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  • Magic Making Music with Eric Shieh: The Cement Factory


    If you haven’t friended him on Facebook, you’re missing some of the most witty “what’s on your mind?” commentary in the facebook news-feed slop-bucket.

    I met Eric Shieh, poet, teacher, prisoner-advocate, musician, composer and my good friend, in college. I was still reeling from post-traumatic stress and dissassociative identity issues in those days and cannot tell you exactly when the man entered my life. I do remember that he liked my poetry and that together, we were on a University of Michigan poetry-slam team that stomped states of other hopefuls in our glorious march to victory. If you don’t believe me, check it out: http://www.umich.edu/~poetslam/i_history.htm

    Clearly, I was so infamous in those days that only my first name was necessary. Well, this is about Eric. Shieh. Who once transcribed Mariah Carey into some of the most beautiful bend of violin I have ever heard.

    Imagine my surprise when I ran into Mr. Shieh- surprise, I can’t remember where- in New York sometime last year. He told me he had once written a poem for me to perform. Now this was possibly the most flattering statement I have ever heard from a man other than, “Will you marry me?”

    Serendipitously, I was- at the moment Eric and I reunited in 2008- wanting a soundtrack for a new dance-video concept. So, Eric Shieh and I went into a Harlem studio with his violin and my voice and him on a dinky keyboard and me on my poem and produced some magical musical shit out of thin air.


    My vocals are an improvised form of a poem I wrote in 2003, “The Cement Factory” which now has an accompanying video I created with FMT that has not yet been publicly released.

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