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Interview:
Kristin Hersh Premieres New Performance Piece
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Kristin Hersh fans get much more than music with the former Throwing Muses leader’s new performance project, “Paradoxical Undressing.”

Inspired by a memoir she’s working on, and currently serializing at her Web site, the two-hour show is a multi-media outing taken from diaries Hersh kept during the earliest days of her band, when she was grappling with being a teen mother, mental illness and going on the road. The irony, according to Hersh, is that she initially turned down a number of potential authors for the memoir because she didn’t want to sit for lengthy interview sessions.

“I thought you had to be dead before they did something like that about you,” says Hersh, who’s been a solo artist since 1994 and now releases new music via her CASH Music Web site. “So to avoid talking, I ended up just doing something myself.

“And now it has become this spokenword ‘dealy,’ which was the whole thing I was trying to avoid doing in the first place.”

“Paradoxical Undressing” — which is making its U.S. debut Friday (June 6) at the Detroit Institute of Arts — weaves together spoken narrative, images and songs from throughout Hersh’s career. It’s deeply personal, but less so to the mother of four than you might think.

“Because all this happened almost 25 years ago ... it doesn’t really feel like me anymore,” she explains. “There’s just enough detachment so I can get through it. It’s definitely the voice of a teenage girl, not me as I see myself now.

“And, fortunately, I did not find that person to be hateful. She was quite funny in some ways, and the show itself is pretty funny — even if there are what other people would call harrowing moments. It all kind of works out.”



Kristin Hersh performs “Paradoxical Undressing” at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Friday (June 6) during Friday Night Live! at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit. The performance is included in the regular DIA admission price. Call (313) 833-7350 or visit www.dia.org.

Web Site: www.dia.org

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