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We’re Inside and Outside (2016)

My first ever album of my own material was the result of explorations on the first and second Inside-Out Pianos, using a blend of beguiling and strange sounds from inside the piano mixed with electronic processing.  The title is from the day I finished recording, when my 3-yr-old son Stan saw our reflections in the kitchen window: it seemed totally fitting! The music is lyrical, pulsating and atmospheric with simple, beautiful melodies shrouded in other-wordly, rich, deep sounds.  It mixes tracks born purely out of musical experiments with pieces generated through my theatre show Moments of Weightlessness, giving the whole album a narrative feel.  If this is a concept album, then the concept is creating things and finding out what they do: pianos and children…

Leafcutter John (Album Producer) says: “This recording is much more than a dry exploration of the piano as a sound source. It moves in waves, each new tide surfacing new information about the sonic environment. Sarah’s deepening connection and mastery of her self-made ‘inside-out piano’ is audible as she strokes, hammers and bows it vividly into life. A strong sense of purpose combined with the confidence to let a little chance into the recording results in music that is both beguiling and beautiful. There are such a finely judged and surprising combinations here, ‘Warm’ is built upon the spine of a dull emerging pulse, ending up in an exultant vocal phrase. Like most of the pieces on this record the music offers the listener more than one route through and there are plenty of jewel like details scattered in the grass. Listening to this music is like the discovery of a fantastically populated rock pool on the bleakest rainy day.”

We’re Inside and Outside was a limited edition of 88: a USB-stick embedded into a piano key from the first Inside-Out Piano.  As the actual keys used to create around half of the tracks, they were a fundamental, tactile connection to the music. The album was produced by the excellent Leafcutter John.

Album embedded key

Album embedded key

Here’s some lovely album feedback from Paul Brazier of the Brighton Rubber Stamp company (well, he *is* the Brighton Rubber Stamp company! And he made the stamps that I used on the keys!). “I have just listened to your album. It reminded me of the kind of modern music they play on Radio 3’s Late Junction. Except on there I will hear a single track while I’m doing something else and it all feels a bit aimless. Your music is far from aimless. It is compelling in its simple repetitions, a bit like Phillip Glass but not so frantic. And it took me back to when the first whale song records came out — 1970? (yes, I am that old). It must be very difficult not to attempt to decorate, elucidate, elaborate. But the music has a wonderful calmness — one is given the opportunity to hear a note, consider it, hear it again, all in an uncluttered sound space that is too rare nowadays. Did I say I loved it? I loved it!”

Moments of Weightlessness