Intro: Lafcadio Hearn

Honour Lackey, Creative Content & PR Intern

Mar 11, 2024

An actor in shadows wearing a white dress crouches on the ground while reaching their hand out


For this episode, we continue our Intro series on artists and movements you should know about with a primer on the life and work of Lafcadio Hearn, an Irish author who was born in 1850 and died in 1904 and who’s still known for his ghost stories. Our special guest for this Intro episode is trumpeter and vocalist Jean Laurenz, Hearn’s great-great grandniece. 

Laurenz will be coming to the Wex March 23 with multimedia sound artist Maria Finkelmeier and percussionist Greg Jukes to perform two shows of Descended, a combination of chamber music, media art, film, and theater inspired by the writings of Hearn, who’s best known as a teller of ghost stories.

Laurenz shares a view of Lafcadio Hearn as someone who was called to create at a young age, and who ultimately brought ancient stories from historically marginalized cultures to white Western audiences. Laurenz goes on to share some details about Descended—how it has a similar goal as Hearn’s work of creating something new and more personal from something that has come before. 

She discusses the work's exploration of the connections between the physical and the spiritual, the past and the present. Laurenz also touches on its personal meaning for her, the universal connections she sees within it, and the beauty that can be found in fear.


Top of page: Jean Laurenz in Descended, photo: Karl Johnson Studios 

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