Amanda Goldblatt Recommends...

“There are times I find myself unable to write: not a block but a stasis. I need to be shook and shunted away from general predictability. Sometimes it works to have a slight ringing in my ears. The first noise show I went to might’ve been Justice Yeldham circa 2002. I was helping with sound as a work-study gig. That night the Australian musician held a pane of glass up to his mouth and blew aggressive raspberries. A contact mic on the glass picked it all up, broadcasting burred vibrations and body noises. The sounds were new information. Later he broke the glass and, lip cut, smeared blood across the instrument. It was dangerous and funny and thrillingly weird. That new information, for a moment, reorganized my relationship to language, opened me up. In experimental music there is an engagement somewhere between intuitive and intellectual, or maybe it is both impulses sparking against one another. Since then it’s been a parade of shows in basements and art spaces, storefront galleries, houses of worship, a warehouse set on cliffs above the Mississippi. I often write during performances, a notepad on my knee or in the Notes app with my phone’s brightness turned way down. I’ve written the better part of stories, even whole novel scenes. With each word I am writing through the rare climate of the room, sharper and more exact than the best day at my desk.”
—Amanda Goldblatt, author of Hard Mouth (Counterpoint Press, 2019)