“I play the simplest beat I can to induce a trance” – Heather Hall

Illustration of Heather Hall by Adam Oelsner

Heather Hall plays drums and makes art in Olympia, WA. She currently drums in noise/psych/hardcore group White Boss and in the noise and performance duo Part Dog. She has collaborated with Danny Sasaki (Jackie-o-motherfucker, Sedan) on pieces for cymbal ensemble, and with performance artist Bridget Irish. She also has a new project under way with Kwo (Twin, King Cobra).

Photo by Ben Trogdon Photoshopping/Layering/Geometry by Heather Hall


Photo by Heather Hall

Lisa Schonberg: What is a current favorite drumming technique of yours, what inspired it, and have you developed any techniques to work around obstacles in your drumming?

Heather Hall: Drumming to tune into the body and the moment is pretty ideal.  I play the simplest beat I can to induce a trance or play out thought patterns (or better yet –  no thought patterns). This is a great way to be in the body, which is something I’ve struggled with in the past.  It came intuitively to me; as a species we’ve been hitting things to induce altered states for a while now. The greatest obstacle I’ve come across is hitting hard or playing fast while maintaining a strong center. To practice this I simply remind myself of where I’m hitting from  –  somewhere around my solar plexus or maybe my whole spine — but not my wrist or knee, and definitely not my head.

Interview by Lisa Schonberg (drummer Explode Into Colors & STLS)

Adam Oelsner drew Heather’s portrait. Adam hails from Arkansas and has been making so much awesome art and music in Olympia, WA for many years. Some of his drawings conjure up a sort of cartoonish fantasy land, and others seem inspired by the graphic novel format.  He also makes rad works in the realistic realm, such as this portrait of Heather, takes some killer photos, and runs a rad blog. Adam plays many instruments, including bass guitar, keys, accordion, trombone, and musical saw.  He plays in Kickball and has been in the bands LAKE and Desolation Wilderness, and has played with Karl Blau and Adrian Orange.  He recently composed a soundtrack for a film called Nowquest, which can be viewed and listened to at http://vimeo.com/5821493. Adam takes inspiration from pictures, other drawings, and sometimes real life.  It makes him feel good and focused to draw – he says it’s like a meditation. He tries to do it everyday, and not to be too judgmental.

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