From: Siren Song Magazine [url]
Date: August 4, 2003

Volume 1, Issue 17

Terami Hirsch is an independent singer/songwriter living in Los Angeles.

She began playing the piano when she was three years old, and wrote her first song at 10. While other girls were scribbling in their journals, Hirsch sat at the ivories, writing lyrics and pouring her emotions into music.

"The piano was hypnotic for me. All the stress I ever felt could be released through my fingertips," Hirsch said.

Over a rainy three-day weekend in 1999, Hirsch recorded her first album, All Girl Band. She was the sole musician, producer and engineer. It received some decent reviews, but Hirsch knew she had to develop a large, devoted fan base. So she founded a community of music lovers by giving away her second album, Stickfigures. Each track was recorded in one take and included a spoken word story about what inspired the song.

Working with her husband, techno artist, Kevin Benson, Hirsch added an electronic dimension to her music and released, To the Bone, her third album. Hirsch and Benson have performed in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and San Diego. Her song, "The River," was nominated for Best Female Singer-Songwriter Song of 2002 from Just Plain Folks, a community of 25,000 songwriters, music publishers and record labels.

Hirsch is currently recording her fourth album, Entropy 29, which will be released this fall.

Group Members:
Terami Hirsch - keyboards and vocals
Kevin Benson - machines and programming

Terami Hirsch is an elegant pianist who mixes classical training with an angst-driven voice. She's a self-described "introvert with a microphone," one who is clearly influenced by the work of Tori Amos, Dido and Sarah McLachlan.

Each song Terami plays has its own personality, offering listeners a full-bodied mix of memorable electronic melodies and whisper-soft vocals. Her piano work is captivating, and her songwriting delves into the emotional closets few alternative artists are willing to open. There is a sense of exposure in Terami's music; each song reveals another secret.

The Siren Six:

What inspires you?

Terami Hirsch: People who can get the job done and aren't afraid of being their freakish, obsessive, creative and honest selves.

What comes first, the lyrics or the melody?

Terami: They tend to come together. Either it happens as a package or it doesn't happen at all. Really, it's kind of annoying 'cause it limits where I can sit down and write. It's rare that staring into my living room gets the juices flowing. I wish I could take my keyboard into the backyard or to the park. That would rock.

Why do you offer MP3s of your music on the Web?

Terami: MP3s are a great promotional tool. I like to be able to listen to new music as a fan in order to get a feel of things. It helps me take more musical risks as a listener if I don't have to commit to a purchase right away -- and I'm betting that people stumbling on my music feel much the same.

That said, I'm very much about the disc. I've done fairly intense promotional giveaways that involve free music on CD as an alternative to the bad habit of downloading music and never connecting with the artist.

Both tools have worked incredibly well for me, but in the end, it's about people. Making the connection. MP3s are a good introduction, but I always want to find a deeper level. I think the first bridge to cross is getting something real into peoples' hands -- something they can touch and carry with them.

How has the Internet helped you connect with fans?

Terami: Dear lord. If it wasn't for the Internet, I think I'd have about five fans. Four of them would be relatives and the other would be my rabbit.

Was there ever a moment when you contemplated giving up music?

Terami: I'd consider giving up music like I'd consider giving up oxygen. Isn't going to happen. I have wished I could be satisfied as a lawyer or a teacher or something remotely normal. It's difficult to do what I do -- but then, it's never easy to do anything you care so much about. And I'd make a crappy lawyer.

What was the first album you bought? The first concert you attended?

Terami: I think the first album I bought (as opposed to the first album my mom bought me: Thriller by Michael Jackson) was the Stand By Me soundtrack. I was very sheltered musically and otherwise growing up. I basically only listened to my parent's collection (The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Barbara Streisand) or else I'd be listening to Disney soundtracks. Oh, and the soundtrack to "My Fair Lady." Bliss. Stand By Me offered a whole new world of fun. And I liked dancing to "Lollipop."

My first concert (for a famous person) was a Tori Amos concert in 1994. I didn't buy the tickets. They were a birthday gift. If my friends hadn't given them to me, I don't think to this day I could claim to have seen a big artist in concert. I only go to small, local shows. And I usually become friends with the artist. That's kinda the way I am.