Over the next few weeks I’m doing a favourite CD series with a few of my favourite vocalists that I’ve had the pleasure of playing with.
First up is the delightful Hannah Macklin who hails from Brisbane. We first met as finalists in the 2008 James Morrison Scholarship in Mount Gambier and I have been listening to a CD she recorded of her duo project with Steve Newcomb.
She is a wonderful, creative singer and I recommend you check her out at her Myspace.
Here’s what Hannah had to say about 4 of her favourite albums:
1. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
This was without a doubt the most-listened-to album of my high school years. I still listen to it frequently and love it; Lauryn’s tone is my favourite! “Every Ghetto, Every City” makes me want to wear high top sneakers and Afro combs and play in broken water mains, all the time. The tunes and grooves are so super solid and the lyrics are powerful and passionate and intelligent.. I don’t really need to explain it. It’s dope.
2. Bjork – Homogenic
It’s kind of hard to choose one Bjork album as the most influential… Bjork in general is a massive presence in my life! Musically, artistically, lyrically, everything. I think what sets Homogenic apart for me is the personal listening experience I had with it… at first I found the album cold and harsh, with tracks like “Hunter” and “Pluto” that really get up in your face and scream right through you. With each listen, though, the album softens and the incredible beauty of tracks “Joga” and “Unravel” becomes apparent, as does Bjork’s raw, soul-baring vocal and lyrical delivery. The arrangements and instrumentation are a constant source of inspiration – I love how she blends pure instrumentation with electronic programming – as are the off kilter grooves and leaping, soaring melodies… Just talking about it makes me want to listen to it right now.
3. Wayne Shorter Quartet – Beyond The Sound Barrier
I love the language and the conversations between the players on this album, little bits of information that gradually come together – it reminds me of a jigsaw puzzle, starting with all separate bits which move closer together to eventually make a whole scene. Wayne’s tone is of course beautiful – vibrant and joyous and always carving the direction for the band. This is inspiring as a solo voice and a band leader. There’s a particular phrase he plays on… I can’t remember which track, but it’s in my head right now, and I could base an entire song around it, it’s so packed with grit and substance.
4. Rufus Wainwright – Release The Stars
Again, it was a toss up between a couple of Rufus albums, but by the time Rufus released Release The Stars I was already a huge fan… and then I heard this, and my respect for him increased tenfold. The impact it had on me was huge. For me, Rufus writes songs that sound larger than life… and he is the master of tension and the slow build. I transcribed the orchestral arrangement on Do I Disappoint You for a uni assignment, and one day in the library whilst listening intently to the crux of the song, I found myself crying like a baby. Pretty embarrassing, but also completely amazing. His voice is an amazing, amazing instrument, and the songs on Release The Stars are for me, perfect pop songs.
Next week: Jane Irving