Liz Hanks

Cellist, improviser, creator

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35 Reviews (20 Verified)
Liz Hanks on SoundBetter

Emotive, creative and dynamic cellist. From touring with Liam Gallagher to improvising with Indian musicians; performing with Smokey Robinson to recording film soundtracks. Liz has a vast array of experience as a session musician and can both expertly record composed cello lines as well as improvise to add an extra layer of emotion to a track.

Liz is respected and much in demand as a session musician worldwide. She has worked with pop/rock artists, Indian classical musicians, film composers, folk musicians, blues guitarists, jazz singers and singer songwriters.

Her studio recording credits include Rita Ora, Duane Eddy, Richard Hawley, Paul Heaton (The Beautiful South), Mike Scott (The Waterboys), Tony Christie, Chris Kamara, Thea Gilmore, Martin Simpson, Jim Moray, Ben Ottewell (Gomez), Wayne Hussey (The Mission), Laura Sullivan and The Courteeners.

Liz's performance highlights include performing with Smokey Robinson at the Royal Albert Hall, London and playing solo cello on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival and at the Brit Awards with Liam Gallagher.
She has also toured and performed live with Richard Hawley, Edwyn Collins, Wayne Hussey, Neil Finn, The Charlatans and Amy MacDonald.

Liz has recorded on numerous soundtracks for TV and film. including on the film 'Funny Cow' starring Maxine Peake and the award winning 'The Long Walk' directed by Mattie Do and composed by Anthony Weeden.
Computer game credits include: Lightseekers trailer, Blackwood Crossing, Beyond a Steel Sky.

Liz is also a co-director of the Up North Session Orchestra and can provide string quartets, or larger string ensembles if required.

I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Liz Hanks
  • Paul Heaton
  • Jacqui Abbott
  • Richard Hawley
  • Martin Simpson
  • Thea Gilmore
  • Richard Hawley
  • Ben Ottewell
  • Paul Heaton
  • Jacqui Abbott
  • Richard Hawley
  • Slow Club
  • Paul Heaton
  • Jacqui Abbott
  • Thea Gilmore
  • In the Nursery
  • In the Nursery
  • Haujobb
  • Thea Gilmore
  • Richard Hawley
  • Richard Hawley
  • Richard Hawley
  • Sopor Aeternus & the Ensemble of Shadows
  • The Ensemble of Shadows
  • Richard Hawley
  • In the Nursery
  • Richard Hawley
  • Richard Hawley
  • Richard Hawley
  • Grandadbob
  • Grandadbob
  • Richard Hawley
  • Richard Hawley
  • Richard Hawley
  • Richard Hawley
  • In the Nursery
  • A Girl Called Eddy
  • L'Âme Immortelle
  • Grandadbob
  • Richard Hawley
  • Richard Hawley
  • Paul Heaton
  • Jacqui Abbott
  • Richard Hawley
  • Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere
  • Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere

35 Reviews - 4 Repeat Clients

Endorse Liz Hanks
  1. Review by Richard D.
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    Liz has now done a good grip of songs for me and I’m always so excited to send her more. She’s basically a really cool part of my record at this point—and I couldn’t be happier to have found this consistent source of all things cello. She’s got such great feel and depth to her playing, and can always deliver the perfect idea to compliment the music.

  2. Review by Bav
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    Liz delivers fantastic cello lines that enrich your project and takes it to the next level. A pleasure to collab with.

  3. Review by Juan Sánchez
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    It was the first time I worked with Liz and I am really happy with what she has done. She composed and recorded a beautiful cello part for my piano composition. She is very professional and I look forward to work with her again in the future.

  4. Review by Bav
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    Liz did an incredible job on laying the foundations on quite a challenging track. A fantastic cellist who delivers high quality work and is pleasure to collab with.

  5. Review by Richard D.
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    We're a number of songs into a pretty extensive project, and Liz has added such great texture and depth to my music--I'm literally looking for ways to get her in on more songs. Super easy to communicate and work with as always. And her playing is top notch. I truly feel lucky every time I hit the green "start a new job with Liz" button.

