It’s been just over a week since the final performance of my solo show, The Animal Show, and I feel like doing a little reflection on how it all went. All in all, I am pretty thrilled with the experience. I had great crowds all three nights, and it’s always a blast to perform at Dixon Place. The staff is outstanding and the space is perfect. I got some great press (Huffington Post, Vegan Future Now, Broadway Box, and this great review in Theasy!) Oh, and Sandra Bernhard came to the show, tweeted about it and talked about it on her Sirius XM show. Rock!
Brooklyn-based composer and performer Michael Harren combines elements of classical composition with experimental electronics and storytelling to create hypnotic and boldly intimate work that walks the line between Laurie Anderson, Peter Gabriel and Dead Can Dance. He is artist-in-residence at Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary where he is creating The Animal Show, a solo multi-media theater piece which will be performed at Dixon Place in NYC on October 27, 28, and 29.
In his first solo show, Tentative Armor, he combined piano, synthesizers, various electronics, and live musicians with his unique storytelling, resulting in a deeply moving, highly entertaining performance. Through his resonant, powerful, very personal stories, Harren envelops the audience in a funny, poignant, highly intimate tour of his own self-discovery through spirituality, sexuality, and grief. Music, text and photos from the show were released in an album and book of the same name.
Michael Harren has toured as pianist with Sandra Bernhard, is the musical director for Cabaret for a Cause, and has performed at Dixon Place, (le) poisson rouge, Joe’s Pub, Judson Memorial Church, Manhattan Theater Source, The Duplex, Don’t Tell Mama, The Laurie Beechman Theater as well as numerous venues around the country.
“Michael Harren brings you brilliant piano stylings, a firm sense of the absurd, and a genuine originality that is refreshing and honest, and he’s a very lovely man.”
“Harren’s work takes the science of a composer like Eno, and the spirit of a composer like Oldfield, and combines the two in a bold display of human dichotomy.”
–Replicant Ears Magazine
“Awesome writing and very cool music and approach. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this.”
“There are few artists out there presenting their work with such a wonderful mix of courage and care, with a never ending eye toward giving the audience a wonderful experience and a sublime uniqueness of voice.”
“When Michael Harren’s writing isn’t smart and hilarious, it’s emotionally devastating. He is both a gifted musician and a great man. I am lucky to have worked with him.”
“…a beautiful sound artist and musician.”
“Fuck! You were great!”
On Monday night I hosted the first ever live episode of my long running MikeyPod podcast. I had a great line up of guests, including Eve Beglarian, Victoria Libertore, Duncan Pflaster, Will Shishmanian and Sugar Vendil. The podcast of the event will go up in the feed at mikeypod.com on July 4th, but in the meantime I wanted to post this story I shared at the show. I’m pretty proud of this piece and it’s perfect for Pride. Continue reading →
It certainly has been a long time since I’ve written on this blog, hasn’t it? It’s not that I’m not writing or sharing. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have been getting plenty of attention — not to mention my Drip subscription page where I have been posting pretty frequent updates and works in progress. I would love to have more people over there in that community and it’s a mere $5 per month. I’m working on a cool project I’m going to be sharing with those folks and that $5 goes much further in support of my work than you might realize.
In the past few months since my last update here, I’ve run some races, scored some short films, and most importantly, shared some live works-in-progress from The Animal Show. The big show will be going up in October, but I did a public reading of the material I’ve written so far. I was pretty freaked out leading up to it. Lots of the pieces were unfinished and raw and really just so disconnected. Continue reading →
Typically, I take a bus out to Tamerline Farm. The Short Line busses are actually pretty nice, and they take me from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City to a usually empty church parking lot in Port Jervis, NY in two hours and one minute. Someone from the farm is usually waiting there to take me the rest of the way to the farm in Montague, NJ. It’s about a 20 minute drive.
There’s a first part of the trip, too. The part where I take the F train from my basement apartment in Brooklyn to 42nd Street/Bryant Park and walk the two avenues West to Port Authority. It’s a pretty easy trip that happens in less than an hour.
This past Saturday, I made the trip as usual but with it being winter, there was an over abundance of animal skin and fur wrapped around my fellow subway passengers. This was getting under my skin more than usual, and it is so hard for me to block the emotional reaction this has in me — especially toward fur. Continue reading →
A few months ago, I was able to join a big group of activists protesting the ritual slaughter of 60,000 chickens here in Brooklyn, NY. Most of the sacrifices occurred in public, so being at the protests meant being in very close proximity to the sounds, smells and sights of tremendous suffering and torture.
I’ve collected my own video and audio from the two nights of protests, and am gathering some more footage from activists who were braver than I – people who got in the faces of the practitioners and one person who went to the site of one of the largest events and took footage of chickens lying half dead in the street and other carnage. I really can’t express here how horrific this was. Literally mass slaughter of animals taking place on public streets in the name of religion. Continue reading →
I’m experimenting with different ways to document my time at Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary. I’m doing work on the show between visits, but I want to keep the residency active on my site and socials, so…. Here’s a new vlog! This was fun to do, and I’d really like to improve my video/film making skills so I am going to just put these up in a casual and experimental spirit. I’m open to feedback if you’ve got it and, of course, bring on the shares and likes! Continue reading →
No upcoming shows scheduled