The art of radical sensibility of Fiona Apple

The art of radical sensibility of Fiona Apple
  • The Israeli Radical Left, Wright, Fiona
    Brand new
  • Fiona Apple - Fetch The Bolt Cutters (12” Double 180gm Pearl Coloured Vinyl)
    Includes 20-page lyric book and download code
  • The Twelve Knits of Christmas by Fiona Goble, 2011
    Brand new
  • hildegard of bingen the woman of her age fiona maddocks
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  • Fiona Apple - Fetch The Bolt Cutters - Double Vinyl Album - Ex/NrMint
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  • Fiona Apple When The Pawn CD Rare Trip Hop Paper Bag Fast As You Can Limp
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  • Very Good, The Usborne Book of Art Ideas, Watt, Fiona, Hardcover
    Pre-owned
  • The Anthropology of Religion: An Introduction by Fiona Bowie (Paperback, 2005)
    Pre-owned
  • MacDonald, Fiona, Art, Culture and Entertainment: Through the Ages, Very Good, H
    Pre-owned
  • London: Portrait of a City (DECORATIVES ART), Biddulph, Fiona & Weinreb, Ben, Us
    Pre-owned
  • London's Docklands: A History of the Lost Quarter by Fiona Rule (Paperback,...
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  • The Art of True Healing: The Unlimited Power of Prayer and Visualization by...
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  • Watt, Fiona, The Usborne Book of Art Ideas, Very Good, Hardcover
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  • The Classical Sensibility in Contemporary Painting & Sculpture; Art & Design
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  • The Art of The World's Greatest Watercolourists Hardback Fiona & Isla Hackney
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  • Hackney, Fiona and Isla., THE ART OF WATERCOLOURS., Like New, Hardcover
    New (other)
  • The Brief Life of Flowers, Stafford, Fiona, New, Book
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  • The Art of Witch - Hardback NEW Horne, Fiona 01/06/2019
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Fiona Apple wrestled with her dog, Mercy, as a person could wrestle, thankfully, in choppy waves. Apple pulled a purple toy as Mercy, a pit bull boxer mix, grabbed it in her jaws, spinning Apple in circles. Worn out, they collapsed on two daybeds in the living room, in front of an always-on TV. On the first day of my visit, last July, he was on MSNBC, broadcasting a story about Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book.

Today, the forty-two-year-old singer-songwriter rarely leaves her quiet home in Venice Beach, except for an early morning stroll on the beach with Mercy. Five years ago, Apple stopped going to Largo, the Los Angeles location where, since the late 90s, she had regularly performed her thorny and emotionally revealing songs. (Her song “Largo” is still playing on the club’s website.) She had canceled her last tour, in 2012, when Janet, a pit bull she adopted when she was twenty-two, was dying. Still, a lot can go on without leaving home. Apple’s new album, which she had been getting closer to for years, was a touchy subject, and so, in the week I visited, we went and saw on other topics, one of which was her decision, a year earlier, to stop drinking; estrangement from old friends; and his memories of growing up in Manhattan as the youngest child in the “second family” of a married Broadway actor. Near the front door of Apple’s house stood a blackboard on wheels, on which was scrawled the title of the upcoming album: “Fetch the Bolt Cutters.”

One afternoon, Apple’s older sister Amber arrived to record vocal harmonies. In the living room, there was an upright piano, the top was filled with memorabilia, including a plush toucan knitted by Apple’s mom and a photo of Martha Graham doing a backbend. Apple’s friend Zelda Hallman, who had recently become his roommate, was in the sunny yellow kitchen, cooking tilapia for Mercy and for Hallman’s Bernese Mountain Dog Maddie. In the back yard, there was a guest house, where Apple’s half-brother, Bran Maggart, a carpenter, lived. (For years, he had worked as a driver for Apple, which never got a license, and helped manage its tours.) Apple’s father, Brandon Maggart, also lives in Venice Beach; her mother, Diane McAfee, a former dancer and actress, remains in New York, in the building in Morningside Heights where Apple grew up.

