The unlikely, but stellar collaboration between Amanda Huff and MSO cellist Peter Thomas

The unlikely, but stellar collaboration between Amanda Huff and MSO cellist Peter Thomas

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Milwaukee is a place where the possibilities for music collaboration are endless.

On a sunny Saturday in March, huddled behind the frosted windows of a bungalow in Bay View, the sonorous boom of a cello filled the living room.

Peter Thomas, a 10-year veteran of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, drew his bow to artfully make the cello sitting before him sing. Sitting next to him the deep, buttery vocals of Amanda Huff, Milwaukee vocal artist and composer, were unleashed.

Neither had sat in the same room before, let alone created collaboratively together.

As the third installment of the artist collaboration series started by Brooklyn-based record label YouTooCanWoo, Thomas and Huff wrote, recorded and produced an entire song in two days.

In the Fall of 2017, Robert Perlick-Molinari, producer for YouTooCanWoo, imagined what would happen if two Milwaukee musicians from different ends of the music scene spectrum were paired to create a song–and only had a weekend to do it.

The pilot collaboration was with singer-songwriter Lex Allen and electronica producer Luxi. The second: soulful vocalist Abby Jeanne and retro/electronic duo Immortal Girlfriend. And as an uniquely-matched as their predecessors, Peter Thomas and Amanda Huff are the third.

Laura Dyan Kezman

Amanda Huff searches for lyric inspiration as Peter Thomas plays his cello.

What came out of that chilly March weekend in Perlick-Molinari’s home studio in Bayview is the seductive track “Only in Dreams,” released today by YouTooCanWoo.

Listen to “Only in Dreams” below.

Huff is learning one of the most valuable things you can do as a musician is cross genres, something she’s embraced quite a bit lately.

“This was a new and challenging process. This collaboration happened over the course of three short sessions, which is a mode I’m yet used to working in, but it was great fun, having to be so open and direct when creating and problem-solving. I think we managed to come out of it with a cohesive product that still was able to showcase our individual voices.”

Laura Dyan Kezman
I think we managed to come out of it with a cohesive product that still was able to showcase our individual voices.

Go behind the scenes with Thomas and Huff during the creation of “Only in Dreams” by watching the video above.

What happened when YouTooCanWoo put Amanda Huff and Peter Thomas together? Their brooding single, 'Only in Dreams.'