In a pre-digital world, handwritten letters were the only way to communicate with someone, leaving behind physical breadcrumbs and clues for anyone who might find them in the future.
For Amanda Pascali of Houston, a batch of old love letters to her father from a woman she never knew named Mihaela ignited a chain of wonder rooted in the unsettling possibility that if things had been different, Pascali herself might be someone completely new. different.
This is the premise of Pascali’s latest single, “Mihaela, Mihaela,” due out May 26. “Mihaela, Mihaela” is the latest single from Pascali’s upcoming EP, The messenger due to come out this summer.
He will perform at Anderson Fair on Friday May 28th and plans an album release show at the Heights Theater for the release of his EP.
Pascali came across the letters when he was 17 years old and visiting Romania, his father’s country of origin, where they stayed in his grandmother’s old apartment. As she tried to read them without really knowing how to read the language, she knew that the letters said something meaningful, but she needed his father’s help to really decipher them.
“I’m very lucky to have such a close relationship with my dad that we can talk about some of those things and that he’s comfortable talking about some of those things,” says Pascali, who often uses his parents’ influence. her journey to the United States and the experiences of all immigrants as the inspiration behind her work.
“Maybe he didn’t feel comfortable talking about them, but he did anyway,” he adds. Discussing these letters opened a young Pascali’s eyes to the idea that her mother and father could easily have been other people, taking her down a rabbit hole of possibilities for her and them as she realized they were more than just her parents. fathers. they were people with lives and feelings beyond his knowledge.
The letters were addressed to “Soldier Pascali” as the young and heartbroken Mihaela did not know where Pascali’s father was after he was sent to a labor camp and later decided to immigrate to the United States.
Her father never responded to the woman’s desperate requests to know not only where she was, but also how he felt about her and their shared love. When asked if he ever contacted her, Pascali says that Mihaela reached out to him through Facebook.
“He did not forget about her, it is that at that moment, that chapter of his life ended. He always tells me that when he was getting ready to come to the United States he thought, ‘My life is basically over. I’m going to America and I’m probably going to be flushing toilets for a long time in America, but it’s better than where I come from right now.’”
“Mihaela, Mihaela” was written by Pascali shortly after the experience of unearthing and exploring the letters. As a teenager, she recorded the song in her music teacher’s garage, but the song has stayed with her as her sound, her art, and her voice have evolved.
“The reason I have decided to re-record is because there are so many songs that I have written since my childhood that I have outgrown, but this song has continued to grow with me. I think I wrote it about one thing in particular at the time, and as I’ve gotten older it’s turned into a lot of other things.
“It’s a song that has layers and I think in a weird way when I was writing it I didn’t know how many layers it had, as I was writing about it it was like it was something bigger than I could understand and yet I still I produced it.
The song incorporates heavy strings in a classic arrangement that leads to a crescendo of rock and roll energy and angst, a self-described nod to Pascali’s teenage years playing weekends with a rock band before establishing himself as an artist. folk.
“This is a song about the multiverse. This is a song about the different versions of myself that could exist in other universes if my parents had made different choices, but it’s also a song about being grateful for the person I’ve become.” become in this life. know all the decisions my parents made and continue to learn about those decisions as I get older and continue to make my own decisions to chart the course of my own life.”
“Mihaela, Mihaela” is for broadcast and Amanda Pascali will perform on Friday, May 27 at Anderson Fair, 2007 Grant. 7:30 p.m., $27.