  6. Review by Richard D.
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    I could not be happier. Liz took my idea and made it so much better. Beautiful playing, and an equally beautiful tone. And then, as my tune rose to a certain intensity, Liz dug in and lifted it to where it needed to be. Super easy to work with, too. A real pleasure. I will certainly be back for more.

  7. Review by Teo N.
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    Amazing job by Liz, fantastic communication and great final result. She picked up immediately the idea I had and developed even better.
    I will surely work with her again.
    Well done Liz

  8. Review by Nick G.
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    Liz has been amazing from start to finish! Lovely to work with, great communications, quick and most of all she plays the cello so beautifully - her sound is so graceful. My track has been taken up several levels by having Liz playing on top. She played exactly what I was after plus also improved some lovely extra lines for me too to work with - absolutely brilliant, I cannot recommend Liz highly enough. Thanks Liz!

  9. Review by Walter Freitas
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    Apart from Cello I think Liz maybe could have a mind-reader superpower. I asked her for a Cello Solo to a ballad song, and her approach was incredible, unique and complete. The tracks fitted perfectly on the song and I hope to work with her again in the future!

  10. Review by Eric S.
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    Liz has joined us again and the results are stunning! She delivered earlier than the deadline and her cello play is beautiful. We are very happy to work with Liz!

  11. Review by Josh T.
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    Liz was amazing; her responses were quick, professional and the turn around was only a few days, will definitely be working with her in the future!!

  12. Review by Eric S.
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    It was a pleasure to work with Liz Hanks. Her cello play is beautiful, she is a great communicator, delivered more than we asked, and all on time! Looking forward to working with her again.

  13. Review by Bav
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    Liz is an excellent pro to collab with, her cello skills and the sounds she produces are of a very high quality that fit your project perfectly. Can't recommend her highly enough.

  14. Review by Artem M.
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    Super professional. Love working with Liz! Awesome cello tracks! Can highly recommend. 10/10

  15. Review by andrea m.
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    Liz is a great cello player! i love the job she has done; she bring my song to a top level!!
    I'm sure we'll work together again
    thanks

  16. Review by Bav
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    Liz is an impressive cellist who delivers an end product that sounds beautiful and is of a very high quality. A pleasure to collab with.

  17. Review by Leonard K.
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    Working with Liz was fantastic! She's a highly professional musician who delivers top notch quality, perfect in time. She is and plays so musical and took up the ideas in first take. Thanks again, Liz, for your service!

  18. Review by Gordon G.
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    Liz just completed recording the cello part for a 5-movement cello concerto, including cadenzas and with may very exposed and nearly impossible passages, and managed to pull everything off beautifully, full of expression, adding whole new dimensions of musicality to the score. The tracks were all flawlessly played and recorded, and I cannot imagine a more congenial process. I highly recommend Liz to all!

  19. Review by Gordon G.
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    Liz is an phenomenal cellist. She recorded several movements of a cello concerto with lots of difficult solo passages flawlessly, and with a total commitment and soulfulness that brought everything to life beautifully. The results went far beyond what I could have imagined when writing the music. Beyond the quality of the performance, the tracks were also perfectly recorded with full beautiful sound that didn't require any additional adjustment.

  20. Review by Gordon G.
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    Liz recorded some challenging music for solo cello for me and did a fabulous job. She was super responsive, extremely musical, with spot-on interpretive sensibility, and a complete pleasure to work with. I could not be more satisfied with her work and recommend to everyone.

  21. Review by Jasdeep Singh Degun
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    Liz is an exceptionally talented and extremely professional musician and recording artist. Always willing to go the extra mile in any situation, Liz is my first call for any project involving strings/cello. She has an excellent ear for music regardless of style or genre - I’ve almost always thrown her in the deep end with Indian classical music and she picks it up quicker than even some of the trained Indian musicians! Hard working and reliable, 5 stars are not enough!!

  22. Review by Chris K.
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    Liz did an amazing job playing cello on my track! Beautiful job, very precise but with real depth and feeling. I'd love to work with her again!

