Residency is a two-part journal entry brought to you by one of our favorite artists.
This week, Leslie Bear of the New Brunswick, NJ-based project Long Beard describes the attic where she wrote and recorded many of her songs.
From 2012 to 2014, I lived in the attic of a house on a hill. It was incredibly hot in the summer months, but was bearable if I stayed perfectly still. I remember trying to put an AC in the window and sloppily taping old clothes and pillows to fill the gaps. The first night after we all moved into that house, three of us crawled through a crawl space in the attic and found a bunch of things that had been left there for what seemed like decades. At the very end of the space, we found an old dollhouse that seemed like its own island hidden away in the walls. I must have forgotten about it as soon as I crawled out.
Like the dollhouse, the attic was an island of its own. It felt somewhat detached from the rest of the house. A certain calm came over me whenever I was there. I could play music quietly late at night thinking no one could hear me. I could look out the window, and imagine that the whole town was asleep. There was always that stillness, and sometimes I couldn’t stand it. Other times, it was comforting and forced me to confront myself. I wrote and recorded many songs in that attic. Every time I climbed up the steep stairs, I felt like I had returned from a long journey back to my sanctuary.
My view from the attic: