“ACOUSTIC INTIMACY BRINGS NEW HOPE”Written by Therese Owen
INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS, JULY 2014
The ever-inventive Shannon Hope has embarked on a new and challenging project. Called Shannon Hope – The Bedroom Sessions, she films herself while performing on the piano in her bedroom and then posts the footage on YouTube.
“I literally record in my tiniest dungeon of a bedroom,” she explains. “I am giving people a free glimpse of my creative process, which includes old songs, covers and a few new songs. Some of the songs are at the beginning stages of my creative process.”
Watching The Bedroom Sessions, her bedroom certainly does not look like a dungeon. Her performances are intense with lyrics that hurt to the core. “All my music is sad and emotional. But on my recent new music I am also exploring a new style vocally. I normally use powerful vocals, but now I want to be softer in my approach. I want to express fragility because I am at a fragile stage at the moment.”
She gives her reasons for The Bedroom Sessions: “My focus has changed; I want to focus on writing and being authentic in what I want to do. This includes meaningful shows as opposed to pointless tours. I am tired of chasing the buck. The Bedroom Sessions is as raw and emotional as you can get to my music, besides a one-on-one performance. I am not that kind of musician to sit in the corner and play to arbitrary drunk people.”
Her next show, outside of cyber-space, is a collaboration with the Flatfoot Dance Company called Hope. It forms part of the Jomba! Contemporary Dance Festival. This will be her second performance of the show which she describes as an incredible experience. “I wrote the soundtrack and collaborated with the dancers. It is the most insane experience watching dancers interpret my lyrics. The show is primarily about the fragility of relationships and the hope that is within relationships.”
A year ago she was asked by TEDx to write a talk and initially refused as she didn’t believe she had achieved success. However, after thinking about it she started writing and soon had 18 hours of text. The Irrationality of Believing focuses on the nigh impossibilities of being an original piano composer and constantly touring and performing against all odds in South Africa. “The fact that I am still doing this is the story. In the talk I examine the definition behind success and failure. I try and figure out why I am still doing it. I have no choice, I just have to do it.”
Currently on a break from fulltime touring, Shannon Hope is utilising her other talents in digital creative spaces… but there will be another studio album, and some exclusive performances every now and then. It’s not over. It’s just different.