Adrian Copeland uses the cello to its absolute extremes of calm and violence. The Montreal-based instrumentalist brings together elements of modern classical, noise, and doom, exploring the dichotomies of minimalism and maximalism, stillness and cacophony, terror and chaos.
Copeland composes on the cello, aided by the instrument’s remarkable range – not only the typical, smooth legato and pizzicato, but a host of extended techniques, as well: scordatura (detuning strings), col legno (striking the strings with the bow), ponticello (metallic, shrill overtones), and percussive sounds created from the cello itself.
The project has a broad, unorthodox variety of influences, which comes through in the final product. While the music is grounded in minimal classical and post-rock, it also reveals colours of black metal, industrial, classical impressionism, and ambient music.
The first Alder & Ash album, Psalms for the Sunder (2016) is visceral at its core; it delves into unexpected textures and musical ideas that range from bombastic and cacophonous, to more subtle and nostalgic. As the title suggests, Psalms is a study of downfall and collapse — in that tension and space it finds not only cacophony, violence and decay, but also beauty and calm.
Soon after its release, US-based label Lost Tribe Sound signed Copeland for a second album (and re-released the first album as part of a limited-edition subscription series). Clutched in the Maw of the World was released in July of 2017; it picks up the ideas of Psalms and pushes them further, exploring novel textures and ideas, and expanding the frontiers of Copeland’s previous work.
Copeland released his third full-length album, The Crowneater, in 2019 to critical acclaim. It marks a hiatus from Alder & Ash projects to focus on scoring.
Pains by Justin Brooks (Short film, 2020, post-prod)
Broken by Jillian Reeves (Short film, 2020, post-prod)
Ashen Scoring Cello by Wavelet Audio (Sample library, 2020)
Into the Storm by Sandra Salas (Trailer, 2019)
Encounter by Eva Kolarova (Dance, 2018)
Blue Dependence by Eva Kolarova (Dance, 2017)
Déjà vu by Olivier Labonté Lemoyne (Short film, 2017)
Hron, a Country of Ghosts (Trailer, 2016)
The Crowneater (2019, Mendicant Records)
Clutched in the Maw of the World (2017, Lost Tribe Sound)
Psalms for the Sunder (2017, Lost Tribe Sound)
Isolation - The Phenometrician (2020)
Pound of Fle$h - Ba:zel (2019)
All Is Surprising to the Forgetful - William Ryan Fritch (2018)