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 created the solo multi-media theater pieceThe Animal Show, which premiered in New York City in 2016 and continues to be performed in venues throughout the United States.

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 is a Moogfest artist who presented No Permission Needed: Create with Senator Jaiz at Moogfest 2017.

“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.”
Sandra Bernhard

“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

“Magical!”
Eve Beglarian

“Awesome writing and very cool music and approach. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this.”
Christopher Willits

“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.”
Adam Fitzgerald

“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.”
Steven Strafford

“…a beautiful sound artist and musician.”
Gardiner Comfort

“Fuck! You were great!”
Ed Asner

The Arts for Animals panel discussion this weekend!

This weekend I will be a part of a panel discussion organized by New England Veg Fest and Compassion Arts: “The Arts for Animals.”

Some of my favorite folks will be a part of the panel (three of whom you’ve heard on the podcast): poet and musician Donald Vincent, painter Jane O’Hara, pianist and author Joanne Kong, filmmaker Allison Argo, and little ol’ me. Musician and documentarian Alfee West will be the moderator.

The panel is free and it’s virtual so super easy to attend. Here’s all the info.

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Special Gift for Subscribers – “Headphones” Zine

I am so excited to announce another special zine I am creating with my pal luke kurtis at bd-studios.com! To thank my patrons, we have created a zine featuring a an original story about the very first time I experienced listening to music with headphones, and the evolution of the relationship through the years.

All subscribers at $10 and up will get a hand bound, signed,  and numbered limited edition copy of the zine. Not only that, but each copy will contain a link to download an audio version of the piece along with brand new original music. Oh, and patrons at the $5+ level will get access to download a digital copy of the zine and the new music! Click here to subscribe!

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“Shut Up, Astoria” premieres this week!

I wrote the theme song and a ton of incidental music for a new sitcom called Shut Up, Astoria! It was created by a crew of people here in NYC that I have worked with a bunch in the past, and it was a tremendously fulfilling and fun project. Working on this pilot episode meant watching it more times than I can count and let me tell you, the laughs never stoppedI love this show so much!

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New Video – Wake Up In New York

I recorded this cover of Craig Armstrong’s “Wake Up In New York” back in April of 2019 and somehow never managed to get it edited. It was a little bit of a challenge to myself to improvise on the piano and sing this simple, yet highly emotional song. It’s got some things I love and, honestly, some things I don’t. I’m really interested in working and learning as I do things, and this means letting them be imperfect and sharing them anyway. All in all, I’m really proud of this!

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New Life - Michael Harren

New Life

It turns out that releasing music as an independent artist is even more challenging during a global pandemic. Who knew?

The months of March and April were especially challenging here in New York City. March started out normally enough, mostly because none of us were paying close enough attention to the beginnings of this pandemic around the world. Suddenly, over the course of one weekend, I started getting notified that my freelance teaching gigs were shutting down one by one, and it no longer felt safe to teach, perform, or even go pick up almond milk at the corner bodega.

I spent those two months mostly stunned and paralyzed. Snacks and movies. . . and guilt.

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