Rebecca Nobrega, Media Writer, Design and Mode
Rebecca Nobrega and “Rebecca’s Creations…” is a regular column for HorizonVU Music. Rebecca was born in Toronto, Ontario. Her interests include marketing, design, and of course, styling. She keeps a close listen and watch on the Indie music and fashion scene . She loves working and always strives for success.
Hannah Judson is a musician who has not been sitting still. She has travelled widely, and has worked with a range of musicians, from classical, folk, punk and grunge. Like her music, her style draws on multiple influences. She is relaxed, calm and projects intellect, creativity, and openness one might associate with New England artists. Her original style reflects her personality – right on target. She is always providing her fans and listeners with something new and creative.
The themes of her songs are eclectic and are inspired by conversations, events in the news, or a book she is reading. She says, “The songwriting process is very similar to painting with oil paints. Oil is a sturdy, flexible medium, you can modal forms smoothly hiding the brushstrokes, or dig into it with a knife. You paint over mistakes leaving just a hint that you were ever there. And the mistakes turn out to be the freshest part. My songs are not music therapy, or specifically autobiographical. I reference things I know, people who populate my world, all the time, but the subject is not you and me literally. My songs tend to be little fictions.”
Just this year she released an album “Underbelly” produced by Michel Esquelin. This album presents a few different characters and perspectives, old, young some male. These songs were written in France where she currently lives, but many are influenced by her former life in the US. Right now, she is currently working on a project, “Leggy”, and is coming more from experience, observations and events in France. Leggy is scheduled for release in 2012. Hannah has a great number of fans and listeners. Those who attend her shows and listen to her music she describes as “good listeners, with a little edge.” Let’s take a look at Hannah live, performing “Ishmael”.
Hannah comes from a family where music always played a part. Her grandfather was a tenor in a Boston choir. When the choir toured Europe, he met his soon to be wife on the steamship. She was a piano teacher. Between the two of them, “Music was the hook”. Hannah’s father was also a great influence, as he made a harpsichord and a lute, played medieval and Baroque music, and sang arias around the house. Just as important, her mother had a great record collection: The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, etc. Hannah played the violin and her father’s old clarinet, which she played throughout high school. In high school and college she took harpsichord and piano lessons. Some of her major influences as a musicians were people like Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Liz Phair, Laurie Anderson, Cat Power and Velvet Underground.
Travel has always been important to Hannah. In Vienna she “wrote her earliest songs, painted, learned German, drank coffee, and smoked, inhaling deeply.” She worked her way through Morocco, hitchhiked north through Spain, and ended up on her feet in Holland. There she had an epiphany in the Van Gogh museum that it was time to get serious. She moved to Boston and got a job with a book publishing company. After about 18 months working in a cubicle, she had another epiphany, and headed back to Europe, this time to San Sebastian, Spain. There she got a classical guitar studied Spanish classical guitar with a Basque teacher, danced in bars, and continued writing her own music.
The next stop after Spain was Chicago where she went to graduate school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She bought her first electric guitar, an amp, and put together her first band, Salt Lick. “With Salt Lick I began playing out. Chicago was great for that as there are so many venues to play their music”, says Hannah. After Salt Lick, she played bass in a folk/rock band, The Bloomers. She was in an acapella act, The Blowpops, and then Sweet Bridget an alt/rock band, with strong musicianship and personalities.
After Sweet Bridget came her last band Kite Club, a trio, with electro/ punk songwriter Brian Burkhard and Leslie Santos, the drummer from Sweet Bridget. They made 2 records, releasing one of them before she moved to France in 2005. She started playing in Paris in 2009. Hannah has been working with several musicians including Michel Esquelin and Serge Bencissou, performing her her original music at numerous venues including a 16 week concert series at Les Décharguers in Paris.
You can find Hannah Judson at: