Poppy Ackroyd is a Brighton-based composer, pianist and violinist. She recently released her fourth album ‘Resolve’. In conversation with Poppy we talk about her current plans, recent tour and composing techniques.
Hello Poppy, what are you up to at the moment?
Hello, I am currently preparing for the upcoming solo shows as well as some gigs with my friend Mara Simpson, whose album I have just arranged strings for.
How did the tour in February/March go? Are you looking forward to more touring in May?
The tour went well, most of the shows were sold out and apart from traveling in a very cold snap (-15 degrees!) we had a great time. The highlight was a show in Bonn, I had a gorgeous piano (Bosendorfer 225), beautiful lighting and a huge screen for the visuals.
Very much so. I am looking forward to playing some shows in Scotland for the first time in a few years. I lived in Edinburgh for a while before I moved to Brighton so it feels like going home in a way
You’ve released a few albums over the years, when did you start composing music and why?
I started composing in a very relaxed way for collaborative projects. I worked initially with a dancer and visual artist. I loved the process and it has all developed very organically from there.
We particularly love how textured your music is, with beautiful melodies and percussive elements. Do you tend to start your compositions by building up these textures or do you start with a melody? Or both?
Thank you. I start each composition in a different way. Sometimes there is already a fully formed piano piece that I build the track around, or often I can start with just a simple rhythmic or melodic idea, or a chord sequence. I always go to the piano with a story or feeling that I want to capture and start to record or improvise and things develop from there. There are many stages to the writing process for all of my compositions, and quite often the initial ideas and recordings do not make it in to the final track.
Go and see Poppy live on her ‘Resolve’ tour:
1st May – Brighton – Komedia
3rd May – London – Vortex Jazz Club *sold out*
10th May – Glasgow – The Glad Cafe
11th May – Edinburgh – The Queen’s Hall
12th May – Manchester – Burgess Foundation
16th May – Leuven (BE) – Kruidtuin
17th May – Munich (DE) – Einstein
18th May – Nürnberg (DE) – Künstlerhaus
19th May – Milan (IT) – Piano City