The Furnace

One Writer. One Story. Read to completion (with vigor).

Tag: Rae Diamond

Rae Diamond on the Musicality of Language

by Anca Szilagyi


As we prepare for The Furnace Says Goodnight, Kyle Getz is interviewing Furnace contributors about their past performances. Next up is Rae Diamond! Please join us at Hollow Earth Radio on Friday, December 2 at 8 pm for a special collaborative performance and party. Without further ado:

KG: The sound that accompanied your piece, “Three Songs,” added a new level of depth, such as when you used the phrase “perfection of silence,” while a note played in the background. Can you describe your creative process and how you combine words and sound in your work?

RD: Words, sound and music are intrinsically interrelated in my mind. I explore this inherent interrelation by speaking and singing words slowly and repeatedly until I lose all sense of their meaning. I also consider the roots of words and the sounds of those ancient words-within-the-word. In addition to adding nuances of meaning, roots of words interest me because older languages were overtly musical – lilting with song-like shifts of pitch. The English language has traveled far from its musical roots, and I harbor a deep curiosity about creating a new experience of musicality in our language. I hear this potential as percussive and angular rather than the soothing lullaby quality of Old English. I seek a musical language of matured beauty.

KG: What experience did you want to create for the Furnace audience in person and on the radio with your piece?

RD: I wanted to cast a benevolent spell of understanding over the audience by immersing them in a soundscape that expressed deeper layers of the many strands of thought that interlaced through the essay. I wanted the listeners to be initially surprised and then comforted by the world the words and sounds wove, so that when the piece ended the “normal” world of straight speaking without sonic augmentation would feel strange, like stepping on dry land after spending some hours on a boat.


The Furnace Says Goodnight

by Anca Szilagyi

final-facebook-coverFriends! After a four-year run the Furnace will say goodnight. We are so grateful to the Seattle literary community. Join us on December 2nd, 8-10 pm at Hollow Earth Radio, 2018 A E Union St, or listen online live at

Party Details:

A performance of a single story
-Furnace writers are at work writing individual pieces that Corinne and Anca will weave into a single story and performed by the writers below, who we know you love.

Music Performances:
– Previous collaborators perform music
WINDOWS95SECONDEDITION (as seen with Anastacia Renee Tolbert)
The Shtick Figures (as seen with Lisa Nicholas Ritscher)

Contributing Writers and Performers:
Chelsea Werner-Jatzke
Lacey Jane Henson
Jeanine Walker
Catherine Smyka
Rae Diamond
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Alan Sincic
Lisa Nicholas-Ritscher
Aaron Counts
Nancy Jooyoun Kim
Anastacia Tolbert
Buffy Aakaash
Christine Texiera

Corinne and Anca love you forever but we are in our 30s and need to finish our books.

The series often gave a platform to writers who were not yet properly recognized in Seattle who then went on to become mainstays at other literary events. The series also gave a few well-known area writers the opportunity to innovate how they perform their work. With a desire to create a larger literary community, The Furnace invited readers from outside Seattle, such as essayist Brenda Miller from Bellingham, Kathlene Postma from Portland and Alan Sincic from Florida. Hollow Earth’s broadcast of each event created a new accessibility to readings that some people might not be able to attend and reached listeners across the country.

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About The Furnace

The Furnace Reading Series is a quarterly event that highlights one prose writer at a time. The Furnace is performed in front of a live audience and broadcast online at Hollow Earth Radio in an effort to integrate an ever spreading community. To complete the experience, audience members can hold the story in their hands with a professionally designed chapbook of the performer’s work.

Furnace History
Anca Szilagyi: August 2012 More Like Home Than Home
Buffy Aakaash: October 2012 The Last Night at Manuela’s
Rae Diamond: January 2013 Three Songs
Kathlene Postma: May 2013 Fetch
Lacey Jane Henson: August 2013 Trigger
Catherine Smyka: October 2013 Don’t Mess With Straight Girls
Nancy Jooyoun Kim: February 2014 My Piles
Brenda Miller: May 2014 We Regret To Inform You
Chelsea Werner-Jatzke: August 2014 Sweet Nothing: A Manifesto
Aaron Counts: October 2014 What Happened to Peace?
Jeanine Walker: February 2015 Polarities
Lisa Nicholas-Ritscher: May 2015 Fake Books
Alan Sincic: August 2015 (in partnership with Big Fiction and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture) Sugar
Anastacia Tolbert: October 2015, The City
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore: February 2016, The Freezer Door
Christine Texeira: May 2016 Immanent Ghosthood

The Bushwick Book Club Presents Original Music Inspired by The Furnace – Video

by Anca Szilagyi

Back in March, we teamed up with The Bushwick Book Club Seattle for the APRIL festival. Three musicians wrote and performed three absolutely lovely songs inspired by the three pieces we’ve presented so far. Check out the videos here, and stay tuned for the recording of Kathlene Postma’s performance, which is still giving us chills.

