Peter Hammill | Artist

Peter Hammill | Artist

Tags: Era_1960s, Gender_Male, Genre_Experimental, Genre_Prog, Origin_UK, Type_Artist

Peter Joseph Andrew Hammill is an English singer-songwriter, multi instrumentalist and record producer, born 1948 in Ealing, London. He is a founder member of the band Van der Graaf Generator and a solo artist who, throughout his career, has remained a powerful and uncompromising creative force. Hammill has forged his own distinctive style of music both in VDGG and in his solo works. He can be melodic and elegiac or cathartic and atonal, sometimes all in the same song, with his voice being a very distinctive element of his music. He sings in an emotional, often dramatic way. As a former Jesuit choir boy, his delivery ranges in tone from peacefully celestial to screaming rants. Singing in registers from baritone to high falsetto, he growls, croons, shrieks and shouts, his lyrical themes of love and human relationships, ageing and death, human folly, self-awareness and introspection, politics, and religion. His first seven albums released between 1971-1978 are all superb: Fool's Mate (1971), Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night (1973), The Silent Corner of the Empty Stage (1974), In Camera (1974), Nadir's Big Chance (1975), Over (1977), and A Black Box (1980). Later period outstanding albums include Patience (1983), The Love Songs (1984), Fireships (1992), Singularity (2006) and Thin Air (2009). Hammill's lyrics often include scientific, literary or historical references, however the science fiction themes of Van der Graaf Generator's lyrics are mostly absent in his later work. In 1974 Hammill published a book, Killers, Angels, Refugees (Charisma Books, London), a collection of lyrics, poems and short stories. This was later reissued by Hammill himself (Sofa Sound, Bath) and was followed by a sequel Mirrors, Dreams, Miracles (1982). In 2000 Dagmar Klein published Shouting down the passage of time: The Spaces & Times of Peter Hammill, an analysis and interpretation of Hammill's lyrics along the lines of his dealings with "Space", "Time" and "Journeys." In 1992 Hammill formed his own label, Fie! Records, on which all his albums since Fireships have been released. The label's logo is the Greek letter phi (Φ), a pun on PH-I. Since the 1970s he has also had his own home recording studio, called Sofa Sound, and his website was later named after the studio. In 2012 Peter Hammill was recognised with the Visionary award at the first Progressive Music Awards.

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Featured Albums: Peter Hammill

Related Artists: Van der Graaf Generator, Van der Graaf

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