A conversation with Harmony Tividad


    Eric Slick spoke with Harmony Tividad about the holy properties of daily life, visually mapping her brain, living inside a shoe, how music is like triangles and why playing guitar is like creating a waterfall in a dream.

    I think I use music often as a way to dominate my feelings because I felt like a loser as a kid and now it feels like I have this superpower.


    Eric Slick

    Can you describe your ideal home? Feel free to be as detailed as possible and talk about the objects inside the house. It can be an expensive cat, a Fabergé egg collection, a skateboard earring… whatever.

    Harmony Tividad

    I want my house to be in a red Converse shoe.


    If you were to make a phrenology map of your brain, what would it look like? Draw it and send.


    Can you talk about a transformative/transcendent experience you’ve had while playing or seeing a show? Sometimes when I see something transformative I get anxious/so excited that something terrible happens. One time I was at a house show in West Philly eating lo mein and I got excited and inhaled. It shot through my nose and dribbled down my face while I watched this band Make a Rising transcend all physical matter. You know what I mean?

    I told a joke about early-2000s Shrek music at a show at MHOW in 2015 with Alex G, Frankie Cosmos and Hello Shark and I peed myself a little on stage after telling the joke. No one knew. Until now. I guess.


    How do you differentiate the process of making solo work vs. making work in Girlpool? Is there a difference?



    Do you remember the first time you saw a cloud that looked like something that wasn’t a cloud? Explain.

    Pork in noodles the other day.


    How did you feel about living in Philadelphia? It’s my hometown. A complicated place. Did you feel like it was inspirational or depressing? Or neither? Do you feel like living in a place dictates your well-being or do you feel like it’s within the person’s core beliefs? Like a person is just a person?

    I love Philadelphia. I love that you have to make it beautiful for yourself there. In Los Angeles everything is already so manicured and movie-ready. I found Philly super-refreshing and inspiring because beauty wasn’t so cut out and handed to you — you had to seek it out more and I thought that was super special and cool. It moved me.


    The reason I am drawn to your music is because it feels combative and welcoming simultaneously. A warm hug that also smells like licorice. Is this your intention?

    Do you really think that? Haha! I think I use music often as a way to dominate my feelings because I felt like a loser as a kid and now it feels like I have this superpower to be able to sing and play guitar and write things that feel bigger than me or any of my issues it really helps me in a way that is beyond comprehension.


    Your music is compositionally intricate. Someday I dream of hearing The Music of Girlpool for Two Five-Octave Marimbas. Would you ever write for a chamber group?

    I was in chamber choir as a high schooler. I miss it daily, honestly. I love choir would do anything to be in choir and write for choir choir choir choir. I love it, chorus it up baby, here we come.

    I’m obsessed with God and holy imagery, and how daily life has so many casually holy things. I think that’s the most fun thing about life — casual holiness.


    Do you think about writing invididual parts in a linear way? Like, “This guitar part is a piece of twine that’s connected to a pig’s mouth”? Is there a strong visual concept happening in your mind’s eye when you write?

    Ummm… sometimes when I write chord progressions I see them as shapes like triangles or whatever going from one to the other, but its not like a triangle all at once. It’s like a linear time triangle.


    Take a picture of your favorite piece of musical equipment and explain why it’s important to you.

    I love my hands. They do so many things. They open and close doors and take me in and out of places which inspire me to write the thing, and then I take the hand to the guitar machine and it all comes out like a waterfall from a dream I had the other night where I was kissed by a person for the first time.


    Have you ever won the lottery?

    I win almost every scratcher I buy, but I don’t get it.


    What is the strongest smell that’s happening in your life right now?

    My life is constantly incensed with incense.


    Look up “lobotomy” on Wikipedia and tell me how it makes you feel.

    It’s interesting the lengths people will go to to contain those they think are unwell. This is oriented around fear of the unknown. This depresses me because it reminds me of how strong of an emotion fear is amongst humans and what lengths people go to to avoid feeling fear. Then I think about police brutality and how we need to work to protect those targeted by police.


    Five tips for performance anxiety. Go.

    h Breathing a lot is good.
    h Closing eyes.
    h Zoning into something else.
    h Thinking about a nice memory.


    I went to therapy for two years and then my therapist let me go. I’m still sad about it from time to time. Have you ever been to therapy? Did it help?

    I’ve never been to therapy. I’m obsessed with God, though, and holy imagery, and how daily life has so many casually holy things. I think that’s the most fun thing about life — casual holiness.


    What is your earliest memory? Describe it in haiku form.

    This is titled “I Was 5.”

    Talking to my mom
    About reincarnation
    in her green Ford truck

    Thank you.


    Conversation: 118
    Curated by: Eric Slick
    Conducted by: Email
    Edited by: Morgan Enos
    Published: January 30, 2018
    Total questions: 16
    Word count: 915
    Reading time: Three minutes
    Hyperlinks: 1
    Imagery: 2


    Fear: Oriented
    Incense: Incensed
    Scratcher: One
    Truck: Reincarnation
    Beauty: Accessible
    Length: Exceeded


    About the subject

    Harmony Tividad is a bassist, vocalist and one half of the band Girlpool. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

    About the curator

    Eric Slick is a musician and composer from Philadelphia, PA. He currently resides in Richmond, VA. He is best known as the drummer for Dr. Dog and the singer of Lithuania. He released his debut solo album Palisades in April 2017.


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