houdini

At one point while touring with Owen Pallett in 2006(?) we played the Mercury Lounge. It was sold out, it was exciting. I was the opener and during the first 3 or 4 seconds my accordion strap broke. Actually stripped like a zipper that starts misaligning teeth. This happened during the first very enthusiastic opening notes pumping the bellows, playing along with the film, an old super 8 dinosaur transfer starring Vic tor Mature, made more interesting with subtitles added in Final Cut Pro and my Fellini Nina Rota aesthetic. Not the kind of situation one wants after all this work, all these travels, all these attempts to acquire an audience. The film was 3 minutes long, I jumped into repair mode and scrambled to try rethreading the strap in the dark while the film silently without the accordion accompaniment. I managed to recover and play the last twenty seconds correctly. People were impressed, but thought this was an intentional act I did night after night, pretending the instrument just broke during the first chord and I’m screwed and then I prevail. Maybe Houdini felt this way each time he didn’t drown.

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