The Glass Laughs Back

by Amy Kohn

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Sven B. Schreiber
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Sven B. Schreiber Contrary to "I'm In Crinoline" and "PlexiLusso", which comprise songs with mostly advanced orchestrations, "The Glass Laughs Back" is just Amy Kohn and her piano or accordion. Well, almost - on some songs, you'll find additional instruments, played by special guests in a quite unobtrusive way, like saxophone, cello, and banjo. This album is the purest dose of Amy Kohn you can get. Favorite track: Dusk.
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1.
in memory of Grandma Yetta I have one I have one I have one memory 22, just married Center of a room, kneeling Grandmother on a chair above me Her purple calves caressed in my hands I have one I have one I have one memory I press into her veins Sliding with agile fingers Moving through life-rings with violent circles I push up and out these buried words: "This is where the stories lie, in these muscles of mine This is where the stories lie, in these muscles of mine" Easily, she closes her eyes, and remembers Oh, to remember Oh, to remember 88, now widowed Underneath an old tree, feeling chilled legs molding to my hands' shape My statue hands, my hollow calves I press into my veins Sliding with crooked fingers Moving through life-rings with violent circles I push I push
2.
02:12
I am here in between what you say and what you mean I know it's you I can hear you voice telling me I know it's you I can hear you voice telling me nothing If I could see your eyes I'd know Which way I'd let myself go
3.
02:42
She's a fifth grader Somebody made her lose virginity Only eleven her Daughter's in Heaven Nobody knows but she Oh Sitting in class she adds and subtracts Pretends nothing happened at all But in the afternoon she runs to her room and rubs the forehead of her doll Oh
4.
03:00
The subway roars In blazer and hose I ride a lion We move forward but looking out the right way: backward Forward backward forward backward I look at you Eyes too deep to read Exterior, shifting We move forward but looking out the right way: backward Forward backward forward backward Your bag unzips and the air is sucked up by the people We move forward but looking out the right way: backward Forward backward forward backward Hand digs inside and pulls out a gun No, an umbrella No, an umbrella It's raining outside It's raining outside
5.
04:03
I can imagine walking down the Hudson right now. I can imagine walking down the Hudson right now. Sky becoming red as I walk through the clouds that I make with my mouth. Steps becoming sure as the water brings me to a painted night. I can imagine walking down the Hudson right now. I can imagine walking down the Hudson right now. I am looking down and blue pushes blue. I am looking up. A red-tipped brush is coloring in the straight city lines. I can imagine walking down the Hudson right now. I can imagine walking down the Hudson right now. I am looking down and blue pushes blue. I am looking up. The city is gone. Red City.
6.
in the skyscraper across the street you are going through papers. I see you reading them, one by one, as if they are important. And the minutes circle my head like birds, and hum of the outside chills me like a draft. But then I look down at myself and see: it is I who is going through papers. I am reading them, one by one, as if they are important. And the minutes circle my head like birds, and hum of the outside chills me like a draft.
7.
04:33
My small rose heart barely beating, My small rose heart barely blooming, will not be mine much more First breath: last First bliss: last First blink: last First twist: last First touch: last First kiss: last "Oh my little life, I'm sorry that I made you this way, so sorry that I made you.." But Mother, look what I can give Mother, feel what I can give Mother, feel what we can And she touches my tender chest Heart: last
8.
Her desk, reflected in the pane of glass about to blow in from the wind, is covered with enough She mouths a no in response to me denying my humble query and the glass laughs back Ha Ha as it expands and contracts her and I smile in an attempt to relax her but as soon as my levity cracks her the window flies in and attacks her
9.
01:29
I love you. Did you know that? Bare open scared: I'm a tree before spring, shivering as the winter melts from my tough skin. Breathing as traces of heat fill my veins.
10.
04:27
I'm walking on 14th Street Too much sun in my eyes I'm thinking about I'm thinking about you The minutes blend together Lost on a track of time I look at my watch I look at my watch noon Ah, what love I feel
11.
02:10
I stand in my bedroom. Crickets clicking legs outside bringing me far away from the city. But I curl the blinds aside: Souls of trees suffocated in cement, tearing the sidewalk for air. Then I pull myself inside: my TV's fabricating cricket legs, and I'm tearing its warm glare for air.
12.
04:10
Lumberjack How I want to grow up to be as tall as a tree Every night I'll mark my new height on the wall A ladder of ink Purchasing new flannels each week Yellow plaid In moments they shrink Ax in hand I'm tough as an oak Redwood wide I've got maple blood Lumberjack How I want to grow up to be as tall as a tree Lumberjack Holed up in my room Won't come out Lumberjack I'm stuck in my room Can't come out Too tall for the door! Cut myself down Cut myself down Cut myself down Cut myself down
13.
01:58
Today the sun shines beautifully in And I am ready for everything

