket of Wind Resistance is released on Hudson. You can hear their latest work together, a commission for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra called Seek the Light, over at BBC Sounds. They’re currently also Artists in Residence together at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.

Audio - Lightseekers →
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