Shelley Hirsch

Shelley Hirsch is an award winning, critically acclaimed vocalist, composer, and storyteller whose work encompasses story telling pieces, staged multi-media works, compositions, improvisations, collaborations, installations, and radioplays, which have been presented on five continents.

Her mostly solo performance pieces including the multimedia “O Little Town of East New York” and “For Jerry” (virtual duets with the late great Jerry Hunt) have been performed internationally at venues including Podewil (Berlin), WienerFestWochen (Vienna), The Kitchen (NY), The Whitney Museum (NY), and Experimenta Festival (Buenos Aires.

Hirsch has performed hundreds of concerts of improvised music with great musicians including Christian Marclay, Ikue Mori, Toshio Kajiwara, Hans Reichel, Min Xiao Fen, Marina Rosenfeld, DJ Olive, Marc Ribot, Butch Morris, Elliot Sharp, and Uchihashi Kasuhisa. She can be heard on dozens of CDs including “The Far In, Far Out Worlds of Shelley Hirsch” (Tzadik) and “Duets” with gutarist Uchihashi Kasuhisa (Innocence Records), and she is an improvising vocalist in Alvin Curran’s Philharmonie (w/ Fred Frith, Joan Jeanrenaud, William Winant and Curran).

Zoom Zoom

2007-2009 (approx 25 minutes)
This work is a slideshow created from Marclay’s photographs of onomatopoeias found primarily on signs, advertising, and product packaging. During a performance with vocalist Shelley Hirsch, for whom this piece was created, Marclay selects images to trigger her vocal improvisation and presents her with new images in an ongoing call and response improvisation.

Manga Scroll

This vocal score was made using onomatopoeias found in Manga cartoons originally published in Japan but translated for the US market. These black-and-white serialized newsprint comics have been cut and collaged into a 60-foot-long handscroll. This type of scroll, which was invented in the 11th century, is considered the antecedent of the contemporary Japanese graphic novel. Having been stripped of their dramatic context, the sound effects are strung together into one long composition meant for interpretation by voice.

Photo © Armelle Aulestia