Sounds Like Titanic

About the Author: Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman

Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman has performed on PBS, QVC, and at concert halls worldwide Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, McSweeney s, Brevity, and Hippocampus She holds a BA in Middle Eastern studies and an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and a PhD in English from the University of North Texas She teaches creative writing at Northern Kentucky


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  • Hardcover
  • 256 pages
  • Sounds Like Titanic
  • Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman
  • 22 September 2018
  • 9780393651645

Sounds Like Titanic A Young Woman Leaves Appalachia For Life As A Classical Musician Or So She Thinks.When Aspiring Violinist Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman Lands A Job With A Professional Ensemble In New York City, She Imagines She Has Achieved Her Lifelong Dream But The Ensemble Proves To Be A Sham When The Group Performs, The Microphones Are Never On Instead, The Music Blares From A CD The Mastermind Behind This Scheme Is A Peculiar And Mysterious Figure Known As The Composer, Who Is Gaslighting His Audiences With Music That Sounds Suspiciously Like The Titanic Movie Soundtrack On Tour With His Chaotic Ensemble, Hindman Spirals Into Crises Of Identity And Disillusionment As She Plays For Audiences Genuinely Moved By The Performance, Unable To Differentiate Real From Fake.

10 thoughts on “Sounds Like Titanic

  1. Melki says:

    Holy Milli Vanilli Or, should I say Milli Violini While still in college, the author, an aspiring violinist, was chosen to be part of an professional music ensemble Her duties involved playing her instrument, and selling CDs at shopping malls, AND the 54 city God Bless America concert tour The catch was she performed before a dead microphone The flawless music came from a recording The audiences paid big bucks to see musicians lip sync to a CD The entire scheme was masterminded by a man referred to only as the Composer, a strange fellow who wrote tons of quasi classical music, yet couldn t recognize Beethoven s most famous ditty In a tale too weird to be fictional, Hindman does a wonderful job of conveying the endless monotony of being on the road from the bland, and uninspiring food at chain restaurants, to the boredom of having to play the same songs over and over again for hours.I know what it feels like to hate a song so much you never want to hear another goddamned note.Despite Hindman s displeasure at the cheesy tunes, and fake performances, the music really resonated with audience members As one woman put it, It is so calming It gives me a few moments o...

  2. Cheri says:

    Sometimes I wonder where I ve been,Who I am, Do I fit in.Make believin is hard alone,Out here on my own Out Here On My Own, Irene Cara, Songwriters Leslie Gore Michael Gore Vivaldi is in your head The music you hear is like the blaze orange clothing the men wear on the mountainsides while deer hunting in autumn The music is like a bulletproof vest, a coiled copperhead, a rabies shot The music is both a warning and a talisman The music tells you things The music says What you feel is real Follow me Run This memoir is about growing up in the 80s 90s, about growing up in the Appalachian mountain area of West Virginia, and then later on, moving not that far away, but to the Virginia side of these same mountains It s about a love of music that began with music from a favourite childhood VHS tape It s about a girl who grew up in a rural area, and parents who drove hours every week to see a dream of hers become real It s about a town that saw her as having reeyell talent, and how life or at least the people who counted disagreed It s about how she managed to for a time find work touring the world, as a violinist More specifically, she is paid to perfor...

  3. Katie says:

    There were just some things you couldn t do for money Not because they were particularly difficult, but because you just didn t want to Because they weren t worth your life, which might not be worth much, but was worth something God, this book It s catapulted itself into my favorite books of all time, but how do I even begin to explain why Yes it s about playing the violin or not playing the violin, however you want to look at it , but the most important parts of this memoir are not about that at all They re about growing up in the 90s they re about the war in Iraq they re about women s equality, the obsession with reality television, the farce that is work life balance in America.It s so much easier for me to write about the books I ve hated than it is the books I ve loved Hating something is almost always tangible it s bad writing, a shitty plot, boring characters To love a book is a feeling It s a sharp intake of breath, forgetting to exhale, because you can t believe the words in front of your face Hindman captivates on two fronts her recollection of touring America as a fake violinist, and importantly, her uncanny ability to so clearly describe the unpleasant topics society swept under the rug for those of us born in the 80s.She recounts the false promises made to young girls in the 90s Even stranger is that, as people...

