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The Miraculous

The Miraculous: Music

1. Munich, 1970

This 21-year-old Japanese musician has been wandering through Europe supporting himself (barely) as a busker. He has played and sung on the streets of Sweden, Denmark, Germany and France. In winter, when the weather turns too cold for outdoor performances, he finds work in restaurants or on farms. Although his musical skills are limited, he is able attract attention.

The Miraculous: Music

2. Los Angeles, 1969

Born in New Orleans to a Baptist minister and his wife, this woman has been singing professionally since the age of 14. Now living in L.A. and well into a pregnancy, she gets a call one night from a producer friend who is desperately in need of a backup singer for a recording session with some visiting English musicians. At first, she refuses—it’s almost midnight, she’s pregnant, and already in bed—but at last she agrees and a car is dispatched to pick her up.

The Miraculous: Music

3. New York, 2002

After failing first as a singer and then as a drummer, a 31-year-old DJ starts a band with his closest friends. He exposes himself to ridicule and risks disappointment with their debut single, a confessional monologue about growing older in a younger music scene. The group’s first album is released to critical acclaim.

The Miraculous: Music

4. Provincetown, 1966

A band with a one-armed drummer scores a hit record with a song about its one-armed drummer.

The Miraculous: Music

5. Weybridge, England 1968

On a weekend when his wife is away, a musician invites an artist he has just met to his house. Retiring to the home studio he has built in his attic, the two of them, who as yet barely know each other, spend the night experimenting with tape loops and wordless vocalizations, creating a dense recording of muffled piano and guitar punctuated with warbles, screeches, moans and assorted noises.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2022

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