HOLLY TAVEL is a fiction writer and artist whose work has appeared in McSweeney's, the Rail, Diagram, and many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.
Listening to Shelley Hirschs new CD Where Were You Then?, a collaboration with composer/arranger Simon Ho, the first image that sprang to my mind was of a rare, brightly feathered bird from some distant, quasi-fictional island alighting on my Brooklyn fire escape.
I recently stumbled across the Ennio Morricone soundtrack to Orca, a late-seventies horror-of-nature flick about a vengeful killer whale, intended to cash in on the fear of all things aquatic ushered into the collective unconscious by Jaws a couple of years earlier.
The hospital grounds end where Fritz Bemelmans Park begins. At the south entrance to Fritz Bemelmans Park there once stood, shining and absolute, a bronze statue of Fritz Bemelmans, gentleman, with a scroll, a musket, a sheaf of wheat, and a mysterious bundle.
Commissioned to create a piece for France Culture’s Atelier de la Création Radiophonique, and basically given free reign to do whatever she wanted, Colleen (aka French electronic musician Cécile Schott) conceived an exercise in restriction: She would limit her instrumental palette to music boxes.
Bands like 8-Eyed Spy, Mars, Theoretical Girls, and the Contortions conjure a New York filmed in Super-8: grainy, gritty, smudged, raw, exuberant, naive.