"Warning: Michael Hearst has unleashed some powerful wonder-awe juju here. You may be gripped by a giddy urge to drop what you're doing, abandon your career, and take your kids off to Africa to see a hammer-headed bat. I will see you there!" -Mary Roach, Author of Packing For Mars
Join us when quirky author and composer Michael Hearst returns to Octavia Books to present and sign his recent book, UNUSUAL CREATURES: A Mostly Accurate Account of Some of Earth's Strangest Animals, and companion CD, Songs for Unusual Creatures. From the Australian bilby to the deep-sea
magnapinna squid, to the microscopic tardigrade. And in case learning
about hagfish slime isn't enough to pique your interest, Hearst will
also perform a few songs inspired by the animals on such odd-ball instruments
as the theremin and the stylophone.
Michael Hearst is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and writer.
He is a founding member of the band One Ring Zero, which has released nine albums,
including the literary collaboration As Smart As We Are (The Author Project),
featuring lyrics by Paul Auster, Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers, and Neil Gaiman, among others; Planets,
a collection of new compositions to represent the solar system and beyond; and their most recent,
The Recipe Project,
in which the band has taken recipes from today’s top chefs
(Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio, David Chang, etc.), set them to music, and
sing them word for word. Michael's solo works include the albums Songs For Ice Cream Trucks and Songs For Unusual Creatures,
the website Songs For Newsworthy News, and the soundtracks for the movies
Magic Camp, The House Of Suh and The Good Mother.
As a writer, Michael's work has appeared in such journals as McSweeney's, The Lifted Brow, and Post Road. His first book, Unusual Creatures, was published by Chronicle Books just a few months ago. Hearst also hosts a podcast series with Rick Moody called 18:59 and is a producer for the website Cassette From My Ex.
He has performed and given lectures and workshops at universities,
museums, and cultural centers around the world. He has toured with The
Magnetic Fields, performed with The Kronos Quartet at Carnegie Hall, and
has appeared on such shows as NPR's Fresh Air, A+E's Breakfast With The Arts, and NBC's The Today Show.
With humor and flair, Michael Hearst introduces the reader to a wealth of extraordinary life-forms. Which animal can be found at the top of Mount Everest, 10,000 feet under the sea, and in your backyard? Which animal poops cubes? Which animal can disguise itself as a giant crab?