“Sometimes melancholic, often with an exhilarating beauty.” - The Guardian
Sophie Hutchings is a deeply authentic artist that is affected by her surroundings. This directly correlates to Sophie’s rationale around the carefully selected location where she recorded her new works. Nestled in the dramatic valley of the Byron Hinterland mountains, Echoes in the Valley, was organically born. The creation of the solo piano release saw Sophie intentionally remove herself from the chaos and building trauma the world was experiencing. This effort has led to a body of work that finds complete solace in pure simplicity, stripped back to an exposed minimum.
“It’s almost like you’re diving into the lungs of the piano.” - Sophie Hutchings
After a decade of releases, Sophie is familiar with the various nuances and routines she needs for complete musical immersion. Earlier this year saw the release of her outstanding Love & Keep EP, which embraced quiet moments found in the life of an insomniac. Recorded in the dark of night, the soundscape captured a trademark calm that Sophie has reflected frequently on, and slowly, expertly refined. Remaining prominent works from Sophie include the touching By Night, that has amassed over 22 million streams on Spotify alone, and the delicately delivered Grace, with streaming numbers nearly doubling that of previous pieces.
Released on the 15th of October, Echoes In The Valley is an exercise in patience, the power found in raw sound and the coherent inspiration that is developed alongside. “I’m always hearing melodies in my head, so it’s very tempting to add layers,” says Sophie. “I was so tempted to put another instrument on it, but had to tell myself, ‘No’.” The only audible accompaniment to the piano is the stroke of keys, push of pedal, and the buzz of the outdoor aroma oozing in. Originally schedule for recording in Berlin, COVID meant plans had to be shifted. However, the futon bed, outdoor shower and rustic timber studio became one with Sophie’s sound and creative process. This allowed Sophie to audibly caress the creaks, clicks and daily birdsong that surrounded her.
With this release, Sophie Hutchings wants to express the abundance of forgotten qualities found in voluntary solitude. The playful, unexpected tension found in beauty and isolation that can, ultimately, result in a therapeutic experience. Yet again bringing her admiration for the world we find ourselves in into every inch of her work, Sophie succinctly explains why she “wanted the natural world to speak louder than humanity”.