The Preservation label presents Hiraeth, the fourth album from
Hampshire’s Olan Mill.
The work of composer and instrumentalist Alex Smalley and
following on from 2012’s much acclaimed Home, Olan Mill continues
to seek a higher plane of consciousness through grand and textured
composition. Variously compared to the likes of Richard Skelton,
Maurice Jarre and Vangelis, where Home sought to essay the life-affirming, worldly joy of travel, Hiraeth is a movingly yearning work
for a lost sense of place. A Welsh word with no direct translation in
English, ‘Hiraeth’ is defined as homesickness for a home to which you
cannot return. This is a beautiful meditation on nature irretrievably
lost over time and as The Liminal wrote on Home: “Smalley can rightly be added to the list of successful composers who’ve managed to not only be inspired by nature, but accurately communicate it as well”
With the resonance of folk melody through lilting piano and guitar
and the symphonic reach of strings and soprano voice, the deep focus
of Hiraeth is revealed through both intimate detail and sweeping revelations of sound. Whether through a pursuit of travel or the changing face of his native surrounds, Smalley conveys the momentum of transition through the surge and flow of his music with
released October 10, 2013
Music - Alex Smalley.
Additional musicians - Mike Jessop, Alex Lucas, Patricia Boynton, Katie English + Simon Bainton.
Mastering - Giuseppe Ielasi + Wil Bolton
Artwork - Mark Gowing.