Tiny Leaves – the indie-classical project by composer Joel Nathaniel Pike – premieres the aptly stunning video, by Matthew Kaltenborn and choreographed and danced by Rachel Burn, for experimental gem ‘Cynefin’, the standout track lifted from his latest album called ‘Notes On Belonging’.
Pike explains: “This track is the place where I find space and meaning in the form of repetition of three notes. It explores the notion of belonging to a place, physically and spiritually, and a sense of journeying to a place called home. It’s both tinged with joy and a sense of longing, of nearly being there but not quite yet. The track explores a sort of counterpoint, where instruments go in and out of phase to emphasise this nearness of things. They delicately tow the line of independent improvisation to colliding in pattern, most noticeable at the end of the track. I wanted to explore themes of individuality and freedom in the piece with the hope..”
On the album Tiny Leaves says: “This is my third album entitled ‘Notes On Belonging’ is the culmination of over a year of exploration into musical landscapes inspired by the Welsh term ‘cynefin’. The word which has no English equivalent, when translated means the environment in which you live, to which you are naturally acclimatised, and also in other translations, describes the sense of belonging, or even longing for home. The whole project from beginning to end is rooted in a rural corner of Shropshire to further harness this idea of belonging. The musicians are local to this area and the music was composed and recorded here.
I also have been wanting to do a project with only four tracks to challenge myself to write longer pieces that come together to form more of a whole piece of music, having enjoyed this idea in post-rock albums and classical LPs. The cover of the album “Light (Cound November)” by David Tress, sees the fulfilment of a dream, from a long love for his paintings from my own art school days, to link up with this prolific Welsh Landscape artist. His celebrated work explores similar themes of relationship to habitat which is a timely coming together with this project. Remarkably the painting was made by the Pembrokeshire artist only a few miles from where the album was recorded in Shropshire, further affirming the theme of belonging to a place.
The music was written alongside rehearsals with featured artist / violinist and viola player Faith Brackenbury, whose vast experience in Jazz and folk violin has further expanded my writing to newer territories. The tracks have brief descriptions (when selected separately) which reveal something of their journey and meaning but are also importantly open to the listener’s own interpretation and exploration.”
Photos by Suzanne Nolan