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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Jan-17 > FIRST CUT Hannah Peel

FIRST CUT Hannah Peel

We like to highlight new and up and coming artists in MusicTech and this issue we interview Hannah Peel, who has already released two albums as a solo artist, collaborated with John Foxx and released music through the band The Magnetic North…

Hannah Peel is a solo artist and member of The Magnetic North, (featuring Gawain Erland Cooper and Simon Tong, formerly of The Verve and tour musician with Blur and Gorillaz). She produced a track with John Foxx in 2013, has an alter-ego called Mary Casio which combines analogue synths with a 33-piece Yorkshire colliery brass band – yes, we know, yet another one of those – and recently released a critically acclaimed solo album called Awake But Always Dreaming, l the follow-up to her 2011 release, The Broken Wave.

MusicTech caught up with Hannah at her studio in East London just as she was putting the finishing touches to this second album…

MusicTech: What’s your philosophy when it comes to composition?

Hannah Peel: For my solo work, I like to play with layers, hidden frailties and contrasts. The blend and dissimilarities of analogue synths and machines with light minimalist resonances, melodies and my vocals has been an ongoing unearthing in the last few years of my work. The human voice is so harmonically rich - every single human is different, playing with the voice as an instrument always creates something more unique. Everyone can get a similar sound out of a vintage Juno or a Moog, but combining them with something as volatile and fragile as the human voice can create a rich web of sound and happy accidents. I really enjoy what we call ‘lab time’. Exploring a sound palate, textures, samples, feelings and instrumentation. It helps to establish that first, before hitting record on a new song or arrangement. It creates a spark, a freshness and is a great icebreaker when working with someone new or old. It allows you to both connect without the awkwardness of talking too much.

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