A driven award-winning professional fiddler & vocalist rocking the Chicago scene for 10+ years. She is a well-rounded violin & vocal performer having tons of experience both on stage and in the studio. Also fluent in a plethora of genres from country to classical as well as sight-reading proficiency and exemplary ear training skills.
Hannah has been rockin’ the violin since the age of ten and singing since 2004. She was classically trained on the violin throughout her youth, but always had (and still has) deep curiosity for a variance of styles. She was able to dip her fingers in musical worlds like bluegrass, metal, and jazz during her investigative years at Columbia College Chicago, where she earned her Bachelors in Music Composition in 2012. She still nurtures her classical roots through The Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, with whom she's been a member since 2008. She embraces her inner cowgirl as the fiddler and lead singer for local country cover band Suburban Cowboys as well as being the newest fiddle addition to Trippin Billies - well known Dave Matthews cover band. She is also the co-founder of local string group Chicago Street Strings and performs with a myriad of other bands, various groups, and plays in wedding ceremonies on the regular. Hannah has earned a skillful reputation both in the studio and on the stage - In addition to her exemplary ear, she is fluent in a wide scope of genres and has an extensive repertoire of country and rock tunes under her belt. Not to mention her sight-reading proficiency and continual pursuit of learning to play, sing and perform to her highest capacity. Hannah has also written music for numerous independent theatre productions in Chicago.
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Interview with Hannah K Watson
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Violin lines or solos in original songs. String Arrangements, Writing & Recording.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Lindsey Stirling, Chris Stapleton, Mark Ronson, Two Steps from Hell, Andrew Bird, countless Youtube Artists.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a personal home studio complete with a Stirling Audio Microphone and the Scarlett2i2 Audio Interface. I record using a combination of Logic and Ableton Live. I transcribe and arrange music using Sibelius 10. I also have an Axiom Pro 61 MIDI Keyboard, FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controler and an assortment of different pedals for other sounds and effects when recording, writing music and performing live.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I typically learn a melody by ear and create an arrangement on my violin from there. I'll record rough ideas straight into Logic and clean the lines up, perfecting them as I progress. I'll jot down key lines or the overall chord structure into Sibelius to keep solid readable notes on each song.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I can add tons of versatile elements from the string world to any song, the possibilities are endless! From horror soundtrack to a country fiddle solo. I can come up with catchy melodies on the spot, recording ideas with ease and professionalism. I can provide bass and chordal elements as well using my drop tune pedal. I bring originality, spot-on rhythm, intonation and the ability to spice up your music with some well-produced strings guaranteed.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Learning by ear.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Original music (where I provide background strings or a solo part). Creating original string parts or arrangements from scratch. Country Music (fiddle parts and/or lead and backup vocals).
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Country/Rock and/or Symphonic/Melodic
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To always deliver above and beyond what they request.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A few vocal singles and an album of original violin material. Also working on developing more video footage for Youtube.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I composed all of the music for a 2-hour long theatrical production. At the time, it was the first time I had ever taken on a project of this size and the whole process went quite smoothly and I learned a lot.