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Sophie Hutchings

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  1. 1.
    Grace
    2:110:30
  2. 2.
    By Night
    5:290:30
  3. 3.
    Tail Lights
    3:260:30
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    Grace II - Peter Hollo
    2:240:30
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    Memory I
    7:060:30
Australian pianist/composer Sophie Hutchings fit into the post-classical genre. Flitting from the soothing, idyllic, and melancholy to urgent and tempestuous, her music sat comfortably alongside that of Rachel's, Max Richter, Peter Broderick, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Dustin O'Halloran, and Nils Frahm.
With a gregarious, outgoing personality belied by her music's wistful introspection, Hutchings was born into a musical family. Her father was a jazz musician who had toured the U.S. and played with Frank Sinatra, and her brother Jamie fronted the alternative rock band Bluebottle Kiss. She began making music as a child on the family piano. In later years she was influenced by shoegaze and ambient, and by post-classical pioneer Jóhannsson, whom she once named her favorite composer. Initially extremely shy about performing, she did not make her recording debut until age 32, when, in 2010, Sydney experimental label Preservation released her first album, Becalmed. Recorded by Tim Whitten, longterm engineer for avant-garde trio the Necks, the album was largely solo piano, with the occasional interjection of pedal steel, strings, and drum kit. The influences of ambient, jazz, and indie rock were noticeable, but more subliminal than overt, transmuted in a kind of musical alchemy. Perhaps the most obvious influences on the album were seminal post-classical group Rachel's and Michael Nyman's classic score for The Piano. The album was very well received, and Hutchings released a follow-up, Night Sky, in 2012, which saw her broaden her palette, including more arrangements for strings and woodwind which gave the album more of a chamber feel. Many of her family members, including her father, played on the record. A completely solo mini-album, White Light, appeared in 2014, before her third full-length, Wide Asleep, dropped in 2016. ~ John D. Buchanan, Rovi

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