The Inside Story: Edie Hill

Edie Hill, a Minnesota-based composer, three-time McKnight Artist Fellow, and two-time Bush Artist Fellow is releasing her debut PARMA album CLAY JUG, February 10th, on Navona Records. Hill is our next ‘Inside Story’ feature, a blog series exploring what makes out artists tick. Read on and get to know them!


When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist/composer/creator?

Making music found me and stuck before I could make a decision!  Music was a part of my family life.  I grew up in New York City so we’d all go see and hear the New York City Ballet many times a year.  At intermission, my father would take me to see the orchestra pit–I was enthralled!  At home, I’d play piano and sing as soon as I could climb onto the piano bench.  My family had a little cassette recorder/player and I monopolized it.  I’d have a “radio show” with songs and commercials.  In grade school and middle school, I would compose piano pieces then record them.  In high school and early college, I wrote ballads for my voice and piano and I performed them in cabaret shows.  Writing music provides a place of solace for me. I feel at home and grounded making music – I started and never stopped.

If you weren’t a composer/performer, what would you be?

I can’t imagine a life without music in it.  I can’t imagine NOT composing but if I were going to work in another field, I might work with animals.  I love them and have always had them around.  Since 1995 or so, I’ve been adopting dogs and usually have two around me.  I also have a fascination with patterns in nature.  I’m curious about natural sciences:  evolutionary biology, the study of environment and ecosystems, weather…I’ve written pieces inspired by these things.


If you could do any job in the world and make a living at it, what would that be?

It would be exactly what I’m doing right now – composing freelance and teaching/mentoring.

If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be? And why?

Although I love to travel and I’ve composed in hotels, on buses, planes, and trains, my best creative time is spent in my “composer cave” in the front room of my home in Minneapolis, MN.  In this space are books that bring me inspiration, photos of loved ones, my warm dog and the spirits of all of my dogs who have passed on.  Fresh coffee, my old piano, boards and push pins, scissors, tape, cork back steel rulers, fresh pencils, sticky notes are all at the ready.  I also like to wake from sleep and go straight to the page.  There’s something about that time in the morning, fresh from sleep and dreams where my ideas flow more freely.  My mind works best when I’m at home.

Edie Hill’s debut PARMA album CLAY JUG on Navona Records will be available to purchase tomorrow on Amazon, iTunes, and ArkivMusic. Pre-order now! Follow Hill on Facebook and TwitterTwitter to keep up with new music and projects. 

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