We're thrilled to present two longform pieces from Yorkshire-based sound artist, Sophie Cooper. Composed during a week-long residency in the OTO Project Space in February 2022, Lean In was originally written for an 8-speaker surround set-up, here distilled into an equally expansive stereo version. Over 25 minutes, Cooper weaves fragments of on-site found radio sounds, processed trombone, electronics and voice to explore themes of broken family structures and the unspoken estrangement issue.
We release this alongside the newly remastered companion piece, Intact, commissioned by hcmf// in 2019 and for which Cooper was nominated for an Ivor Novello Composer Award in 2020. Together, the pieces build upon each other in a way that uncovers new insights with each listen, revealing a multi-faceted work at once intimate and far-reaching in its emotional and sonic impact.
"This release is a double A side of accompanying pieces both written during residencies for spatial audio systems namely the HISS (Huddersfield Immersive Sound System) for hcmf// and the set up at Café Oto project space. These versions have been designed to be listened to on stereo set ups.
Both of the pieces deal with the topic of family estrangement using verbatim sourced with permission and support from a UK based charity called Stand Alone who support adults in this situation. Intact was the first piece made of the two in 2019 and Lean In was written in early 2022 so you’ll hear references to how people’s lock down experiences impacted on their estrangements in the second piece. It was really interesting to come back to this topic after a break and reflect on changes between the texts in both years." – Sophie Cooper, February 2023
Enormous thanks to:
Everyone involved with the HISS, hcmf//, Cafe Oto, Arts Council England, Kathy Hinde and Matthew Olden for the support with these pieces.
Cover photography by Maryanne Royle
Mastered by Oli Barrett
Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC
1. Lean In - 24.54
2. Intact - 15.16
Sophie Cooper is a sound artist who Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (hcmf//) refer to as “A crucial member of Yorkshire’s far-reaching experimental music scene”. Sophie’s practice pivots around new presentations of acoustic instrumentation (primarily the trombone) with electronics, challenging conventions around composition, text placement and performance.
In recent years, Sophie has been particularly interested in publicly engaged, site specific, audio work, often in collaboration with visual artists. She has had work exhibited at The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, Wordsworth Grasmere Museum, Bury Art Gallery, Hereford Courtyard Art Centre and Gallery Frank as well as music venues including Cafe Oto and hcmf//.