title: Behind the Wallpaper
instrumentation: amplified voice (range: F3 to C#5), string quartet
duration: 9 min.
written in: 2013
text: Alex Temple

“Jamais vu is sort of the opposite [of déjà vu]. Someone comes home, or walks through a familiar neighborhood, and has the sense that everything around him/her is strange and unfamiliar.”
Psychology Today

Behind the Wallpaper is a set of four short songs about loneliness and altered perception. It was commissioned by Spektral Quartet, and you can read more about it in the group’s interview with me, or their follow-up with me and singer Constance Volk. Since it can be hard to understand the words in a live recording, you can also read along if you like.

Next February, Julia Holter and Spektral Quartet will be premiering an expanded version of the cycle. More about that on my news page!


Constance Volk, voice
Spektral Quartet:
  Austin Wulliman, violin 1
  Aurelien Penderzoli, violin 2
  Doyle Armbrust, viola
  Russell Rolen, cello
Live at The Hideout, Chicago, IL, 6.29.13
Recorded by Russell Rolen

Download mp3s

See the score