Critically acclaimed composer and multi-instrumentalist Joel Pike AKA Tiny Leaves, crafts realms of gentle, insistent piano motifs against shimmering strings and electronics. On July 14th, he is set to release his fifth album, Mynd, a sonic portrait of the Shropshire countryside. The album features a mesmerising mix of atmospheric soundscapes, haunting strings, and enchanting piano melodies, intertwined with field and bio data recordings from Pike’s residency with the National Trust at The Long Mynd, an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).
1. There’s an unbroken line of communication between trees running from northern Scandinavia to southern Italy.
2. Kindness isn’t a weakness.
3. There aren’t enough words for love in the English Language.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Currently it’s the natural world and the mystery and wonder of it all – especially in and around my local area of Shropshire. I find the sights and sounds of nature fascinating. I love making sounds with analogue equipment like fx pedals, tape-cassettes, bowing instruments and generally playing around with musical stuff.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
When I was about 12 years old when I got my first guitar, but even before then, I remember trying to make an audible sound on a violin (although I’m not sure it would qualify as ‘music making’).
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Please give me more, I literally LOVE so many albums but without thinking too much maybe:
Sufjan Stevens – Come Feel The Illionoise
Bing and Ruth – Tomorrow Was The Golden Age
Sigur Ros – Takk
Mice Parade – What it Means to Be Left Handed
Kjartan Sveinsson – Der Klang, Der Offenbarung, Des Gttlichen
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
A place that brings much rich creativity into the world, especially in music and those remarkable scenes of freedom and unity back in 1989 that I witnessed as a young boy on TV here in the UK.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
The hills and valleys a few miles south of the town, once known as little Switzerland.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Printmaking, drawing, animation and painting.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Diptych by Growing
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Anais Michell – Young Man in America Tour, St Mary’s Guildford 2016
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Very. I use lots of analogue stuff; pedals and bits of equipment but mostly older stuff rather than the latest gear. I love experimenting with creating soundscapes on synths, old organs, tuned percussion or using tape. It’s important to me that it has to be physically played/struck/bowed or hit rather than in a computer using software.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have three sisters and an older brother, some of them are musicians too and they’re all so supportive of my music but I’m not sure if I’ve ever asked them if they actually like it!