Amber, a cabaret singer who records under the name Maude Maggart, had taken her thirteen-month-old baby, Winifred, who was nibbling the floor, playing under the piano. Apple was there when Winifred was born, and while we were talking about the weirdness of childbirth, Apple told me a joke about a woman who got pregnant with twins. Every time people asked the lady if she wanted boys or girls she would say, “I don’t care, I just want my kids to be polite!” Nine months have passed, but she has not given birth. A year has passed – still nothing. “Eight, nine, twenty years!” Apple said, his eyebrows jigging. “Twenty-five years – and ultimately they’re like, ‘We have to figure out what’s going on in there.’ When the doctors took a look inside, they found “two middle aged men youuuu!” No after youuuu! “”

Amber was there to record one line: a little harmony on “Newspaper”, one of the thirteen new songs on the album. Apple, who wore a light blue oxford shirt and baggy beige pants, hair in a low bun, stood by the piano, dragging Amber, who sat down in a wicker rocking chair, pulling Winifred into her lap. “It’s a shame, because you and I didn’t have a witness!” Apple hummed, placing the notes in the air with his palm. Then the sisters sang, in harmony: “We are the only ones who know!” The “us” came out as a casual tweet, adding an ironic subtext to the song, which was about two women linked by their story to an abusive man. Apple, with its singular smoky contralto, shaped the line’s complex emotions for Amber, warming her up to record.

“It works?” Apple asked Winifred, who looked up from her mother’s lap. Abruptly, Apple bent her knees, thrust her elbows back like wings, and swung her hips, glancing over at Winifred. The baby laughed. It was both a rehearsal and a playdate.

“Fetch the Bolt Cutters” refers to a scene from “The Fall”, the UK police proceeding starring Gillian Anderson as a sex crimes investigator; Anderson’s character calls out the phrase after finding a locked door in a room where a girl has been tortured. Like all of Apple’s projects, this one took time to emerge, going through a slow process of creative self-interrogation that produced, for a quarter of a century, a narrow but deep songbook. His albums are both deeply personal – retracing his heartaches, his confrontations with his own fragility and his ferocious phoenix recoveries – and musically daring, more and more wild and foreign with each turn. As his 2005 song “Extraordinary Machine” suggests, while other artists might go fast, catch new influences and achieve superficial novelty, Apple prides itself on a stickier originality, which spurts with a ticking sound. internal: on foot, and on foot it’s a slow climb / But I’m good at being uncomfortable, so I can’t stop changing all the time.

The new album, she said, was close to being completed, but, like the joke twins, the due date was pushed back. She was both excited about these songs – composed and recorded at home, with all production decisions under her control – and apprehended by some of their subjects, as well as their raw sound (drums, vocals, bells). She was also concerned that she would again be subject to public scrutiny. Fame has long been a shocking experience for Apple, which has dealt with obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and anxiety since childhood.

After a while, she and Amber went to a small room – Apple’s old bedroom, where, for years, she had slept on a futon with Janet. After the dog’s death, she found herself unable to fall asleep there and turned the room into a recording studio, though it looked nothing like one: it was cluttered, with a small window and no soundproofing. There was a battered wooden desk and a computer that Apple recorded songs on using GarageBand. There was a mic stand and a Day of the Dead painting of a smiling female skeleton holding a skeleton dog. Every surface, from the shelves to the floor, was covered with a mulch of beaten percussion instruments: bells, wooden blocks, drums, metal squares.

The sisters recorded the lyrics over and over again, with Apple at the computer and Amber standing with Winifred on her hip. During a take, Amber pulled down the collar of her turquoise leotard and began to breastfeed her daughter. Apple looked up from GarageBand, caught his sister’s attention, and smiled. “It happens – it is event,” she says.

When you tell people you’re planning to meet Fiona Apple, they almost inevitably ask if she’s okay. What “OK” means isn’t necessarily obvious, however. Maybe it means healthy or happy. Maybe that means creating the volcanic, tender songs she’s been writing since she was a kid – or maybe not, if making music isn’t what makes her happy. Maybe it means to be UNhappy, but in a still fulfilling, always meaningful way. It’s the conundrum when someone’s artistry is so closely tied to their vulnerability and the act of experiencing and agitating their most painful emotions, like some sort of unsettling muse.

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