O Little Town of East New York

Multimedia Concert
Shelley Hirsch  

Shelley Hirsch is one of the most well known vocal improvisers from the New York Downtown scene. Labelled by some as “an obscure mix between Judy Garland and Laurie Anderson”, this remarkable voice-wizard has collaborated with virtually every major experimental Downtown musician. To namedrop only the best known in Slovenia: Anthony Coleman, Ned Rothenberg, John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Ikue Mori, DJ Olive, David Shea, Susie Ibarra, Zeena Parkins.
Besides her improvisations and collaborations, she writes and performs her own original compositions, amongst them three radio-plays: #39 (based on a text by Angela Carter), The Vidzer Family, and O Little Town of East New York. The Vidzer Family portrays a Jewish family with roots in Russia, who travelled to South America and ended up in Brooklyn's East New York in the ‘sixties. O Little Town of East New York is a sort of sequel to it. It is a semi-autobiographical docu-musical about growing up in mid-century East New York. Hirsch recreates and inhabits remembered environments, situations and characters. She evokes the ethnically diverse neighbourhood: her Russian schoolmate's living room; the home of her own working class Jewish family; the synagogue; high school; the rallies against the Vietnam War; drugs. It's a hilarious, nostalgic, touching composition, merging avant and pop sensibilities. Critics praised her “dazzling technique” as well as her “wild, beautiful energy”. The piece (released on Tzadik) won the prestigious PRIX FUTURA in Berlin (1993).
In addition to her – illustrated - theatrical version of O Little Town, Shelley will perform a  recent twenty minute (“but very intense”) solo, her tribute to the composer, video and performance artist Jerry Hunt, who died in 1993.
“Hirsch celebrates in the joy of song while conveying the chaos of everyday life through technical and emotional extremism.”
- The Village Voice

Organised and financed by City of Women
In cooperation with Cankarjev dom

Date and time of event: 
Oct 05th 21:00
Place of event: 
Cankarjev dom