Composer Simon Jeffes formed the Penguin Cafe Orchestra in the early 70s in reaction to the rigidity of his classical training and a need to celebrate “randomness, spontaneity, surprise, and… "Chinstrap" depicts one of the more social types of penguins, and is appropriately playful, while "Gentoo Origin" is befitting of a species that is both athletic and romantic. — Arthur Jeffes. Born in Sussex, England, and raised in Canada and around Europe, Jeffes began playing the guitar at the age of 13 and then studied classical guitar, piano, and music theory at Chiswick Polytechnic, but dropped out before graduating. Handfuls of Night began life after Greenpeace commissioned Jeffes to write four pieces of music corresponding to four breeds of penguins, to help raise awareness for the endangered Antarctic seas. "Pythogaras on the Line Again" is an interpretation of a piece which appeared on Penguin Cafe Orchestra's final album from 1993, using sampled dial tones to demonstrate the principles of harmonics. The mainly acoustic arrangements, occasionally dusted with a touch of granular synthesis, are warm and lively, capturing the spirit of the penguins going about their daily activities while the endless sunlight illuminates the subzero tundra. Bookended by the atmospheric ambient piano pieces ‘Winter Sun’ and ‘Midnight Sun’, the album traverses glacial minimalism with ease, combining their signature contemporary classical panoramas, such as the melancholic yet upbeat lead track ‘At the Top of the Hill, They Stood...’ and the colossal cinematic piece ‘Chapter’, with the crystalline folktronica on ‘Pythagorus on the Line Again’ — a re-visiting and continuation of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s 1993 Union Cafe song on the principles of harmonics. In 2018, as part of a project commissioned by Greenpeace with the intention of raising awareness about the endangered Antarctic environment, Arthur Jeffes wrote four songs about specific species of penguins native to the continent. I had lots of time to ponder my life back home. "Adelie," named after the smallest, most curious penguins who can dive incredibly deep, is tense and fragile, resembling a weightless journey through the sea. “There is a sense of place representing creativity, where endless space and emptiness – albeit with an underlying sense of beauty and timelessness – is a perfect context for creating something” Explore releases from Penguin Cafe at Discogs. It was then that I decided to get my Master of Music degree and focus on composing music, and also then that I realised that even in the most remote silent places, music can still be a huge part of one’s internal world and imagination. There are four native Antarctic penguin species – each with their own individual characteristics and natures. Conveying a sense of childlike wonder about the natural world, the album is full of life and immensely enjoyable. If you’re based in Australia, you may find it cheaper to purchase physical releases from our Australian store. The transition from father to son, removing the word ‘Orchestra’ from the band’s name in the process, is a rather lovely equivalent to the handing down of the family business, and on this evidence the musical legacy of the late Simon Jeffes, has left its mark on his son, Arthur. Penguin Cafe was founded by Arthur Jeffes in 2009, after bringing together a talented and disparate group of musicians including members of Suede and Gorillaz, to perform his father Simon Jeffes’ legacy of world-renowned Penguin Cafe Orchestra music, ten years after his untimely death in 1997. Whilst on the expedition. With their second album, the new incarnation of Penguin Cafe look to assert their musical identity. — Mojo ★★★★, Original photographs by Rory O’Connor and Alex KozobolisDesign by Torsten Posselt at FELDArt direction: Robert RathsVideo by Des Murphy. "The Life of an Emperor" is perhaps the most dramatic piece, with swelling strings characterizing the brave, regal beings. "Chapter" is based on the idea of a penguin detective caper, and it evokes a calm sense of drama with its industrious strings and distant, melodious pianos. A fundraising evening at EartH in Hackney followed, where Penguin Cafe premiered the four songs named after their feathered counterparts to a sold out audience; the rousing contemporary folk inflected ‘Chinstrap’, the mournful and minimalistic ‘Adelie’, stoic and rhythmic ‘The Life of an Emperor’ and the wistful, string-laden ‘Gentoo Origin’. Antarctica by this stage being a protected environment, we swapped to the Arctic circle where we spent 3 months on the Greenland ice sheet, first dog-sledding and then man-hauling just short of 1000 km at 10,000 feet, across ice fields and glaciers. I carried on from there to envisage a whole anthropomorphised world, where these penguins had narratives and adventures that we soundtracked”, says Jeffes. But both the album and Penguin Cafe as a project have origins that reach further back: “In 2005 I was asked to join an expedition re-creating Scott’s last Antarctic trip in 1911 for the BBC, using the same Edwardian equipment. I’m no explorer but I was keen, especially as there’s a family link – Scott was married to my great grandmother before she married my great grandfather. The group's debut album, Music from the Penguin Cafe, recorded from 1974 to 1976, ... on Penguin Cafe Orchestra's 1996 "best of" album, Preludes, Airs and Yodels, and subsequently on The Orb's own 2001 remix compilation "Auntie Aubrey's Excursions Beyond the Call of Duty - The Orb Remix Project, Volume 2". Find Penguin Cafe Orchestra discography, albums and singles on AllMusic On October 4th Erased Tapes present Handfuls of Night — the highly anticipated follow-up to Penguin Cafe’s much applauded 2017 album The Imperfect Sea — inspired by the Antarctic, Arthur Jeffes’ journey following in Scott’s footsteps and our penguin friends that reside there. Handfuls of Night’s tones, textures and melodies evoke otherworldly expanses, which at different junctures are either foreboding, awe inspiring or peaceful. Handfuls of Night is out on October 4th amid a string of UK live dates, before taking the album on a worldwide tour in 2020 with more dates to be announced. Using gut-stringed violins, viola, cello, bass, percussion, upright and grand pianos, synthesiser, harmonium and more, Arthur Jeffes and his cohorts have crafted a vivid series of panoramic sonic landscapes, that are as rich in cerebral poignancy as they are in emotional depth. A full biography is available here. Conveying a sense of childlike wonder about the natural world, the album … “This record started with a core of pieces I wrote specifically about penguins in the Antarctic for a project with Greenpeace in autumn 2018. The Penguin Cafe Orchestra (PCO) was founded by British composer Simon Jeffes (1949 - 1997). “Such is its mastery of slowly uncoiling drama you can almost taste the salt in the breeze” I spent days playing things back in my head and also writing new things, which I would then try and write down at the end of the day.”. But both the album and Penguin Cafe as a project have origins that reach further back: “In 2005 I was asked to join an expedition re-creating Scott’s last Antarctic trip in 1911 for the BBC, using the same Edwardian equipment. There’s subtly morphing rhythmic repetition throughout, somewhere between minimalism, krautrock and the piano-cascades of label peer Lubomyr Melnyk. Shop for Vinyl, CDs and more from Penguin Cafe at the Discogs Marketplace. Beyond the pieces written about specific penguins, the ones that illustrate scenes and concepts are some of the most adventurous on the album. The nine compositions on Handfuls of Night serve as a soundtrack to this imaginary penguin world, and as one might expect of Penguin Cafe, they're as playful as they are poignant. "Pythogaras on the Line Again" is an interpretation of a piece which appeared on Penguin Cafe Orchestra's final album from 1993, using sampled dial tones to demonstrate the principles of harmonics. As Jeffes became enamored by their characteristics, he began to fantasize an entire world of anthropomorphic penguins, and he developed this concept into the fourth Penguin Cafe album. Jeffes creates a kinetic, circling motion, which drives the album forward in the form of a musical trip that mirrors the physical journey it was inspired by.