What: Hannah Epperson
Where: Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad St.
When: Saturday, Sept. 18, 8 p.m. (doors at 7)
Tickets: $20 from victoriaeventcentre.ca
Hannah Epperson travels relatively light these days. No multi-piece drum set or bulky amplifiers, no stacks of guitar cases cramping her on stage set-up or tour van logistics. It’s just the singer-violinist and some effects pedals, a bass synthesizer, and one “very haggard” vocal box.
The product of Salt Lake City, Utah, will be carrying some extra freight to her Saturday show in Victoria, her five-month old daughter, but the gist of her set-up remains built around a looping station of effects and programming. In short, Epperson is her own backing band.
“The loop station is, in itself, an instrument,” Epperson said.
“For me, it’s been an integral how I think about and build and compose music.
“There is an anatomy to it, but that can also make looping one of the most deplorable forms of music. It can be very self-indulgent.”
Epperson comes by her solo-artist status honestly. When she lived in New York, she played with two other musicians. Following her move back to Vancouver in 2018 — where she had lived years earlier, prior to heading east — the pandemic forced her to reassess many aspects of her life. One result was she gave up playing ultimate, a non- contact sport that employs Frisbees and looks something akin to football or rugby, at which she was reportedly very gifted.
Epperson twice represented Canada at the Ultimate Frisbee World Championships in 2015 and 2017, but has since grown tired of the culture surrounding the sport, which has been made eligible for the 2028 Olympics. “I lost my taste for it,” she said. “I still love the game, but I’m not interested in playing at that level anymore.”
Music is a much better fit. Her solo music starts with a loop pedal she found in the basement of her parents’ house, and ends in a radical mix of meanings. As for how to describe her output — which includes elements such as dance, spoken word and film — Epperson was short on suggestions.
“It’s relatively difficult when people ask for an elavator pitch,” she said with a laugh. “But the inter-disciplanary thing has been such a huge part of how I think about music.”