Interview: Jo Hamilton

Your 2009 album Gown began as a series of field recordings conducted in Cambodia. Do you expect Singapore to inspire you as well?
Cambodia is a stunning country with a fascinating and tragic history. I have yet to discover Singapore but I am intrigued.
How did you start creating music with the AirPiano?
I came across Omer Yosha, the inventor of the AirPiano, playing an early prototype on YouTube in 2009. I was attracted to its simplicity and the fact that it looks like you’re magically plucking sounds out of the air. I made contact with him and ended up traveling to Berlin where he made a custom prototype for me to work with. I gave feedback how it worked in the real world. It’s a partnership of sorts.
Did you grow up in a musical family?
Yes, my siblings are all very musical. We grew up singing traditional songs of the highlands and islands of Scotland in a one-room primary school with our teacher from the Isle of Skye.
Having traveled all over the world, do you have a favorite country?
I feel an affinity to Scotland. Having been brought up there, my early memories are very strongly Scottish. But the world is such a rich and fantastic place, I can’t have a favorite.
Who inspires you?
I usually draw my inspiration from things outside of music, but I do appreciate Bjork’s and My Brightest Diamond’s work. I also really enjoy watching Imogen Heap’s creative process.
Jo Hamilton performs on August 8 at the Esplanade Recital Studio