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Hanmer, Paul (South Africa)  
Paul Hanmer

Born in Cape Town in 1961, Paul Hanmer began classical piano and theory lessons in 1970. After two years at the University of Cape Town studying for a BMus degree, Hanmer left to work with guitarist Paul Petersen. In 1987 Hanmer moved to Johannesburg where he was influenced by bands such as Sakhile and Bayete.

In Johannesburg Hanmer formed “Unofficial Language” with Ian Herman (percussion and drums) and Peter Sklair (electric bass). The trio recorded ‘primal steps’ in 1994, featuring Sklair’s song “Tender Mercies”, and a second album, “move moves” in 1996.

piano, arranger
Genre: African Jazz, jazz

Hanmer has recorded with Tananas, Miriam Makeba, Ray Phiri, McCoy Mrubata and Pops Mohamed and formed part of Tony Cox’s ‘Cool Friction Band’ in 1996. In 1999 he performed and recorded with Sheer All Stars and produced Gloria Bosman’s debut album “Tranquillity”.

Sheer Sound released Hanmer’s first album as a leader, Trains to Taung, in 1997. The album features Denis Lalouette, Jethro Shasha, Louis Mhlanga, Basi Mahlasela, Neil Ettridge and Andre Abrahamse. Since then he has recorded five more albums, Window to Elsewhere (1998), Playola (2000), Naivasha (2002), Water and Lights (2005) and Accused No 1: Nelson Mandela (2006). A duo album featuring Hanmer with McCoy Mrubata entitled “The Boswil Concert” was released in June 2011.

Hanmer has written a string quartet for the Sontonga Quartet and a clarinet quintet for Robert Pickup, principal clarinetist with the Zurich Opera. In addition he has composed a suite of duets for double bass and cello for Leon Bosch of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, completed three pieces for two tubas and accompanying instruments for Anne Jelle Visser of the Zurich Opera and Sérgio Carolino, principal tuba with the Oporto National Orchestra, and written two duets for violin and harp commissioned by Marc Uys.

Hanmer’s list of SAMRO commissions include “Elegy: 24 Maraisburg” for cello and piano, written especially for UNISA’s 2010 International String Competition, “Zimnastics for Gentlefolk” for viola and piano and “Yet Another Look” for violin and piano. In addition, he wrote “Trackways”, an orchestral song-setting of texts by Nils Aslak Valkeapää, for Gothenburg-based singer Eva Rune.

Hanmer recently completed “The Pilgrim”, a commission from Anne Jelle Visser for 2 tubas, piano and two percussionists and a piece for 2 tubas and 9 trombones entitled “The Breakfast Song” requested by Sérgio Carolino.

In February 2011, Hanmer’s clarinet quintet was performed in South Africa by Robert Pickup and The Casal Quartet and his “Elegy: 24 Maraisburg” formed part of visiting Russian cellist Georgi Anichenko’s repertoire.

Pickup and cellist Peter Martens also premiered a new commission named “The Game Reserve Effect” in Cape Town in February 2011.

Hanmer recently completed an orchestral commission from MIAGI called “Halogram” to commemorate his 50th birthday, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of Gustav Mahler’s death.

In August and September 2011 Frank Mallows (vibraphone) and Magda de Vries (marimba) performed several concerts featuring a new commission for their duo entitled “Victoria-West”.

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  Recordings : Hanmer, Paul
Primal Steps

Primal Steps
Trains To Taung

Trains To Taung


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