Galway DJ Hannah Hession is following her own beat
Galway Stories//Music

Galway DJ Hannah Hession is following her own beat

Spirited chaos pounds the dance floor. A rhythmic beat rises. Moments felt are now moments shared among a crowd of people in this transitional state of audible and visual spectacle. It’s escapism under flashing lights and disco balls, all prompted by one of Galway’s finest DJs; Hannah Hession.

We had an amazing time talking with Hannah about her experience as a Galway based DJ, what inspires her, and the love she has for this community.

Hannah has been performing in Galway for the last four years. “I really just fell into it, and I’ve been at it ever since.” She describes her spontaneous entry into DJing a few years ago. A friend had encouraged her to, “just start doing it,” after hearing her radio show on Flirt FM. Soon after, she had her first set in the old record shop, Pleasure. Since then, she’s spent the years cultivating and nurturing her expressive efforts, and her passion for DJing.
Hannah Hession Portrait

She notes that Galway has experienced a sort of revival in the last year or so, with a renewed appreciation for being able to gather and dance in a shared space. “What I love about DJing in Galway is the atmosphere. It was obviously really hard there for a couple of years…it was really disheartening, but now it’s really nice to see that every little crevice of the city is being used for stuff like this.”

Recently Hannah has been a part of a collective with Rob Flynn, Robin Clancy, and Alannah Dunford called Ar Ais Arís. Described as, ‘Galway’s electronic music night for the underground,’ Ar Ais Arís is a space that invokes that enigmatic experience of unification we’re all in search of. “You just never know what’s going to happen with these things. Everyone there is so lovely. We’ve had so much fun picking the acts and decorating the place. There’s just so much love involved…It’s given me such a reminder why I started doing everything in the first place.” On May 6th, Ar Ais Arís is back in Galway. If you want to learn more and stay up to date, you can visit their socials here! 

For Hannah, a strong sense of fluidity and freedom is integral to her sets. “When it comes to composition, a lot of it’s just kind of seeing what the crowd actually wants. I still keep it true to myself… I kind of just go with the flow and see what happens. It’s too stressful to plan everything out. You know, panic ensues if something isn’t right.” Whether she is playing in The Blue Note, for Ar Ais Arís, or anywhere else, Hannah’s process is one of openness and experimentation. “It’s not going to go all smoothly. But I would take that as the perfect opportunity to try new things.”

At one of Hannah’s sets in The Blue Note, hypnotic and pounding beats entangle the evening. Indifference is swept aside, and idiosyncrasies are embraced and celebrated. This is music you can feel, in a literal sense of motion and reverb. Quirky and eccentric, her sets build up an indisputable energy that pulls you in, and you follow suit happily.
Hannah Hession Set
When a set is good Hannah says things, “just click.” There’s a wonderful sense of unification between her and the crowd, and she thrives off of that. “I don’t know, there’s just such a mutual enthusiasm. Everyone is so desperate to just have the fucking best time ever. We are as well.” This relationship is built upon a shared desire, and Hannah has the gift of knowing what that desire is without having to ask.

Photos by @Ciaranshootsthings

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