WATCH: Hall explores recording techniques as he sits down at the Steinway
Quirky recording techniques and delicate piano textures are to feature on a new record by isles pianist Lewis Hall.
The HNC music graduate was back at the Steinway this week, recording tracks with Mareel sound engineer Tim Matthew in the centre’s main auditorium.
Funk, jazz, and smatterings of electronica have all featured in the Quarff composer’s performances, and for his current project he’s got some intriguing ideas.
“I’ve always been putting off recording and I’ve been meaning to do it for a long time,” smiles Hall while in the Mareel studio.
“I thought I’d get together some of the stuff I’ve been doing that seems to fit together and try and get some of it down on record.
“It’s mostly solo piano stuff that I’ve been working on and I think there’s possibly two or three guests; Hannah Adamson playing violin and Matthew Adam singing on it.”
Musically Hall’s interests fail to fall neatly into genres. Away from the backbone of the keys he’s interested in capturing “man-made” sounds and using field recordings to colour the material.
“I’m trying to pick up different sounds, man-made sounds I’ve thought about recording.
“Even if it’s voices I think it gives it more of a live energy if you have a background of people, or even the sound of people in the cafe bar. I think that’s going to be quite interesting to explore.”
Matthew has thrown an old 30s microphone into the mix and the pair are considering moving the impressive piano into one of Mareel’s corridors for a shift in resonances.
“It has been interesting because I’ve never really thought about how tiring recording can get in the studio, I didn’t take that into account. It’s enjoyable but tiring to perform something to the best you can repeatedly,” said Hall.
“It’s harder than I expected it to be, but it’s been enjoyable throughout and something I’ve enjoyed doing.
“I enjoy playing a variety of music,” he adds.
“I play with funk bands quite regularly and guesting with people and I’ve been playing jazz for a while. As a piano player playing this kind of thing is more what I enjoy doing by myself. I find it more personal.”
So does he have a date in mind to release it?
“It’s something I really want to get out there but something I want to get to the best that I can make it. I’m caught in the middle between rushing it and getting it out there and something I’m happy with as a piece of work.”
Hall is keen to distance himself from typical classical music recordings and create something different.
“I want to get away from the way a lot of classical albums are recorded where it’s a really polished and straight sound. I wanted to explore different types of recording and create a different kind of sonic atmosphere.”