Influences: Sophie Hutchings

After releasing 2017’s Yonder and most recently, reissuing Wide Asleep on Digital/Vinyl formats with Hobbledehoy, Sophie Hutchings has been very busy with continued EP and single output alongside touring. Here she reflects on a few artists influencing the way she has approached music.

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Rachel’s

Discovering the Rachels as a young person was mind blowing for me… As the junior of a semi-large musically opinionated family, I was a bit of a musical sponge. I was governed by the sounds of my brothers and my Father between Indie Rock and Jazz. I loved the stimulative atmosphere of it, though I’d never really considered or understood why I wrote music like I did. Often it was only in the company of my bedroom walls. I was pretty introverted about it.

When I heard The Rachels I was so moved. I loved that they were a mix of classical sounds yet with Indie sensibilities. I also liked that they were formed and came from bands I’d already been introduced to by my brothers and their circle of friends like June of 44, Rodan, Shipping News, Sonora Pine etc. I felt an affiliation with this as that felt like my territory too.

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The Necks

As a child I would often be distracted whilst practicing. As silly as it may sound, I’d get into this habit of watching my hands play repetitive motifs over and over in the reflection of the piano…. Disciplined practice was frustrating and I found this a calmative. A little hypnotic.

I’ve always been a huge fan of repetitive music… This is what drew me to the Necks. I guess because it can take you on a bit of mind-trip and lull your senses.

Their music can come across understated, yet it’s so immeasurable . I love that they break all the rules of tradition.

Strangely it’s not emotional territory for me… However it’s the spell they cast. It’s an exploration with out your mind even realising it, where amongst repetition, the dynamics change, tones dip, swell and drift…

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Arvo Part

The first time I heard Spiegel im Spiegel it put a massive lump in my throat… I’ve listened to it countless times and there’s not a moment when it still doesn’t raise the same emotive response.

Arvo Part is a true example of introspective music. It’s not how many notes are played but how they are played. It’s also about the space in between. Silence in music speaks…There’s a purity about his music.

Arvo Part’s pieces hang on the edges, yet there’s a restlessness over the quietness that balances the fragility of his music and I guess being a sentimental person you don’t tire of this kind of beauty in music…

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Alice Coltrane

My my dad is a autocratic Jazz Head…. So I thought I would never really grow to love Jazz.… I’m extremely close to my Father and he’s been a total mentor in my life with his musical background, so I found when I left home I started pining for the music I grew up listening to! Bill Evans, Miles Davis, John Coltrane Et al…

For all that, the Avant Garde territory of Alice Coltrane was a step up. I loved how her music entered other worldly territories with her cascading harp, Choral voices, old Synth layered textures and tribal outlandish percussion.

It has this lofty energy about it. It’s soft yet soulful at the same time. It’s dreamlike and euphoric… This was the begining to discovering a whole world of Spiritual and Ethio-Jazz which is one of my favourite cooking and red wine type kinda music!

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Bohren der club of Gore

Borehen Der Club of Gore took me into the twilight zone… Their sparse mixture of instrumental jazz and dark ambience have a rare ability to make time and space around you feel vast and infinite.

Their brooding slow melodies endow you to listen in a distant fashion whilst it’s mood drips intravenously in and takes over without your knowing.

I love the deliberateness in their approach. They capture a mood that’s almost undefined and forces you and your surroundings to slow down…I love that.

It’s purposely languorous in nature, drenched in mesmerism.……

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