Caught by the River

A few words on Solan Goose

Will Burns | 23rd March 2018

To mark the release of Erland Cooper’s Solan Goose, which hits record shops today, Caught by the River poet-in-residence Will Burns shares a few words on his involvement.

Erland Cooper, photographed by Alex Kozobolis

One of the stranger things about contributing to Caught by the River is those occasions where you might be asked to define it somehow. I know that Jeff, Robin and Andrew have had their troubles doing it, so what chance has a lowly occasional contributor got? One of the things it is though, for sure, is a means through which connections are made. The people that have accrued here, that come to the gigs and the festival fields, that buy or make the books and the records and art—there’s always this pleasing sense of friendships being forged and sensibilities aligning that is probably my abiding sense of what CBTR is. And that is how I came to know Erland Cooper. Connections made along the river. And having met, and talked a bit about our work and whatever else, we discovered a shared interest in birds and more pertinently perhaps a shared experience of our places. Call it a haunting if that’s not too metaphysical. Erland’s Orkney is certainly the grist of this beautiful record, a presence to be decoded in the texture and moods of these sounds. You don’t get presented with an infinite number of opportunities to know or work with people like Erland, and it has been a wonderful thing to contribute even in just my own small way to this project. It’s a powerful, rich record, as I’m sure you’ll discover.


Solan Goose is out now, and available to purchase here.