Musicians and Writers Collaborate for Coffee House

“Don’t text a heart emoji if you don’t want him to get the wrong idea,” said Caroline Lu ’15, Co-Editor in Chief of “Backtracks,” reading her piece “Slut” to a stunned audience during last Friday’s Coffee House.

“I’m inspired by [Jamaica] Kincaid’s frank analysis of the social constructions of being a woman, and I tried to provide an analysis of what it may mean to be a woman in our community,” said Lu.

Coffee House was organized by “Backtracks,” Andover’s general interest magazine, and Andover Writers Alliance, a club that hosts writer workshops. Held in Paresky Commons, the event included a variety of readings and musical performances.

Before Lu’s recitation, Julia Zell ’15 and Noah Hornik ’15 took the stage to perform a cover of Tove Lo’s “Habits (Stay High).” Zell’s delicate voice echoed through the room while she layed down chords on a synthesizer, and Hornik accompanied her on the guitar.

“We wanted to find a pop song that we could do something different with. Learning the song was super easy, but then we went in and changed the instrumentation in Logic Pro, which is a music production software,” said Hornik.

Zell added, “[Hornik] and I decided to do Coffee House, because we love performing together. Also, I am a part of “Backtracks” and was happy to be a part of something that’s so important to me. [Hornik] and I were hoping to cover a pretty well-known pop song and turn it into something a little different, which is why we had the synthesizer and the beat.”

Following Zell and Hornik’s performance, Bianca Navarro Bowman ’15 recited an original short story called “Lucky Boy.” The story describes a young boy with mental disabilities going grocery shopping with his sister and being ridiculed by two younger children.

“I like writing stories about people who tend to be not thought about or under-represented,” said Bowman, “I was inspired by the talks on campus about ableism. I wrote the story for my creative writing class, and I [was] grateful to have the opportunity to share it at Coffee House.”

Next, Arthur Doran ’15 played a soft jazz melody on the piano. While the piece was improvised, he was inspired by many different artists.

“I like the inherent freedom that comes with being able to express my own ideas on the piano,” said Doran. “In order to not give myself too much credit, I will say that what I performed, while it was put together on the spot, was not entirely comprised of original, unique ideas that have only ever been thought of by Arthur Doran.”

Lily Grossbard ’15, Co-Editor in Chief of “Backtracks,” was the last presenter of the evening. She read a short story about her experience leading children on a mountain hike as a camp counselor this past summer and limits that could restrict one from reaching a goal.

“I was inspired by [Lu] sharing something so personal, and I wanted to do the same,” said Grossbard. “The experience I shared at Coffee House is very important to me, and sharing it with the community meant a lot.”