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.”


Add Your Comment
  • David Spence

    • January 24th, 2017 21:32

    I wish Lewis, well in his innovative and creative skills in looking at and through music in different ways in which it can be expressed.

    As a very much amateur musician myself, I have found experimenting using electronic and synthesized instruments and sound modules, highly inspiring in which to use in producing new and exciting sounds, compositions and abstracts within the sound medium.

    I have also found doing music through digital media to be very enhancing and giving an ability to reach aspects of music which would otherwise be limited using analogue instruments. Digital technology has opened up so many doors in giving one the opportunity to be, I think, more creative and experimental in transferring thought into sounds and music in a way which people can connect purely by listening.

    Shetland has a great and rich variation of musical skills in many fields of music, and it is great this can be explored further in different ways as a means of expression and enlightenment.

    Good luck Lewis, in your further adventures of musical expression.

  • Joe Watt

    • January 25th, 2017 12:26

    Yasss!!! Mon yersel squire!!


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.