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Julia Read: Some Gorgeous or True Things

Photo by Res

Breakfast or dinner?

Dinner. Breakfast for dinner.

Hot or cold?


In or out?


Favorite lost fashion trend from decades past?

Hmm maybe tall necks with lace?

Favorite word?


Can you play music at my wedding?

Yes! [In fact she did.]

Do you ever write songs in your dreams?

There have been some gorgeous or true things that I've felt or remembered on waking, and cannot hold onto. I think that ideally I would be able to make songs that feel like dreams, in mystery, in scope, in changes of direction...

What has been a most embarrassing moment on stage?

For a show, a thoughtful friend tried to help realize a bit of my Peter Pan dream by hoisting me about a foot off the ground in a sort of swing for a piece that she'd made. I was playing a singing whale for a full audience and the pulley broke.

When I was younger I played classical violin pretty seriously. I was playing for a big master class in front of an audience in a lecture hall. When I messed up my piece I started crying during it and left the stage and sat in the audience crying while people tried to figure out what to do.

I too easily feel a sense of failure around playing shows, which is a large part of why I haven't been playing as much lately. Reading failure into situations doesn't boost morale. I think I got tired of feeling and seeing things that way and hearing my same echoes. There's of course more to experience than just a sense of success or failure, and I hope that I'll go closer to those longings, reachings and fallings that are more unknown and worthwhile and thrilling.. playful and elastic and mysterious- that's the part of performing and playing that I love.

But yeah, some of my most embarrassing moments performing are ones in which seemingly nothing happened - just internal out of proportion feelings of embarrassment based on micro things.

How do you know when you're doing what you want to be doing?

I love when I feel moved and just beyond my own control. It's like following and enjoying what I’m doing.

What are some recent projects you’ve been working on?

This past year was the 10th year anniversary of The Royal Frog Ballet's Surrealist Cabaret. Our collective performs outside in orchards and farms for a few weekends, and the audience comes and travels around to different acts. All of the acts are created with the same prompt or theme in mind, but can go in any direction. It's become a Fall tradition for many in the community around here and I love being a part of it.

Also this past year I performed in a show with the group, TheatreTruck. The show was based on mills in this area of the northeast- such an interesting history that was surrounding me and I didn't know a bitty bout it- full of empowerment, pain, and a rich labor movement history, among other things. All the text was from primary sources- letters, newspapers, etiquette guides,and lots of music. We performed outside on a town green that held ice cream socials for the mill girls and was once flooded by a poorly built dam, killing many mill workers. I loved working with the other actors/makers and the extremely inspiring director and designers.

You can let Julia’s voice, whole and slow and undeniable, cathart you from whatever mood you are in: here. You can listen to Julia's latest album for kids here. For more information, visit Julia's website or email us at

Photo of Julia (above) by Res. Album cover art (below) by Chelsea Granger.


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