Gifts From Crows Interview on Nagamag


Which are the genres that describe your music style better?

Gifts From Crows:
I like to think of my music as classical music for a post-rock audience. Neoclassical is probably the best genre though as it includes a lot of artists, like me, that use classical instrumentation but are not quite classical in the true sense of the word. Neoclassical is a broad church and easily encompasses artists that weave electronics in with the more traditional orchestral instruments.

Few words about your musical background and career?

Gifts From Crows:
Since I was a teenager I have been passionate about composing and performing music and have been involved in many post-rock / electronic bands and studio projects. Whilst I played guitar and synth during those years, my first love was always the piano and Gifts From Crows really feels like coming home.
Writing orchestral arrangements is a relatively new undertaking for me but one that feels very natural and intuitive. Hearing my music performed by the Northern Film Orchestra for the first time was an incredible experience and I have carried the learnings from that into the new album, 'Stories in Slow Light' which features a lot of live performance mixed in with the samples and the piano.

Do you remember your first connection of love to music that was the right impact to be a music artist now?

Gifts From Crows:
I grew up near and went to school in Macclesfield in the north of England - home to one of the greatest bands of the post-punk era - Joy Division. I can still remember taking home their album, 'Closer' and playing it for the first time. I had shivers running down my spine listening to that music and it still affects me the same way today. That was when I truly understood how powerful music could be and also when I realised that I wanted to try and produce something that gave other people the same feeling. Whilst you never feel that you even get close to those levels, there is always the hope that the next piece of music will be transformational.

What was the inspiration for the new album, Stories in Slow Light

Gifts From Crows:
Each piece was inspired by a different photograph by artist Helena Whitten. I found that by sitting at the piano with one of Helena’s photos placed where the sheet music would normally rest, I could literally write music to accompany the scene in front of me, as if the score were hidden inside the image.
I find Helena’s photos incredibly emotive. They are simultaneously timeless but also contemporary and speak to so many of the challenges that humanity is facing today – the fragility of the planet, the transience of life, loneliness and mental health. It is all there and these are also the themes that I explore in my music.

How did the video for The Empty Mirror come about?

Gifts From Crows:
The song was inspired by a photograph taken by Helena Whitten at Poltimore House in Devon which depicts a solitary figure in front of an oval frame where a mirror used to be.
The track evokes the memory of our ancestors and imagines all the living souls who have passed in front of the now long gone mirror. The protagonist appears to be channelling these spirits out of the ancient walls of the house, at times contorted by the energy flowing through her and then flowing with serenity.

The video for was shot on location at Poltimore House but this time dancer and choreographer Kristine Berget reprises Helena’s role from the photograph and we follow her as she moves around the rooms and hallways of the crumbling mansion.

We worked with Kristine before on the video for 'Without Beauty' and so I knew her choreography was good but her performance on The Empty Mirror was extraordinary and the film directed by Corey Rid really brings the whole work to life.

Many artists listen to genres that they are not producing music for. Which track is your favorite that is NOT similar to yours?

Gifts From Crows:
Joy Division "Love Will Tear Us Apart"

Of Course Nagamag would love to listen also which is the track from a similar artist you admire?

Gifts From Crows:
Wim Mertens "Struggle For Pleasure"

Discover & Listen to Gifts From Crows

Gifts From Crows on Spotify

Gifts From Crows' Signature Track

Remembering Who and What We Are

Gifts From Crows on Social Media


Gifts From Crows' Website

Interviewed by Nagamag on
February 5, 2022

* NOTICE: You can listen to full tracks through Nagamag’s embedded Spotify player if you have already logged in at Spotify’s website. If you are not logged in, you can still use it to listen a preview of the tracks.