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ARTIST
TITLE
Becalmed
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
PRE 030CD PRE 030CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
8/3/2010

The Preservation label presents the debut album from Sydney pianist Sophie Hutchings. Having begun playing piano young, growing up in a musical family, Sophie started writing properly in her teens -- indeed, the opening piece "Seventeen" is named for her age at the time it was originally composed, though all tracks on Becalmed have been developed and improvised on since their original form took shape. Sophie's compositions move from disarmingly spare and elegant beginnings to curl out with a tingling edge, propelling its austerity into urgent and epic realms. Violin, cello, drums, percussion and organ heighten the flight these pieces can take, as well as dip and swell within the more dimly-lit moods of gentler nuance, casting a particular spell across the range of feeling captured in Sophie's playing. Both unfussy and exquisite though constantly evolving, the inspired measure of Becalmed is found in the space it inhabits between the meditative and evocative. Becalmed was produced in two settings, with engineer Tim Whitten -- noted for his continuing work with The Necks -- and in Sydney and Tony Dupe, otherwise known as fellow Preservation artist Saddleback, in the tranquil surrounds of his former home studio in the Kangaroo Valley on the South Coast of New South Wales. Among other performers on the album, is Sophie's brother Jamie Hutchings, leader of longstanding Sydney outfit Bluebottle Kiss, and cellist Sophie Glasson, who has also recorded with Sarah Blasko and The Church. Seemingly from out of nowhere, though essentially poured out from deep within, Becalmed is a shimmering, absorbing debut.