Meet Erland Cooper, Superbloom Soundscape Composer
By Erland Cooper
26 April 2022
I’m a composer and multi instrumentalist from Scotland. I grew up on a remote island in the North Sea. I tend to write music about some human condition, more generally relating to nature, people, place or time. I currently have a recording studio in London. I work each day from very early.
Becoming a Composer
I’m most comfortable creating alone, initially exploring something. I used to hide inside the music rooms at school teaching myself how to write, listen, produce and record better. It’s something I’ve always done, perhaps little has changed although now I get to work with like-minded people who are much more talented musicians than I. They make my music sound better and this means I can enjoy the creative process on a deeper level.
My composing process
I think about the narrative or the feeling the subject evokes or I try not to think at all. Writing is a bit like bird spotting, you never quite know what you will spot that day but if you go a little deeper, you tend to find something more interesting and unique to you.
Getting involved with Superbloom
Superbloom wasn’t going to have music or a soundscape element at first but the producer and I spoke at length and found a way to sensitively approach it. She is very perceptive. I feel like I’m simply helping to score an abstract film or art installation, telling a few stories in a subtle way to enhance the emotional impact of the work.
Composing the Superbloom piece
It’s an ambient score for electronics, harp, voice, piano, violin and cello as well as field recordings. There are actually around 100 layers but it also has a repeated motive, an ostinato, a simple melody for the queen that floats around, as if on the wind like a pollinator perhaps.
Advice for young creatives
Actively listen to everything and your intuition. Understand the difference between ambition, talent and patience. Seeds take time to propagate, give them water and light and a remarkable thing happens. Give yourself some good conditions with restrictions and slowly improve upon that. Directors often only use around 10% of what they shoot, discarding the rest. Good poets and authors cut words like a surgeon with a scalpel. Don’t be afraid to edit yourself ruthlessly, it’s just music. Compose, decompose and recompose.