Simone Felice: The Solemn Sound Of A Brush With Death | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Simone Felice: The Solemn Sound Of A Brush With Death

Play associated audio

Simone (pronounced "Simon") Felice is a poet, a novelist and a musician from rural New York state who has lived through two near-death experiences. At 12, he suffered a brain aneurysm, and in June 2010, he underwent emergency open-heart surgery. He jokes, "I guess I came out of the factory a little defective."

For years, Felice teamed with his siblings James and Ian in the band The Felice Brothers. Later, he formed the group The Duke & the King. Now, he's on his own with the release this month of his self-titled solo album. It's full of music that at first seems simple, yet packs an emotional wallop — like the closing track "Splendor in the Grass," on which listeners can hear the tick of a mechanical heart valve, installed in Felice's chest during his surgery.

"On the recordings — I recorded most of them in my barn in the Catskills — I could not for the life of me get the tick out of the recording," Felice says. "I had to put three or four sweaters on, and a ski jacket, and you can still hear it. So we turned up the volume, and at the end of the album, you can hear the heart tick for about 20 seconds."

Felice wrote most of the songs on Simone Felice while recovering from the procedure. Three weeks into his convalescence, his first daughter was born.

"I was just strong enough to hold her and pick her up. Now, I live for her," he says. "So this is the soundtrack of my deliverance."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

As A Lyricist And Novelist, The Mountain Goats' Lead Man Writes About Pain

John Darnielle's novel, Wolf in White Van, is about a man who survives a trauma. The songwriter tells Fresh Air about his difficult childhood and finding shelter in music and the Incredible Hulk.
NPR

Mistura Food Fest Gives Peruvian Cuisine A Chance To Shine

Every September, top chefs from around the world gather to celebrate the diversity of Peruvian cuisine. But not everyone is convinced the food boom is the answer to the country's historic challenges.
NPR

Iran's Foreign Minister: U.S. 'Not Serious' About Defeating Islamic State

In an interview with NPR, Mohammad Javad Zarif says the U.S. has been hesitant and contradictory in its approach to defeating the Islamist insurgency.
NPR

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

A proposal about how to maintain unfettered access to Internet content drew a bigger public response than any single issue in the Federal Communication Commission's history. What's next?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.