Out now: ‘The Unfolding’ by Hannah Peel & Paraorchestra

Hannah Peel & Paraorchestra with Charles Hazlewood today release their major new work, The Unfolding, on Real World Records.

The Unfolding is an extraordinary eight-part collaboration between Mercury and Emmy nominated Northern Irish composer Hannah Peel and Bristol’s Paraorchestra, recorded in precious morsels of time around the global pandemic. There are pieces of music that seek to tell us deeper stories. Others harness the talents of the players at their disposal in adventurous ways. Then there are the rare, generous works that make us think back to our roots as human beings and to our shared beginnings in the universe, that lift us in their melodies, rhythms and textures, that carry us with them. The Unfolding is all of these things.

The album is already garnering strong critical acclaim with Music OMH saying The Unfolding is an album “balancing the beautiful with the cerebral… head and heart music.”

Reviews

  • Some people make rock music; Hannah Peel makes music about rocks UNCUT Revelations
  • fresh and original MOJO
  • inspired... tackles the biggest of themes in a way that’s awed, never overwrought UNCUT
  • a remarkable piece of work Belfast Telegraph
  • balancing the beautiful with the cerebral… head and heart music Music OMH

The collaboration’s roots go back when Paraorchestra’s Artistic Director, Charles Hazlewood, met Peel to ask if she’d consider writing for them. By the time they met up in Bristol for research and development sessions, Peel had already been digging deep into ideas of time and the cosmos in albums like 2016’s Awake But Always Dreaming, 2017’s Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia and her 2019 collaboration with poet Will Burns, Chalk Hill Blue. Now she was becoming increasingly fascinated in life cycles on Earth, with influence from Jacquetta Hawkes’ poetic history of Britain from 1951, A Land, and Robert Macfarlane’s contemporary book, Underland, an exploration of deep time and the underworld.

The Unfolding is almost a life form in itself, taken from the muddy cells of the earth and taking flight into the air then returning to the elements. It’s like a character in itself. It’s a new way of seeing. Hannah Peel

Peel knew she wanted the album to be driven by sounds that suggested the primal roots of ourselves and sought inspiration from Paraorchestra’s players. She loved the low woodwind played by Lloyd Coleman (“he’s a massive part of it…the work really evolved around him and that sound world”) and the twitching, fluttering recorders of James Risdon (“they have this real, woody, early music energy”). Central too was the “amazing” drumming of Jonny Leitch, influenced by his love of heavy rock and trapeze artistry, and the voice of soprano Victoria Oruwari, which provides moments of serene beauty in the rawness. “Her voice, her spirit, her magic, her beauty as a human as well as an artist is off the scale,” Peel says.

*** Please note that due to a production mix-up the coloured vinyl editions have been pressed the wrong way round: the planned orange vinyl Dinked Edition has been pressed on blue sparkle vinyl, and the orange is now available through independent stores. Unfortunately, we only discovered this two days before release. We’re really sorry for this confusion at such short notice.

If you have bought the Dinked Edition it still comes with its own bespoke cover colour and a numbered art print and remains limited to just 750 copies.

Apologies for this frustrating late change but we felt that it was preferable to go ahead with the amended colour versions rather than have to postpone the release for an indefinite period.

The Unfolding is out now on all digital platforms and CD as well as 2LP black, 2LP coloured vinyl and 2LP Dinked Edition*.

Listen / Buy

 

Feature release

  • The Unfolding

    Hannah Peel & Paraorchestra

    Released 01 April 2022

    There are pieces of music that seek to tell us deeper stories. Others harness the talents of the players at their disposal in adventurous ways. Then there are the rare, generous works that make us think back to our roots as human beings and to our shared beginnings in the universe, that lift us in their melodies, rhythms and textures, that carry us with them. The Unfolding is all of these things.

By Online Editor

Published on Fri, 01 April 22

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