Hidden Orchestra are a quartet from Edinburgh, Scotland, who make music that incorporates and redefines elements of jazz, classical, rock, hip-hop and electronica to form a deeply original and cohesive whole resplendent with layers of energy, emotion and atmosphere. An intense and rewarding listening experience, both live and on record, their sound encompasses the energy and production techniques of studio-produced beats, but replacing synths and drum machines with natural/acoustic sounds and instruments for an emotionally potent and dynamic style. It is a sonic blueprint built on contrasts – experimental without losing accessibility, electronic and acoustic, complex and simple, dark and energetic whilst intricate and calm.
Hidden Orchestra is the solo studio project of composer/producer Joe Acheson – the core quartet of the live act is formed around the duelling drum kits, percussion and electronic pads of two drummers, Tim Lane and Jamie Graham, completed by Poppy Ackroyd’s distinctive, multi-faceted violin and piano playing, with Acheson on bass and electronics. Hidden Orchestra have seen their star rise steadily and emphatically since the release of their debut album on Tru Thoughts in 2010, “Night Walks”, with an organic buzz building as they have toured their highly in-demand live show at clubs and major festivals throughout over 20 countries in Europe and beyond.
Hidden Orchestra release their second album “Archipelago” on Tru Thoughts, and are preparing to tour the record throughout Europe in 2012 and 2013. “Archipelago” sees Acheson continuing to explore and develop many themes that emerged on their debut, adding new ideas, guest players, instruments and found sounds; to name a few, listen up for tap-dancing, bagpipe drones, and Acheson stomping in snow and ice.
One track from “Archipelago” made its way out of the studio on an EP last November: “Flight” gained heavy BBC 6Music play from Cerys Matthews (who also invited the band for a live session) and Huey Morgan, as well as Jamie Cullum (BBC R2), Gilles Peterson (then BBC R1), Late Junction (BBC R3), John Kennedy (XFM) and more. The eagle-eared may also have spotted the burgeoning new material in Acheson’s mixtapes – a series of elaborate studio creations giving an insight into his eclectic influences and singular musical sensibility, each gaining tens of thousands of hits.
In sampling found sounds and inspired improvisation, alongside his skills as a composer, Acheson instils in the music of Hidden Orchestra an anchor to its earthly environment, while often conjuring an ethereal atmosphere and fragility that can whisk the listener off to another world; there are moments of feeling suspended somewhere in between. Acheson captured bird and wave sounds on the tiny remote Scottish island North Rona, when he and Poppy accompanied her father, the artist Norman Ackroyd, on a trip to gather sketches for his etchings – including the one which they used on the album cover.
07. Seven Hunters
08. Fourth Wall
The album Hidden Orchestra “Archipelago” (Tru Thoughts) is going to be released October 05, 2012.