Duo release album on lockdown anniversary

Two men stand next to each other wearing swimming caps, goggles and face masks.

Hugh Nankivell and Graham Browning - 'Humankindweed' is now available on vinyl or to download - Credit: Hugh Nankivell and Graham Browning

Torbay musician and composer Hugh Nankivell has produced his debut vinyl album with fellow artist Graham Browning, a project inspired after they were commissioned by BBC Radio 3's 'The Verb'.

The duo, titled 'Fowl', released the avant-garde album titled Humankindweed on March 23, marking the year anniversary of the first UK lockdown in 2020.

As a ten-track record, the album features an extraordinary blend of songs and musical pieces reflecting time in lockdown, the human condition and the natural world.

Working together for over 20 years, Hugh and Graham spent 2020 writing and recording music remotely, years after they were commissioned by Radio 3 to create a piece using words and music that was not a song. 

Hugh said: “It all started for us 18 years ago with an Ian McMillan (Radio 3’s The Verb) short commission, and it feels as if we have come a long way in the time since, but still exploring the relationship of words and music not necessarily being a song.  

"This is a lockdown album. We never met during the making of it and we are more proud of it than anything else we have made.” 

The two sides of the LP, which is available both digitally and as a vinyl record, are an eclectic mix of music that tell completely different stories, echoing the sounds of musician Robert Wyatt and composer Benjamin Britten throughout.

The album features production from Richard Evans, who has worked with Peter Gabriel, Birdy and Jackie Oates, brass from Laurie Nankivell (Squid) drums from Ben McCabe (Deep Cabaret) and saxophone from Andy Williamson (Tom Robinson, Martha Reeves).

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As a local musician, Hugh has worked on many social and professional projects around Torbay and is currently the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Music Associate for Devon. 

His community work in Torbay includes working with Intergenerational Music Making, an organisation who work to enhance social welfare through music creation.

Hugh has also been part of 'Arts On Call', a project in association with Dance in Devon and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, performing outside care homes with dancers throughout lockdown.

Humankindweed is available now to download and purchase as a limited edition 12” vinyl via the following link https://fowl1.bandcamp.com/