  23. Review by Ben Ward
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    Liz remotely recorded a track for me in a pop musical theatre style. Her playing was stylistically and technically perfect, and her recordings were of a high audio quality and sent to me very quickly. Liz has definitely jumped to the top of my 'first-call' list and I'd happily recommend her to anyone needing a cellist!

  24. Review by Cobbler
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    I have been lucky enough to work with Liz over many years. Her professionalism and diligence are undeniable. She is exceptional when playing from pre-written music, but when her creativity and originality are allowed to shine she is quite simply unrivalled in her field. A supreme talent, and I am honoured to have played alongside her.

  25. Review by Anday Smith (Made By Mortals)
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    Liz was a dream to work with... from planning, to co-delivery of an interactive workshop with vulnerable adults over zoom, to creating the most wonderful piece of music based on the ideas and musical motifs composed by the group. It's rare to find a musician who is equally as comfortable composing, performing and collaborating with vulnerable people in this way.

  26. Review by Justin Lewis
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    Liz brings a real calm confidence to everything she does, she has incredibly high standards and is a total pleasure to work with. Liz is perfectly at home in the studio, in front of a crowd of thousands, or in a more intimate setting - and is highly capable across a wealth of musical genres. Her many years of experience and breadth of talent mean Liz is unflappable and always delivers an amazing sound.

  27. Review by Paul Cookson
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    Liz added the magic we could only dream of. Her touch, feel, interpretation and empathy with our songs was flawless and lifted them immeasurably. Utterly wonderful. Such was her connection we are now writing with her contributions already in mind. Here's to the next time! Thanks so much Liz.
    Paul Cookson, songwriter with Don Powell's Occasional Flames

  28. Review by Will Killen
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    Liz brought my MIDI arrangement to life in record timing, and is an absolute pleasure to work with. Her skill and feel is of the highest level, and the recordings sound fantastic. I couldn't recommend her highly enough!

  29. Review by Raj
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    Thank you so much liz for the beautiful recording. looking forward to the finished track now. I’m really happy with the vibe you have created with this world fusion sound project. Thank you 😊

  30. Review by Michael Walsh
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    Liz was a central sound to my album Quarehawk released last year. She is supreme in identifying detail and catching the emotion of a song. Everything is played to a masterful standard. She is a wonderful improvisor and played traditional Irish music as if she had been playing it all her life. She easy company in the rehearsal room, in studio and on stage. I can't wait to work with her again.

  31. Review by Abdullah Babayiğit
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    improvisations are great, sound quality is good. Liz is a great master.

  32. Review by Sam Brown
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    I have worked with Liz in the studio and more recently remotely, in both scenarios I have been blown away by her musicianship. Her pitch, tone and phrasing surpass my expectations of my compositions and she is super friendly, quick and easy to work with. Without doubt one of the best session musicians I've ever worked with.

  33. Review by Anna Hawkins
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    I gave Liz two very different tracks of guitar and vocals and asked her to write cello parts with almost no brief (I trust her completely and wanted to see what she would come up with). The results were beautiful as expected and the creative process was smooth and utterly professional. Feel very lucky to have had a chance to collaborate with Liz.

  34. Review by Anthony Weeden
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    Liz is a wonderful cellist, musician and collaborator of the highest calibre, and comes with a great wealth of performing and recording experience. I've worked with Liz many, many times - she is extremely joyful and easy to work with, providing the highest quality results time after time, with a tailored service if required. I recommend Liz most highly.

  35. Review by Michael M.
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    Liz did some excellent cello on a song for a forthcoming indie EP I’m working on. Super happy with how it turned out. Working remotely really saved the day.

Interview with Liz Hanks

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: I was the cellist on Martin Simpson's recent album 'Rooted'. Due to the instrumentation and the way the rehearsals evolved the album was made in a 'live' recording situation. I was working with some of my all time favourite musicians and the live element was so exciting. Am so proud to have been involved, check it out!

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: I am writing my own solo cello album, it draws upon the many influences I have had throughout my career: folk, minimalism, Indian classical, improvisation and contemporary classical music. I am also including field recordings of urban wildlife in my local area. It's an eclectic mix, but am really proud of the pieces I am making and really excited to be able to share them very soon.

