Sounds Like Titanic
A young woman leaves Appalachia for life as a classical musician—or so she thinks.
When aspiring violinist Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman lands a job with a professional ensemble in New York City, she imagines she has achieved her lifelong dream. But the ensemble proves to be a sham. When the group “performs,” the microphones are never on. Instead, the music blares from a CD...more
Or, should I say Milli Violini?
While still in college, the author, an aspiring violinist, was chosen to be part of an professional music ensemble. Her duties involved playing her instrument, and selling CDs at shopping malls, AND the 54-city God Bless America concert tour. The catch was . . . she performed before a dead microphone. The flawless music came from a recording. The audiences paid big bucks to see musicians "lip sync" to a CD.
The entire scheme was masterminded by a ...more
Who I am,
Do I fit in.
Make believin' is hard alone,
Out here on my own.”
-- Out Here On My Own, Irene Cara, Songwriters: Leslie Gore / Michael Gore
”Vivaldi is in your head. The music you hear is like the blaze-orange clothing the men wear on the mountainsides while deer hunting in autumn. The music is like a bulletproof vest, a coiled copperhead, a rabies shot. The music is both a warning and a talisman. The music tells you things.”
”The music says: What you ...more
God, this book. It’s catapulted itself into my favorite books of all time, but how do I even begin to explain why? Yes it’s about playing the violin (or not playing the violin, however you want to look at it), but the most important parts of this memoir are not about ...more
"While this is a memoir about being a fake, this is not a fake memoir. This is a memoir in earnest, written by a person striving to get at the truth of things that happened in her past." From the introductio ...more
Unfortunately I could not get myself to finish this. I really hate not finishing a book and I usually force myself to suffer through it if it’s bad or not something I’m into, but now that I am getting older, I am learning that there are tons of books I want to read in my lifetime, and it is okay not to finish the ones I don’t like. That might seem obvious to some of you, but my OCD-ness qualities make it difficult for me to d ...more
I usually stick to fiction, because a character's life as invented by the author has to be more interesting than the real lives of people around us. But Jessica's account of working for The Composer is weirder than fiction. Sure, it's a story about being a violinist in fake concerts, but also manages to be a study on the nature of memoir, reality, growing up female in the nineties, undergraduate class conflict, a tour of America at war, and t ...more
I'm going to cut to the chase and just come out and say that this is one of my favorite books that I have read in a long time and I want every woman I know to read it and we will all be in one huge book club.
On its surface, it is a memoir of a woman who spends a few years of her young adulthood faking it as a professional violinist. The Composer, a man who is never named specifically, has written simplistic orchestral music that soun ...more
To me, the most interesting aspect of the memoir was the author's ability to dive into the psyche of America; what do those Ruby Tuesdays and mall performances really tell us about the soul of America? Travel ...more
The premise was really, really cool. While attending Columbia University in NYC circa 2002, Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman joined a classical music ensemble as a violinist, that as it turned out, wasn't playing music at all but mimicking along to pre-recorded, half-plagerized music that "s ...more
A unique memoir that I was surprised to really enjoy. The premise doesn't sound all that engaging, but the opposite is true.
What made it so unique was both the content (a musician traveling the United States, and China, performing "live" music that is actually just a CD on playback) and the style. The writing is in the 2nd person, which was both distracting at first but a welcome change to the typical memoir format ...more
Early on in this hard-to-put-down memoir, Hindman switches from first to second person because, she posits, “For many people, myself included, sitting down to write something in first person feels like the worst type of fakery.” Hindman knows a thing or two about fakery, having traveled across the country playing her violin with the mic turned off as music music that ‘sounds ...more
This story is not only a wild ride, it’s very well written. Jessica writes very eloquently not only about her time with The Conductor, but also about her childhood in rural Appalachia.
Going into this book, I expected a funny, crazy story about a fake orchestra, and the book delivers on that. What I didn’t expect was an eloquent and touching journey into l ...more
What really made the book special to me though was how relevant it is to me: facing many of the same fears and challenges that Jessica did 15-20 years ago. Her story resonated with me in a very human way. Struggling to pay student loans, get h ...more
Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman grew up in a small town in Appalachia, and she wanted to play violin. She had to miss school occasionally to take violin lessons hours away, crossing from West Virg ...more
I enjoyed the personal story of the Appalachian girl, raised to believe she’s a star, hitting against rea ...more
THIS BOOK, HOWEVER, IS SO GOOD. Jessica weaves a story that bounces between her time pretending to be a classical violinist for a man who goes by The Composer (and she's covered her tracks well, so you might be able to dig and do some research but his identity isn't revealed) who makes his living traveling around in an RV, hiring musicians to pretend to play ...more
Jessica has had a love affair with the violin since she was a child and her parents did the right thing by encouraging her even to the point of taking her to weekly lessons hours away from home. I liked that. They encouraged without being stage parents.
I enjoyed reading about Jessica's growth as a violinist, her willingness to g ...more