A Broke Machine
"...the progressive 'girl with a piano' that shouldn't be overlooked."
- The LA Music Scene
Like handmade creations, Terami Hirsch's music is constructed with a tempting blend
of tender interest and obsessive fixation. Without the advantage of working in a visual
medium, this Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter uses her home studio and lo-fi
electronics as her art board—forming deeply personal, highly textured alternative albums.
Writing songs since age 11, Terami's early scribbles were intended merely as an
emotional outlet—never meant for an audience. However, she was spontaneously
inspired and recorded her first album, All Girl Band in 1999. The unflinching, intimate
approach of All Girl Band, found an eager following and this encouraged Terami to
continue experimenting with the recording process. Following her debut, came To the
Bone (2002) and Entropy 29 (2005). Both reflect her emerging interest in electronic
sounds, as well as demonstrating more intricate, and evocative subject matters. A Broke
Machine is her most recent studio album, and is firmly rooted in the experimental-pop
ethos developed over the life of her previous projects.
What sets Terami's music apart from other piano-based artists, is her near disregard for
the purity of the acoustic instrument. Preferring to work with keyboards and digital
editing software, Terami shapes songs as if they were paper and glue, allowing
imperfections to texture her otherwise meditative and cerebral music. This approach is
surprising to some—as many people equate digital with polished, smooth sounds.
Terami's music personifies the heart in the machine, as she pushes the creative edges of
reputably heartless software. Terami explains, "In album production, it's exciting to
create unexpected terrain within the landscape of a simple song. By using my computer
as an instrument, the whole process becomes flexible and dynamic in ways that continue
to push how I express myself on record."
In 2007, Terami began recording A Broke Machine—her most provocative album to date.
Self-produced, the album is intricately mixed by Tommy Walter (Abandoned Pools, The
Eels, Glacier Hiking). The songs are detailed and passionate, and written within her selfenforced
guideline: “to enjoy the process”. Plucking inspiration from her favorite subjects
("the things we can't have" and "the things we can never understand"), A Broke Machine
revolves around issues of the heart.
Terami is an introvert—irresistibly drawn to intensive, isolated creation. For this reason,
her live performances are rare, introspective events; which are quirky and surprisingly
stripped of the electronics she uses during album production. Her cosy vocals and
thorough piano skills highlight the appeal of her music—expressive songwriting and
Able to shape hand-crafted, electronic recordings around such delicate and innate
songwriting, Terami's music is a profound reflection of what current technology can offer
independent musicians—the freedom to experiment. While continuing to delve into both
lyrical esoterics and musical expressiveness, Terami strives for a balance between those
imperfections that make us human and the ways we look beyond ourselves and continue
A Broke Machine is available April 15, 2008 on Madstone Records.