about

"Well-trained, self-inspired talent for the odd, up and down and all around, and out there." - The Village Voice.

A stark debut, recorded on a 1904 upright and accompanied by harmony saxophone, cello, and water-bottles, crashes together 20th/21st century atonality, pop and jazz. The liner notes, written by Pianist Michael Jefry Stevens read "Listening to the music of Amy Kohn is like entering a very private universe of sound - something very intimate, special and beautiful. Her music makes uncommon demands on the listener moving between several parallel musical worlds (20th Century Classical - the Broadway Musical - modern jazz and of course the perennial singer/songwriter performing her own music). One can hear the influences of Charles Ives, Erik Satie, Carla Bley, George Gershwin, Stephen Sondheim, Laura Nyro and especially Kate Bush. These are quite eccentric influences yet somehow Amy is able to create from such a disparate palate her own exquisitely molded individual voice (as a pianist, singer and lyricist/songwriter). This is real music."

Liner Notes by Michael Jefry Stevens:
Listening to the music of Amy Kohn is like entering a very private universe of sound – something very intimate, special and beautiful. A world characterized by Amy’s inventive and unique approach to the creation of music. Finally: an original voice. Such a gift is increasingly rare in today’s corporate mentality of instantly famous superstars feeding us the same diatonic harmony and limpid melodies of trite phrases devoid of meaning and feeling. Amy’s is the gift of a true artist. Her music makes uncommon demands on the listener moving between several parallel musical worlds (20th Century Classical – the Broadway Musical – modern jazz and of course the perennial singer/songwriter performing her own music). One can hear the influences of Charles Ives, Erik Satie, Carla Bley, George Gershwin, Stephen Sondheim, Laura Nyro and especially Kate Bush. These are quite eccentric influences yet somehow Amy is able to create from such a disparate palate her own exquisitely molded individual voice (as a pianist, singer and lyricist/songwriter). This is no small feat. Each song on this CD tells a distinct story, each very different from the next. Images are formed and intertwined with Amy’s eloquent and personal pianism and voice. She is opening up a new universe for us. I for one can’t wait to enter (again)! I hope you enjoy this music as much as I do. This is real music and like anything real it makes serious demands on us. There is work here for the listener to do. But as you do the work you will find there are great rewards…………!!! Thanks Amy.
- Michael Jefry Stevens Brooklyn, NY July 1999.

credits

released March 7, 2000

Piano, Voice, Accordion Amy Kohn
Saxophone Peter Hess
Harmony Nicole E. Scheller
Cello Jessica Seidel
Banjo Matt Marks
2nd Banjo, Water Bottles, Knee Slaps, Egg Shakers, Whistles Tom Gavin

Recorded and Mixed by Tom Gavin
Mastered by Katherine Miller

Drawings and Design Amy Kohn
Multimedia Superhero Jonathan Schnapp
Photos Tom Gavin
Duplication Oasis

Recorded on a 1904 Kenmore Upright except for "Transplant": recorded on a Steinway in the Renee Weiler Concert Hall, Greenwich House Music School, NYC

All songs © 1999 Amy Kohn (ASCAP)

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Amy Kohn Padua, Italy

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 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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