New York improvising vocalist, composer, and performance artist Shelley Hirsch met the Swiss turntables and electronic musician Joke Lanz (Sudden Infant) at a festival in Biel, Switzerland, where they were both performing solo. Shelley was struck by his performance and Joke admitted that he has “loved her work since the early ’80s.” Booked to play OTO as part of NEXT festival, the pair explored consciousness, both immediate and memory based, and drew on personal experience to create a three act improvisation which reinterprets the strange and the known.

“Hirsch’s command of extended vocal techniques imparts enormous variety to her music. The tone of her voice can range from audacious vulnerability, to charismatic intimacy (especially in the story-telling segments), to hallucinatory excursions floating effortlessly out of the spoken/sung voice and into pure Hirschian singing. Such transitions always remain viscerally connected to the text and in context.” - Anne LeBaron’s "Surrealism in Post Modern Music" (Garland Press)

Great interview with Shelley here, by Peter Urpeth of the Free Improv Pod. 


Shelley Hirsch / vocals

Joke Lanz / turntables


Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Wednesday 11th November 2015 bu Luca Consonni. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Artwork by Oli Barrett. Special thanks to NEXT festival for organising the show. 

Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC


1. 11.11.15 - 28:05

SHELLEY HIRSCH (voice) & JOKE LANZ (turntables)

"The woman of thousand voices," performer, experimental vocalist and composer Shelley Hirsch is essential figure of New York's avant-garde downtown scene. Her name is mentioned together with names such as John Zorn, Christian Marclay, Marc Ribot, and Elliott Sharp. Her "instant storytelling", installations, radio broadcasts, theatre performances and improvisations have been heard by audiences on five continents. She has released on labels such as Tzadik, No Man's Land, Apollo, Innocence Records, FMP, ...
Swiss virtuoso turntablist Joke Lanz, also known from noise project Sudden Infant, combines in his work elements of ritual, anarchic playfulness, atmospheres and cut-up noise.
Together the duo has released an album ("mastered by Rashad Becker") of scratching, walls of sound, grooves, loops, noises and vocal modulations which is a promise of journey through unpredictable sound wormholes and abstract rhythms.

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