For this Roulette TV video, Hirsch performs "States" in which her remarkably pliant voice modulates through instant evocations of a nightclub singer, shamanistic chanter, passionate Arabic poet/singer, iconoclastic and obsessed chanteuse (sounds of applause, "Is that for me?"), and other personae. Mixing together charmingly comic take-offs on standards such as "Blue Skies", "Tenderly" ("The body is the biggest recorder possible!"), and "Blue Moon", with a rich underscoring of electronic modifications and samples from popular and concert music of the world, the audience may float through a mysteriously evocative "sonic travelogue". In her post-performance interview, Hirsch relates tales of her early influences and performances, her attempt to be a Kabuki dancer, and her creative discoveries with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, as well as discusses her unique "organic" method of composing "in the most real ... committed way that you can".
An award-winning vocalist, composer, and performance artist, Shelley Hirsch's works for concert hall, recordings, film and television draw upon experiences from her own real (eg. her splendid autobiographical radio play "The Vidzer Family") and imagined life (eg. "Now I Am Yours" and the dynamic "War of Dreams") to create song-stories filled with compelling characters, extended vocal techniques, actual and hypothetical languages, brilliant improvisation, and richly imaginative electronic effects.
Shelley Hirsch is "an unorthodox, extraordinary fusion of vocalist, composer, and performance artist " (Anne LeBaron) whose work encompasses story telling pieces, staged performances, compositions, improvisations, collaborations, installations, and radioplays, which have been presented on 5 continents... Hirsch has performed hundreds of concerts of improvised music with great musicians including Anthony Coleman, Christian Marclay, Ikue Mori, Toshio Kajiwara, Hans Reichel, Min Xiao Fen, Tony Buck, David Simons, Johannes, Connie and Matthias Bauer, Paul Lovens, David Watson, Marina Rosenfeld, Jim Staley, DJ Olive, Denman Maroney, Joey Baron, Mark Dresser, Ned Rothenberg, Marc Ribot, Cyro Baptista, Butch Morris, Elliot Sharp, Uchihashi Kasuhisa, Joe Williamson, etc, etc.
Aired on rTV: 2000
Performance: March 20, 1999
Produced by Jim Staley