Annabel Alpers, the composer, singer and instrumentalist formerly of New Zealand’s Bachelorette.
Alpers current project is Hamerkop, with Baltimorean drummer/audio engineer Adam Cooke. Together, they have created a song-cycle that contrasts the often-mundane (yet often satisfying) everyday world with that of the idealized, longed-for fantasy, to find the spaces in between these things, the place where we all feel good about our existence.
Hamerkop’s debut record, Remote, started as an exploration of the sonic beauty in Alpers’ collection of field recordings from her homeland and travels around the world. Looped and sampled, they became a set of instrumental sounds of their own, and when played live in a multiple-speaker, surround-sound experience, their effect was transporting! The finished album blends these expansive sounds in choral layers of synths and vocals, with a kaleidoscopic, almost psychedelic quality, all of it anchored by Cooke’s Kraut-minimal drumming.
The songs of Remote find depth and dimension via a rich tapestry of voices, found sounds and classic pop melodies, as constant synapse triggering from unexpected angles and algorithms reveals, by chance and design, a magical inner life scored by birds and babies, church bells and bonfires. Genre-defying but familiar, Hamerkop translates the topography we share into a musical language that celebrates our shared places.
The sound of Hamerkop is multi-layered, changing as it revolves. It’s the sound made by two people, but it could be all of us.