Shelley Hirsch

Shelley Hirsch

Fellow: Awarded 2017

Field of Study: Music Composition

Competition: US & Canada


First, there was the living room of my family’s apartment, where dad came home after a long day's work, put a record on the turntable, and created enchantment. Then, there was capturing a piece of a remembered song and using my voice to release it into the echoey hallway...As I moved through the building out onto the street I was accumulating imagery and recycling narratives through my body, the recorder and storage house of memory.

My work now--conjuring locations and landscapes, finding language, streaming consciousness, forming stories as both antenna and medium--is an extension of these childhood fascinations, which I channel though my compositions, improvised vocal performances, staged multimedia and site-specific pieces, narrative radio plays and sound installations. The work reverberates inside and outside the body, in real and imagined rooms and remembered locations, for my listeners and for myself.