Looking through all the live events that have come and gone this year in the music world, it seems ever increasingly that the United States is finally starting to find its wings within the universal culture of sound. Never have so many artists, genres, and even time periods of music come together in this way, at this speed, for this many people to bear. Most popularly in the form of music festivals and multiple day audio based escapes to beautiful environs.
Naturally, the airwaves are flooded with the latest single by Artist A, with the hot new tour from Artist B. However, every now and I again I get the chance of meeting an artist who attunes to the world in a different way that we’re used to seeing. An artist archetype whose primary struggle seems to be that the world isn’t quite ready for all they have to offer. The truly skilled find a medium between being true to one’s artistic self, and giving the people something they can feel and love on a spiritual level.
Over the summer, violinist\producer Hannah Thiem (generally known and stylized as HANNAH) found that perfect medium in the vast and beautiful Squaw Valley at this year’s Wanderlust festival. With the theme of the festival being centered on solid minds, good vibes, and even better body movement, HANNAH delving into her deep energy Nordic folklore roots was an easy fit.
When I first heard her music, it drew for me boundless cyber fantasy cityscapes nestled in grey-skied green foothills of Iceland, Northern Lights above. Switch to slow motion montages with regal characters cloaked in ceremonial garb and general badassness through stone columned hallways. Smooth synth seduction going down in the Blue Lagoon. Her latest album Brym has all of it. Joined with deep thumping rhythm in the drum sector, I feel like Eidos should have consulted her already on their soundtracks at the very least.
My good friend, teacher, aerial silk performer and number two journalist for the weekend Jennifer Renee joined me for the weekend at 11,000 feet. Nestled in the area home to the 1960 Olympics, Squaw Valley played host to the weekend of Yoga, Live Music, pool parties, inspirational talks, massage tables, health conscious food, and a whole lotta spandex to see what the brightest parts of the festival were.
In a unique musical itinerary, we were able to see HANNAH perform live in the central marketplace of the festival, in a yoga class overlooking Lake Tahoe among approaching storms, and in the quiet green hillside grass of the mountain’s sweeping short walk views. Versatility and creativity like this is seen rarely, and remains an increasingly important factor in the future of up and coming musicians and performers.
Take a break to listen to our interview (weighing in at 40 minutes…call it a podcast) with HANNAH the yogi agent of the world, and molder of sonic folklore that would make Mjölnir dance in delight on her own. We recorded inside the Olympian ski lodge on the fly for atmospheric realness of course.
She just finished a West Coast tour leg in San Francisco, but take a look at her calendar for her mainly Los Angeles and New York based tour next year. She may pop up in your Yoga class clad in black and gold with a violin in hand.
Until next time my friends,