  4. Heidi The Reader says:

    A violinist and Eastern Studies major who is struggling to pay her way through Columbia gets a job that seems to be than she ever hoped for She is going to be playing professionally for audiences across the U.S It turns out to be fake the music is played through speakers, never live While this is a memoir about being a fake, this is not a fake memoir This is a memoir in earnest, written by a person striving to get at the truth of things that happened in her past From the introduction.Jessica Hindman grew up in Appalachia among some of the most impoverished residents in the country It s interesting though, the gripping poverty seemed normal to her until she considered it later, through mature eyes Children are so flexible Almost anything can be made to seem normal And as you listen to the other kids talk about their life goals, you realize something else You are someone whose upbringing was upper class enough to make you believe you could make music for a living, but lower class enough to provide no knowledge of how to do it pg 10After some serious struggles through puberty with her body and self image, Jessica ends up following her boyfriend to Columbia University, where they almost immediately break up But her troubles to pay the astronomical tuition bills are just beginning The Composer, the ...

  5. Nenia Campbell says:

    Instagram Twitter Facebook PinterestWhat a strange book this was Even though it s a memoir, it kind of reminded me of MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION because of its tongue in cheek narrative and critical examination of what living in the U.S during a post 9 11 society means for the population But it s also than that it s the very strange journey of a violinist from the Appalachians joining a fake orchestra where she and the other musicians played in concert halls across the U.S and China into dead microphones.At first, I really enjoyed Jessica s journey She chronicles her intro to music and her financial and social struggles through college To separate the befores and afters, her misadventures with the concert and the infamous Composer are told in first person, and everything taking place in the past is told in second person I liked her literary references and her cutting observations I liked that she was able to make fun of herself and the ridiculous situation.I think the problem was that I signed up for the memoir about her fake orchestra hijinks, and ended up with a lot of tangents that were at first amusing, but then quickly became exasperating I was skimming fairly heavily ...

  6. Amy Bruestle says:

    I won this book through a giveaway in exchange for an honest review.Unfortunately I could not get myself to finish this I really hate not finishing a book and I usually force myself to suffer through it if it s bad or not something I m into, but now that I am getting older, I am learning that there ...

  7. Kate says:

    This is the sort of book you stay up too late reading.I usually stick to fiction, because a character s life as invented by the author has to be interesting than the real lives of people around us But Jessica s account of working for The Composer is weirder than fiction Sure, it s a story about being a violinist in fake concerts, but also manages to be a study on the nature of memoir, reality, growing up female in the nineties, undergraduate class conflict, a tour of America at war, and the unreliable narrator in our own heads I really appreciated the vulnerability she put into this book It allows even a reader with the most boring life to relate to the sometimes crazy experiences the author had While Jessica is critiquing her young self for her inability to make a living doing something important, I m admiring all of the ways that she at least tried, harder than most people ever try at anythin...

  8. Jessica ☕ says:

    I know I m posting this review early, but I just have to share.I m going to cut to the chase and just come out and say that this is one of my favorite books that I have read in a long time and I want every woman I know to read it and we will all be in one huge book club.On its surface, it is a memoir of a woman who spends a few years of her young adulthood faking it as a professional violinist The Composer, a man who is never named specifically, has written simplistic orchestral music that sounds suspiciously like the Titanic theme song, and pays semi professional musicians to fake play along to a soundtrack The crowd never knows the difference, and the author becomes an accomplished violinist who really isn t that great.Yet, there are nuanced layers to the story that make it rich and engrossing Ms Hindman had a world class education in Middle Eastern studies ...

  9. Dan says:

    I always enjoy stories featuring amateur musicians cough cough Station Eleven , and this was no exception Hindman s experiences with the Composer, and her struggles to get in that position, are unique and remarkable, and I found her voice to be a perfect fit to narrate those experiences To me, the most interesting aspect of the memoir was the author s ability to dive into the psyche of America what do those Ruby Tuesdays and mall performances really tell us about the soul of America Travel narratives carry their own unique interest we started to hear about the flavors of Georgia, but it felt like we didn t get as much after that What about New Mexico Minnesota dare I ask Ohio The snippets that popped in later were great loved the shout out to Great Lakes Brewing Company s Christmas Ale I would have loved another hundred pages or to go into depth about her tour in China and the steps she s taken to get from music to her current career in teaching...

  10. Michael Waddell says:

    This is an amazing story I found myself shocked by many of the twists and turns in the author s life, the bizarre situations she found herself in, the ways she found to get by through all of it But what really makes the book great is the author s style direct, curious, unflinching, playful Nearly every page has something that makes me think about some unobserved detail in life what we mean by make a living , how it s often the most inauthentic things that authentically touch people s lives, how smiling is so often demanded but can signal unseriousness I ve read books that delighted in these sorts of observations before, but they were usually using them as distancing techniques, wry, above it all Sounds Like Titanic is nothing like that Somehow it manage...