James Heather returns to Ninja Tune’s Ahead of Our Time imprint


Pianist James Heather is returning to Ninja Tune’s Ahead of Our Time for a new EP titled ‘Modulations: EP2’.

Marking his first new work in four years, the collection of original compositions document his personal connection to the piano and how it’s been ever-present through a journey of loss, learning to cope, and existential rumination.

The compositions, which were originally conceived during Heather’s tours, are dubbed by Heather as ‘Pulse Music’, as he approaches them freely without notation or a mentronome, instead memorising each movement and adding subtle complexities each time he plays.

In his own words Heather explains: “The EP is executed with the use of only solo piano and is a love story to the instrument that was my first passion, now that I finally have the piano I dreamed of! I have resisted the temptation to enter and add to the electronic music world I so adore on this release; instead, my current music acts as a lived reaction to music that is more machine than human, but not in opposition to it. To be minimalist in an age where you can do everything so easily, can also hold power, to focus on our strengths. I am still obsessed with the compositional possibilities within a raw song.

James Heather is a modern pianist and composer who has worked closely with Ninja Tune founders Coldcut’s Ahead of Our Time imprint since 2017, and elsewhere has collaborated with artists like Dawn Richard, Mumdance and Roger Robinson (King Midas Sound).

1. Passing Soul
2. Glimmer
3. Metal Machina
4. Beginnings
5. Happy Tears

Listen to ‘Passing Souls’ below.