Listening Post

There was hope in James Heather’s song inspired by the Paris Climate Change agreement – until Trump

Contemporary pianist shares his latest song based on real world news stories

The nine, instrumental tracks on James Heather’s forthcoming album, ‘Stories From Far Away On Piano’, are each about news stories. They range from the unanswered questions around the Malaysia Airlines jet lost in the Indian Ocean to the Los Angeles man freed after 16 years in prison after being wrongly identified by having the same teardrop tattoo as the offender.

Given the fraught nature of global news cycle the past couple of years the songs themselves – intimate, contemporary pieces – can also feel more like miniature sanctuaries away from all that noise.

This latest track, ‘Biomes’, is about the Paris Climate Change accord – a “homage to the Biomes of our world”.

“It’s supposed to feel upbeat and triumphant as I hoped for a good outcome, where we would respect the natural wonders of our world,” reflects Heather on the song’s inspiration.

“Of course initially it seemed to be good news, but now Trump is pulling the USA out as we speak. This could’ve been a key moment in history where we all got on the same page to protect the Earth for the generations to come, but one decision may put a stop to that. In many years to come, will we look back to this moment as an opportunity missed?”

The album, ‘Stories From Far Away On Piano’, is out via Ahead of Our Time on 18 August. A new interactive website has launched today as well. Related to artist Suki’s artwork for the LP it plots points on the cover relating to the global locations of the news stories which relate to the pieces, and also gives some short previews.

Photo by: Fabrice Bourgelle

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