A composer, vocalist, and genre-spanning collaborator, Hanna Benn has been creating music for over a decade. Her multi-disciplinary approach has incorporated dance, opera, and theater — submerging boundaries and discovering new sonic landscapes in the process.
With origins rooted in gospel and choral music, Benn began exploring music as both an intimate and collective experience at an early age. Her influences soon included Stravinsky, English pastoral music, R&B, Alice Coltrane, and Olivier Messiaen.
Benn studied composition and voice at Cornish College of the Arts and has been composing ever since. While in Seattle, she co-founded an experimental pop band called Pollens. She has worked with CMF Festival Orchestra, Saint Helen's String Quartet, Seattle Chamber Players, St. Marks Cathedral Choir, Opus 7, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
She wrote and recorded work on Son Lux's Bones album and toured with Boots (who has produced Beyoncé, FKA Twigs, and Run the Jewels). Her commissioned work and compositions have been performed across the country, from a five-hour immersive opera and dance performance in collaboration with Alice Gosti and the Northwest Symphony Orchestra to a composition celebrating Black American composers with Davida Ingram and the North Chamber Orchestra. She recently completed a residency at Central State in Indianapolis where she wrote much of her new album.
Benn's voice carries with it the crispness of cathedral tones — the sensuality of her sacred sonic corpus mixes with a clarity that rushes ambiguity out through the stained glass windows. She is able to take clearly delineated genres, deconstruct them, and then unify them in her work — creating pieces that are simultaneously accessible and profound, elevated and organic, sacred and common.