  5. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  6. A: Cello (and bow), laptop, Focusrite, my Aria mic, headphones. All set up to keep recording my own music (which I am loving at the moment)

  7. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  8. A: I feel I can tell a story in my playing and pride myself in adding emotion and depth to cello parts that I am given.

  9. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  10. A: I have my studio set up in my home, I am so lucky to have a calm quiet space to work in. I use a Sontronics Aria as my principle microphone, plus a AKG AKG C414 and an Avantone CR-14 ribbon microphone. I use a Focusrite Scartlet 2i2 and all my projects are recorded using Logic Pro X.

  11. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  12. A: I would highly recommend Natalie Purton for any violin parts, she is an amazing violinist and will make your track sparkle! I also recommend the wonderful Anthony Weeden: orchestrator, composer and arranger. He is always amazing at anything he turns his hand to and the nicest guy you will ever meet!

  13. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  14. A: Both! Everything has its strength and weaknesses.

  15. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  16. A: My promise is to deliver my very best work (always!)

  17. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  18. A: I love hearing the finished products played on the radio, on TV or films, its so exciting to know the music is reaching out to people far and wide. I love the creative process of composing, performing and recording. I strongly believe the journey to learn these things has a huge effect on who you are as a person.

  19. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  20. A: Often customers have a style, technique or idea but feel embarrassed that they don't know the technical term. I really don't mind! Its all about communicating so all you need to do is describe what you want in your own words.

  21. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  22. A: Maybe that everything comes easily to me? I work really hard at everything and really enjoy discovering more about playing music, learning about music production and learning about bettering myself.

  23. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  24. A: I always want to get a really clear idea of what they have in mind for their track. Also I like to make sure all the practical issues are sorted (like what parts I need, formats etc)

  25. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  26. A: Do your research and make sure the musician makes the right sound and has the playing style you want. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions.

  27. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  28. A: I have been playing and recording professionally for over 20 years now (!) I studied at the University of Sheffield and subsequently with Bernard Gregor-Smith (Lindsay String Quartet). As well as a classical freelance career I playing in a few bands and this is where I learnt to write and play in so many styles. Since I have always accepted challenges and worked hard on everything I have done. Last year I performed (solo) with Liam Gallagher on the pyramid stage at Glastonbury Festival, my 20 year old self wouldn't have believed it! I love the exciting things that life throws at you,

  29. Q: How would you describe your style?

  30. A: Emotive and eclectic.

  31. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  32. A: I am currently quite into folk and contemporary classical music so I would have to say Erland Cooper, I love his music! I am so lucky that I have ended up in studios in the past with artists that I only have dreamed of working with, have had to pinch myself many times!

  33. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  34. A: Make sure your room is set up well with rugs and acoustic panels. The room sound really makes a difference.

  35. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  36. A: I have played for rock, pop, singer songwriter projects, trap, jazz, Indian music and folk. I can honestly say I don't have a favourite, I really do love playing in all styles.

  37. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  38. A: I think the main thing is I really care about what I do, I will only ever do my very best and will work hard to get there. I am also friendly, approachable and always willing to listen.

  39. Q: What's your typical work process?

  40. A: For a new song, I will listen for a while and then will record some initial improvisations and ideas. I always the find the best, most natural ideas occur this way. These will then be formed into a final part which I will go on to record and edit, ready to be sent!

  41. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  42. A: I love the playing of cellist Yo Yo Ma (who doesn't) and greatly admire Sheku Kanneh-Mason who has recently done so much to elevate the profile of the cello, his playing is stunning.

  43. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  44. A: The majority of my work is for album projects and soundtracks in so many different styles!

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Studio recording of film soundtrack for 'The Long Walk' composed by Anthony Weeden

I was the cellist in this production

Terms Of Service

Fast turnaround (2-3 business days), one free revision included. Same day turnaround available for an additional fee. Contact Liz for more details.

Gear Highlights
  • Sontronics Aria
  • AKG C414
  • Focusrite 2i2
  • Logic Pro X
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  • New MicrophoneFeb 05, 2021

    Started the new year with a beautiful new microphone - The 'Aria' by Sontronics.  Looking forward to lots of recording in 2021!