There are ten musicians in the Songs of Separation gang, hailing from across Scotland and England. Some of you will know some of us… but in case there are a few of us you’ve not encountered before, here’s an introduction in the form of a short, quirky interview.
Today we feature Hannah Read, singer, fiddler, guitarist, who is travelling all the way from New York to join us. We’ll be posting an interview with each of the musicians in the coming weeks. Please keep in touch or join our newsletter if you’d like to find out more!
What made you want to start playing music? What made you choose your instrument?
I grew up in a musical household – my mum played cello, sister played fiddle. My dad had a massive record collection, which opened my ears and had me singing in the car from when I was a wee sprout! Being surrounded with music made me very keen to learn myself and seeing as my sister already played fiddle, that seemed like a good place to start. Also, spending so much time on the Isle of Eigg from when I was born, with lots of folk playing music all the time, made me want to start getting involved! I loved how playing music made me feel as a child, there was never any question that it wasn’t the right thing for me to do.
Who would you say have been your influences (musical and otherwise)?
My biggest influences were the musicians I was surrounded with when growing up in the trad scene in Scotland – especially the various folk who taught me at the Feis, Youth Gathering, Tinto Summer School… Joni Mitchell, Alison Krauss, Bruce Molsky, Sandy Denny, Martyn Bennett, Belle & Sebastian were and still are big ones for me.
Tell us one unusual thing about you
I really love ducks.
What do you want the SOS project to achieve?
I am really looking forward to heading up to Eigg and getting the opportunity to have such a concentrated time with so many talented and interesting women. Having been away and ‘separated’ from Scotland for ten years, this is a chance to play, collaborate and get right up to date with what is happening in Scotland right now, both musically and of course politically. I can’t quite honestly think of better company to do that in!
I’m excited to get stuck into these old songs and hear what kind of ideas ten different women’s diverse inputs and thoughts will generate.
Got any news?
My all lady trio The Isles are bringing out our new record this Summer, which I’m really excited about! I am recording a duo record with pianist Oli Rockberger, teaching at camps and touring with a few different projects this Summer – should be a fun one!
Here’s Hannah doing her thing with The Isles