Starting our week off right, Hannah Schneider pours her rich vocals and twinkling melody into the symphonic track, “Mirror Sphere”. While the minimalist production lays the bare bones of the song, it is Hannah’s vulnerability that fleshes out the story. While painting an image of the beginning of life, “Mirror Sphere” injects an enigmatic chorus filled with soaring synths — celebrating the triumph with which we came into being.
In her own words, Hannah explains, “I wrote ‘Mirror Sphere’ in the middle of the darkest times of the pandemic. It felt like it was a crucial moment in history – almost as if it was the end of it all. I came to think of the earth’s long history, and that everything happens over billions of years – all the way back from the time the amoebas decided to go ashore, to become animals and later humans. We’re just part of the long haul, and that’s kind of a consolation!”
While the track is soothing to the ears and tender in tone, it holds a power over its listeners which inspires, comforts and motivates. In an accompanying music video, the track pays tribute to the monumental accomplishments of mankind, even down to the simple pleasures of building and owning homes.
To celebrate the release of ‘Mirror Sphere”, we spoke with Hannah about the music video, as well as the next steps of her musical journey. To stream the video and for the full interview, head below…
Hi Hannah, how are you today?
I’m great, thanks! Its finally starting to feel like spring in Denmark, and even though I’m working day and night to finish my album, it’s so light outside so that helps!
Let’s go back in time a bit. When did you first start playing the piano?
My dad was a classical pianist and when I was four, he started to teach me. He taught students on a grand piano in the cellar in our house. Later, when I started school, we practiced together every morning before going to school. But when I became a teenager, I found other interests, and didn’t really bother to play anymore- I wanted to do my own songs and started using the computer to create music instead.
What inspired you want to write your latest single “Mirror Sphere”?
The song is – like most of my upcoming album – inspired by a book called The Sea Letters, that talks about life on earth from the ocean’s perspectives. I wrote Mirror Sphere in the middle of the darkest times of the pandemic, where it felt like it was a crucial moment in history – almost as if it was the end of it all. I came to think of the earth’s long history, and that everything happens over billions of years – all the way back from the time the amoebas decided to go ashore, to become animals and later humans. We’re all just part of the long haul, and that’s kind of a consolation!
Congratulations on your upcoming album! As a new body of work, how does it differ from your previous albums?
Thank you! I’m deep in the process to finish it, but when I try to look at the album as a whole, I can see that I have worked much more conceptually this time. Usually, I tend to write every song for itself, going for what I feel makes the particular song great. But this time, I have been very focused on creating a whole- almost a film that you walk (or swim!) into, and don’t come up for air until its finished.
How would you describe the theme that runs through your music?
I often see my music in pictures, and I guess I work with my songs almost as a screenwriter would do. This is definitely a cinematic album, that – hopefully – will leave the listener with vivid pictures. I am also really interested in the contrast between acoustic instruments with a near presence in combination with electronic soundscapes that creates an ambience around my songs.
The visuals in your music video for “Mirror Sphere” are striking, especially the architecture, what did you want to illustrate through the setting?
Søren who made the video shot it on real film, and we only had 11 minutes in total to film everything. We had this idea of these houses being sort of a little microcosm of the world around – where you wake up, live your life, and go to bed at night. We shot the beginning of the song where I play live on my Omnichord at sundown in front of the houses, and due to traffic, we almost didn’t make it. The last parts where at sunrise, and the lady who comes out and gets her laundry is a total stroke of luck- she just appeared without us knowing! It’s a very intuitive way of working, and it was fun to try to mix a live setting with a pre-recorded music video.
You’ve been sharing your music with the world since 2009… What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Being a (female) solo artist definitely has its ups and downs. I do feel that a change is coming now, which is great! Also, I tend to work as closely with other people as I can- it can be very lonely to write and record music all by yourself!
When songwriting, what emotions do you hope to evoke from anyone who listens to your music?
I hope to be able to give people the opportunity to make their own pictures to my songs. I hope they feel welcome and connected to them. I also love it when texts can mean different things to different people. That they can connect a specific feeling, place or happening to my songs.
Looking ahead, how do you hope to move through 2022 in your musical journey?
First of all, I can’t wait to do the final mastering of the whole album, and let it fly! But also playing live again after these years of sparse shows and lockdowns will be a complete treat! I can’t wait to sing these songs in front of an audience around Europe very soon.