Bill Ryder-Jones – No worst, there is none

Bill Ryder-Jones at The Kazimier

Bill Ryder-Jones

Bill Ryder-Jones displays yet more depth to his musical palette with a quite beautiful and pensive orchestral instrumental, Getintothis’ Peter Guy dives into the swell.

It has been somewhat of a breakthrough year for Bill Ryder-Jones.

There’s always been the support, both from critics and listeners alike, for this prodigious West Kirby song-writer, but with the release of his third album something seemed to resonate on a greater scale. It’s like everyone got wise to why he’s so gifted. Things clicked.

Perhaps it needed a more direct, almost back-to-basics approach, to which West Kirby County Primary certainly seemed to address. Sure, Ryder-Jones’ lyrics have always expressed a plain-talking, direct honesty but the arrangements have required more work from the casual listener; his latest songbook less so – it’s as open as can be.

Which makes the work Ryder-Jones proffered for the Ad Hoc Creative commission Getintothis wrote about during the summer of 2015 all the more an exquisitely-timed curve-ball delight. It’s far removed from almost anything new fans will have heard, and you have to go as far back as 2011 when his debut If… was released to find anything of comparison.

The piece, titled no worst, there is none is based upon a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem of the same name – and is a beautifully orchestrated sweep of autumnal swells and piano delicacies. On first listen, it recalls the quite brilliant Asperities released by Julia Kent in 2015, but the difference here is that were her music is rather foreboding or isolating, Bill’s is wrapped in a warmth and shared intimacy that ushers you in tight and close.

He’s spoken before about composing music at his mother’s home, and that piano tone has been redolent in the found-sound documentary collages he produced for Noisy and also among some of the best pieces on A Bad Wind Blows in My Heart – and once again, it’s applied here as the central motif aligned to violin and cello which act as anchoring waves of propulsion which can leave you breathless. It’s a remarkable piece of music.

Listen to the track below which he posted earlier this evening and check out our gallery of photographs from the Ad Hoc Creative event stage at Calderstone Mansion House in June 2015.

Pictures by Getintothis’ Keith Ainsworth