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Claire Hamill (Soprano)

Born: 1954 - Middlesborough, Northern England

Claire Hamill was born in Middlesborough in Northern England and has been in the music business since she was 17. In 1970 she was launched as one of Britain's first singer songwriters and seen by many commentators as in the vein of Joni Mitchell.

The album was "One house left standing" which showed the singer in a backdrop of her home town and a year later she went on her first U K tour supporting John Martyn.Up to 1973 she toured the USA with Procol Harum and Jethro Tull and came back to Britain to record her next album "October" at the same Manor studio of Richard Branson which Mike Oldfield was using to make what became "Tubular Bells".Her next tour support was for King Crimson.

In 1973 Claire Hamill met Ray Davies who signed her to his Konk label for her 3rd album "Stage Door Johnnies" an album which included her first covers.She did her 2nd American tour the same year, another UK one supporting Gilbert O'Sullivan and what would be her final album of the 1970's and 2nd Konk one "Abracadabbra. The rest of the decade saw her join forces with Wishbone Ash as she probably realised that she was not going to compete with Kate Bush.

Claire Hamill had always been regarded more as an album artist but in 1980 she cut a single called "First night in New York" which gained favourable reviews.A short lived group she formed called Transporter followed who cut one single now very rare, and there was also a one off association with a jazz group called Morrisey Mullen. In 1983 Claire made a cover of Gene Pitney's "24 hours from Tulsa",produced by American musician Richard Niles who would go on later to arrange for many heavyweight names such as Paul McCartney. Another single "If you would only talk to me", an intensley sad song with a powerful melody suffered from a lack of radio plays which, by then, ignored anything not in the Top 40.

By the mid 1980's Claire Hamill had reinvented herself to embrace New Age music which gained her a whole new audience and commissions from the BBC and Channel 4. Her first album of the 1980s "Touchpaper" was followed a year later by the album which pitched her into the realms of true critical acclaim if not the music charts.The album "Voices" was literally all Claire's own work and was a multi textured tapestry of wordless vocals which predated Adiemus and Enya. The label Coda was run by her then husband Nick Austin and had many different New Age acts recording for it. The music was used by the BBC for a program called "Domesday" and there was also her version of "Jerusalem" issued as a 12 inch single.

After the next album "Love in the afternoon" Claire Hamill cut a version of Johann Pachelbel's Canon as both an instrumental and a vocal with her own words as "Someday we will all be together" and both this and the "Voices" album were used extensively by Channel 4 for a series of music videos shown every morning in the early 1990s. The one for the instrumental version of Pachelbel's Canon with scenes of Arctic penguins, was voted by viewers as the favourite. In 1992 Claire went to live in Hastings,found a new partner in Andrew Warren and cut a new album called "Summer" at the end of the decade.

The new century has seen Claire Hamill own website, 2 further albums and plans for her first compilation. And the song "You take my breath away" which found its was to the late Eva Cassidy whose recording was used in a movie.

Source: Wikipedia Website; Claire Hamill Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2006)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Tim Cross [Leader]


T-1 (1985): Aria from BWV 244

Links to other Sites

Welcome to Claire Hamill's Website: Home Page
Claire Hamill (Elaine Samuels)
Claire Hamill (Wikipedia)
Claire Hamill (Wishbone Ash)

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Last update: Wednesday, August 09, 2017 15:31