At APRIL: The Bushwick Book Club Seattle Presents Original Music Inspired by The Furnace

by Anca Szilagyi

Come see us at APRIL’s Small Press Expo this Saturday, 11 am-4 pm at Richard Hugo House. We’ll have a table full of chapbooks and CDs from previous performances, and there’ll be a whole slew of other wonderful small publishers to check out. Annnd, be sure to see our event in the Hugo House theater 1:30-2:30. Musicians from the Bushwick Book Club Seattle have written original music inspired by the three pieces we’ve featured so far.

The performers:

Bradford Loomis marries grit and melody to dig to the roots of American folklore and speak of the raw reality of the human condition with soul, passion, and hope. Bradford will perform original music inspired by Anca Szilágyi’s story “More Like Home Than Home.”

On her critically acclaimed 2010 album, “Roses Guide to Time Travel”, Oklahoma native Nancy K. Dillon mapped the road West; the dusty highways that conjure up images like Kerouac’s road trips, traveling dustbowl carnivals, and free-spirited 70s hipsters. Inspired by Oklahoma/Texas troubadours Townes Van Zandt, Eric Taylor, and Kevin Welch, Dillon’s songs are short stories about the various characters that populate rural American life, as well as her own travels through the American West and beyond.  2013 will bring the release of Dillon’s latest creative sonic efforts in songs inspired by her exploration mapping her family’s origins throughout Scotland, Ireland, England and the New World on a brand new CD entitled “Game of Swans”. Nancy will perform original music inspired by Buffy Aakaash’s play “The Last Night at Manuela’s.”

Katrina Kope is a Seattle based singer/songwriter that has performed in and around the area for over 10 years as the Katrina Kope jazz Quartet, Soul/R&B with Soul Kata, and Reggae with Leisure Sounds and Roll:One. Currently, Katrina co-hosts the all improve “Sing it Live” Jam for vocalists at the Seamonster and is about to release an album with her pop/electronic band, Purr Gato. Katrina will perform original music inspired by Rae Diamond’s essay “Three Songs.”

MP3 of Three Songs

by CM

Here is a beautiful recording of Rae Diamond and Jessika Kenney’s performance at The Furnace on January 16.

On Sound and Writing with Rae Diamond

by CM

We’re only two days away from Rae Diamond’s reading of Three Songs at Hollow Earth Radio and I got the chance to ask Rae a question about her essay, which is an apocalyptic essay about a musician’s experience of sound.

Furnace: In the essay you discuss this moment where you and the chimera become one being– a kind of complete instrument. Was there a moment like that for you in writing this particular piece– where you and the essay became one or is that phenomenon reserved for sound?

Rae Diamond: Absolutely yes!  The essay & I became one at many points – most especially after long periods of stuck-ness, followed by profound inspiration & flow.  This happened with each of the three sections, all in different ways, & from different sources of breakthrough. Writing is completely different from playing music, although not so terribly different from composing music.  The kind of fusion I experience when playing music is much more intense for me because there is a different kind of immediacy.  Music is an art-form that occurs in time, whereas writing – although it takes time to write & to read – does not occur in that same timespace.  In fact, through writing, you can very easily stretch or shorten time, as well as travel into the future & into the past.  Playing music is not like this.  The musician makes notes, & those notes cannot be erased.  Although they all disappear, they are in the moment indelible.  For me, this applies a kind of pressure I do not feel when I write, compose, draw, or paint.  While I may get swept up in a similar way in any of these creative processes, losing track of time, & entering some kind of altered state, the state I enter when I play music – especially in a recording or performance setting – instills a sense of imperative that the other arts do not for me.  This makes music-playing for me more exciting, terrifying, challenging & exhilarating than other arts.

The Furnace #3

by CM

Get ready for a pretty wild experience with sound and language!


Essayist and musician Rae Diamond with vocalist Jessika Kenney

January 16, 2013

Hollow Earth Radio

2018 A. East Union St.