Simeon Walker ~ Imprints 2

Simeon Walker has a razor sharp focus on the tiniest of details. There was a video on his Instagram feed recently that captured a pre-performance rehearsal in the enormous reverberant space of the cathedral in Wells and, after estimating the length of the reverb, you see him interact with it, his notes harmonising with the blurred notes returned to him by the stone walls. Interaction with space, particularly with natural space, is a key part of what he does, particularly when performing life, but also here in Imprints 2, the second part of a series of EPs.

In Imprints, after the more elaborate arrangements of Winnow and its sibling Winnow Deluxe in particular, Walker is returning to his roots, a muted upright piano in a living room in Leeds, Yorkshire. The clicks and creaks of the wood, the faint hiss of background noise, the brush of hammers against felt, they give each piece a sense of immediacy and intimacy that mirror the emotional content of the collection.

Those who loved Imprints 1 will not be disappointed: the two collections fit together as well as a foot in a footprint. For someone who self-deprecatingly calls himself a composer of “sad piano music”, the opening track “Weave” is relatively upbeat, the syncopated melody weaving a lively line through the accompaniment. “Paean”, for which a spectacular video premiered over on Stationary Travels, is yearning and hopeful, but towards the end hesitation and trepidation begin to set in. “Blur” shifts appropriately between time signatures, between major and minor, its ambiguity rendering it all the more fascinating. Finally, “Crave”, is full of loss and grief, as this video premiere post from Headphone Commute explores in fascinating detail. Fans will be delighted to hear that Simeon Walker is touring the UK at the moment, with gigs in Europe planned, and there will be a vinyl release of the collected Imprints 1 and 2 in April. (Garreth Brooke)

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