News

New Year, New Process, New Music!

Well, a new year has begun with all its hopes and challenges still head. I spent last year largely in taking stock of the ways in which I was handling my music, and I also composed several new songs which culminated in the release of my most recent album, “In Ten Thousand Places: Where Hillis Meets Hopkins,” just last month. So far, it has been well-received and it’s available from this very site in digital format if you wish to purchase it. You don’t even need to have iTunes or Google Play! However, if you do use these stores and other online digital music retailers, you can of course purchase my music from them if you like.

During the process of recording this album, I realized that I thoroughly enjoy the work of producing and editing music, and I am eager to do more of it as this year progresses. With the help of a new microphone which is almost a tiny recording studio in its own rite, I think it’s a safe bet that more music will be available for sale before the year is out. I have decided to adopt a process which I hope will see recording of some sort almost always occurring, as well as leaving the time necessary to create new music. In this way, albums will simply appear over time, and there will hopefully be no more long lapses between new projects. Instead, the music itself will be an ongoing project and will produce albumes and possibly singles in a more organic fashion which fits my personality and my desire for simplicity and an ongoing flow of creativity quite well. My new philosophy is: music begets music. So, whether I’m recording or composing or performing, it will all feed into itself and will hopefully allow me to stretch myself as a musician with every new experience.

IN closing, I hope that 2015 will be a year filled with song and joy, and I hope you’ll come along with me on this new journey, which I hope will be made up of equal parts creativity and productivity. May all the best be yours in this new year!

Musically yours,

Sara Hillis

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New Album is Now Live!

Cover of "In Ten Thousand Places: Where Hillis Meets Hopkins." A picture of Hopkins at his desk in his priest's collar with the title of the album near the bottom of the picture and "Sara Hillis" written in the upper left corner.

 

Yes, it’s true! “In Ten Thousand Places: Where hillis Meets Hopkins” is now available for digital download. You can get it at many of the leading digital music stores such as iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Spotify, or you can also purchase it directly from this web site. CDs will be coming in the new year and I’ll keep you posted on further developments. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I have enjoyed every aspect of its production.

Click here to go to the purchase page.

Digital Launch-date for New Album Set for Next Month!

Cover of "In Ten Thousand Places: Where Hillis Meets Hopkins." A picture of Hopkins at his desk in his priest's collar with the title of the album near the bottom of the picture and "Sara Hillis" written in the upper left corner.

 

 

It is my pleasure to report that “In Ten Thousand Places: Where Hillis Meets Hopkins” will go live for digital download both on this web site and in major digital music stores on Tuesday, December 2, 2014! In the meantime, Here are some samples of the songs to tide you over. anyone who likes Celtic music or the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, or is interested in hearing new music should know about this album. So, be sure to spread the word! Here are the samples.

 

Track 1. God’s Grandeur. Music by Sara Hillis, lyrics by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889.)

Arranged and performed by Sara Hillis: piano, harp and vocals.

Track 2: As Kingfishers Catch Fire. Music by Sara Hillis, lyrics by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889.)

Arranged and performed by Sara Hillis: piano, harp and vocals.

Track 3. Spring and Fall: To a Young Child. Music by Sara Hillis, lyrics by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889.)

Arranged and performed by Sara Hillis: piano, harp and vocals.

Track 4. No Worst, There is None. Music by Sara Hillis, lyrics by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889.)

Arranged and performed by Sara Hillis: piano and vocals.

Track 5. Heaven-Haven: A Nun Takes the Veil. Music by Sara Hillis, lyrics by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889.)

Arranged and performed by Sara Hillis: piano, harp and vocals.

Track 6. Pied Beauty. Music by Sara Hillis, lyrics by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889.)

Arranged and performed by Sara Hillis: piano, harp and vocals.

Track 7. The Windhover: To Christ our Lord. Music by Sara Hillis, lyrics by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1887.)

Arranged and performed by Sara Hillis: piano, harp and vocals.

 

Enjoy and stay tuned for more!

Special Offer! Free Download till November 1!

I’m pleased to announce a special sneak-peak at my forth-coming album titled “In Ten Thousand Places: Where Hillis Meets Hopkins.” available from now through November 1, enjoy a free download of the song “As Kingfishers Catch Fire!” Get it here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14018697/Sara%20Hillis%20Music/In%20Ten%20Thousand%20Places/02%20-%20Sara%20Hillis%20-%20As%20Kingfishers%20Catch%20Fire.mp3

If the song starts playing when you open the above link, simply right-click and select to save the file to your computer. Enjoy and tell your friends!

New Album Coming Soon! “In Ten Thousand Places: Where Hillis Meets Hopkins”

I’m very excited to announce that a new album, my first to be released in six years, is due to be launched, digitally at least, in December. I’m producing the album myself and while it’s devoted, like my previous effort, to musical settings of famous English poetry, this one is different in that it is dedicated to the work of a single poet. The album will be called “In Ten Thousand Places: Where Hillis Meets Hopkins” and will feature seven musical settings of seven well-known poems by the Victorian Jesuit priest and poet Gerard manley Hopkins (1844-1889.) These include: “God’s Grandeur,” “As Kingfishers Catch Fire,” and “Pied Beauty,” to name only a few.

My first taste of Hopkins’s work was in a first-year English Literature class in University. At the time, I found the poetry both intellectually frustrating and also poetically sublime. Still, he lay untouched by me for several years. Indeed, I never even considered his poetry as suitable to be set to my simple tunes, because I felt it too high and beautiful for me to mar in that way. It was something to be cherished and savoured when I needed spiritual solace, not to be touched by me, lest my ungentle musical hand destroy it. However, a dear friend of mine sent me a couple of Hopkins poems to try my hand at back in 2011, and the rest, as they say, is history. In fact, it is this friend to whom I intend to dedicate the album, as it is due to his encouragement and also his prayers that I have again found my voice and a way to use it to honour a poet whose words have stayed with me and have, at many turns in life, called me home when I was lost.

More details of the album’s release will be forthcoming, so stay tuned to this site for news!

New Web Site Launched!

I’m proud to announce the launch of my new and improved web site: sarahillismusic.com! It’s a new day for both myself and my music, so I thought it only fitting that I begin this new incarnation with a new and more user-friendly site. I hope to bring you news in the coming weeks of an exciting new project, but till then, take a look around the new site and hey! Why not do some buying while you’re here?