I'm in Crinoline

by Amy Kohn

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about

“Bang up to date edge” - Stuart Maconie, BBC Radio 6, Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone

Co-Produced with Joe Mardin (NuNoise) with photos by renowned music photographer Merri Cyr, design by D’steam, engineering by Kenji Shimoda, Rod Hui, Tom Durack, Jon Rosenberg and Tom Gavin, and with an incredible lineup of New York musicians, I’m in Crinoline is 13 complex and extraordinary songs “not like much else you've ever heard.” - Three Weeks, Scotland. This “fascinating” gem was released to a packed house at Joe’s Pub and has been enjoying radio success from WNYC to BBC’s Radio 3 and 6 ever since. The album features Amy’s “somewhat twisted” arrangements for harmony, flute, clarinets, saxophones, trumpet, guitar, banjo, upright bass and drums, a wind septet & an accordion quartet (“The well thought out arrangements remind me of Van Dyke Parks on his debut, 'Song Cycle'” - Pitchfork Media Feature) with songs about melting ice-sculptures, epoxied roses, seas of calligraphy..."I dig that Amy's lyrics are quite poetic, saying a great deal with so few words, just a couple of pearls to consider" - Downtown Music Gallery. WNYC's David Garland describes it as "Boiling over with life. Instruments that you don't usually hear together playing melodies that aren't quite like anyone else's. You just dive in and enjoy."

credits

released April 6, 2006

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about

Amy Kohn Brooklyn, New York

Amy Kohn is applauded by some of the top composer/producers in modern song: Van Dyke Parks says she’s “Brimming with such talent!” and the late, legendary Producer Arif Mardin dubbed her a “Musical Devil in a Red Dress." Amy always seeks sounds she’s never heard, and it comes through in the “oddly structured beauty” of her highly arranged, effervescent music. ... more

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Track Name: 1977 Swimming Lessons
Unpunctured sheen
pristine and healing
reflects a checkerboard
Light blue, dark green
chlorine to ceiling
Entrust the lacquered floor
to keep us from careening
into the phosphorescence
of 1977 Swimming Lessons

Dip your toes in!
Dip your knees in!
Dip your belly in!
Dip your head in!
Track Name: Sweet Cacophony
He likes the way they make him feel
The waves
Crashing through his skin and out the other side
He’s invisible
Threaded music rushes in
Even his city-thickness can’t keep it out:
Radio

Quiet, he seems
but in his blood streams the day’s ecstasies, elations
combined from all the city’s stations
Sweet cacophony
Sweet cacophony

Do you feel?
Do you feel the waves?
‘Cause you got 'em too
Rushing right through you
That’s what’s so special
That’s what’s so sweet
Everywhere we go: Radio

Crashing through his skin and out the other side
Crashing through his skin and out the other side
He's invisible

You think you can see me I think I can see you
No way, there’s no way
Sweet cacophony
There's no way
Sweet cacophony
Do you feel?
Do you feel
sweet cacophony?
Track Name: Glacier Lady
When the dawn peeks its head over night's wide shoulder
I know it is time for me to be one day older
As light draws me slowly home through the city mountains
I stop to make wishes in waterless fountains

Glacier Lady
Sits on the buffet
Gently drips away

Features fade
Face down the body
Drenching the pâté, filling the plates
Spilling: a woman waterfall

Rising below the tiring night
Waking the aching feet with delight
Soaking up brightening chandelier light
Watering breathtaken instrument lungs
Wetting the panting saxophone tongues
Higher we climb on black and white ballroom rungs

Glacier Lady
Sits on the buffet
Gently drips away

She pours under doors and out through window tops
Sopping the city, sprouting sky-bound crops
Evening begins as soon as the dreaming stops
Citizens waken with quick inhalations
That float them to surface amidst constellations
Bathing in history, time's slow rotations
Track Name: My Epoxied Rose
My Epoxied Rose
Made of leather
but held together
by the kind of glue that you make in the moment,
combining two components

My Epoxied Rose
Brushed from weather
A warm, red heather
Sits on my lapel so well, picking up the sun
Almost magnification

You pinned it there
with so much care
as we stood brow to brow
I want to seal
the things we feel
I wish you'd tell me how

My Epoxied Rose
Petals feather
I wonder whether
It is approaching their Spring, or as Summer cracks
they now un-bloom and relax?
Track Name: Michigan
Snowed-in,
Michigan

Cross-country skis
please keep me circling the inside of a pillow
Exhausting, beautiful white

Can history repeat
as two feet
carve uninterrupted lines?
Midwest spines?

Can now and then meet
as snow-sheets,
massive with compacted light,
curve space/time?
Track Name: August Wedding
for Peter and Tori

As you put this ring on my finger
you are covering me with gold leaf
like I am a harp
and each note plays out into the future
Track Name: The History of this Handwriting
Take metal stylus times 1.1
Take brush times 2
Take wood block times 3
Take moveable clay type times 4
Take printing press times 7
Take typewriter times 30
Take computer times 160

The characters stop here
I can't remember them

Brush is blackened with unwritten,
but hesitation from head to hand becomes an inked ocean
A slow erosion.
A language under water,
wave after wave

So when there is storm at sea,
is it just screaming at me?
Or is it talking to itself,
words that don't know where to go?
Track Name: Signature
Signature

I move over it with my hand
One line from your start to your finish

One second to you
To me, a whole life
Track Name: I'm in Crinoline
Open my kindergarten eyes
and I'm in crinoline

Half in her dress,
wrestling against clasps,
the Singer is fastened in
And the Kindergarten Circus is about to begin!

Hands above my head
Coral in this endless underneath

Legs twirling below
Peppermint stick in a child's mouth

Torso to and from
Wrapped-up butterfly, kept by threads

Glints of classroom light hint through the silver filaments
turning me into a figurine
Wafts of theatrical perfume lift from this whispering costume
kissed by moths who've featsted here unseen
Animal-cackles ricochet
Their chuckles are hushed by the fabric
But in here, my solo song boomerangs
Practicing, I am ecstatic!
Hands above my head!
Legs twirling below!
Torso to and from!

Half in her dress,
wrestling against clasps,
the Singer is fastened in
And the Kindergarten Circus is about to begin!

How many girls twisted blissfully here
moments from their turns to bloom?

Wistfully I re-sing my circus tune...
Track Name: Is that the Moon?
Is that the moon?
The same one I used to see
emptying repeatedly?

It seems closer to me

Is it the weight of billions
of hearts with new resilience,
able to hold more than before?

Are we bound to collide?
The moon in our side?
A casualty of war?

No, one day we will be too full
and the earth will lessen its pull
Hearts empty when they break -
gravity for the moon to take