FEATURE: Julia Holter Explains Her Love of Illuminated Manuscripts

Julia Holter (Photo: Jake Michaels)

Julia Holter (Photo: Jake Michaels)

Photo by Jake Michaels

When most people see illuminated manuscripts, they think of field trips, art-history classes or church. Julia Holter hears voices. Not literal chorus lines; more like muddled memories…and monks.

“I’m intrigued by the fact that monks read out loud when they worked,” says Holter. In the past year, Holter’s released two carefully cultivated LPs: the wild, wide-open spaces of Tragedy and the skewered pop songs of the recent Ekstasis, records influenced by doowop bass lines, ’80s beats, film characters, passing cars and even a manuscript or two–like the pieces on the following excerpt from our latest issue, alongside Holter’s reactions…

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