Singing school at the Contemporary Artists Center

On November 10th, Jesse and Carrie held the first Under Island singing school at the Contemporary Artists Center in North Adams, ma. A complete sound recording of the event is presented below in mp3 format.

  1. Carrie's introduction
  2. Jesse's introduction
  3. Jesse teaches Climate
  4. Climate
  5. "I am island like any land…"
  6. "I am the land without maps…"
  7. "For sale…"
  8. Awaken
  9. The General Slocum
  10. "They built a bridge to bridge the land…"
  11. Asylum
  12. Octagon Moon
  13. "The great consciousness…"
  14. "The year the beast groaned…"
  15. Devastation
  16. "John McCarthy does not sleep anymore…"
  17. End
  18. Applause and thank-yous

About Under Island

Jesse leading a song at the CAC Under Island singing

Under Island documents a turbulent and unmapped history. Carrying out psychical and physical research for months, Carrie uncovered the island as a living breathing monster that after gaining its sight, desires to leave Manhattan's East River. Carrie tells the island's story through a mix of assumptive and fact-based evidence, creating a narrative that is truer than true.

In its expression here, the Under Island story is told through original shape note song poems, written by Carrie and Jesse. Since the late 1700s shape note tunesmiths have written songs while traveling from town to town, teaching music. Beginning in New England in the 1770s, the egalitarian singing tradition these itinerant singing masters promoted travelled west and south, settling in Georgia and Alabama, and was driven from the Northeast by the mid-19th Century. The songs these tunesmiths wrote, often named for the locations where they were written, are a subliminal record of these tunesmiths' lives and the relationship of individual, community, history, and geography.

Under Island is the first chapter of The Subliminal History of New York State, a project planned for the summer of 2006. Acting as subliminal socio-archaeologists Carrie and Jesse will tour New York State in the UnSeen Machine, following the monster and tracing the footsteps of the itinerants of New York's past. On their stops around the state, Carrie and Jesse will present their discoveries leading singing schools from their New York State Tunebook, the first pages of which will are presented here for the first time.