MBB: Amy and Julia: Music and Machines

The lady with the ukelele and lady with the typewriter.

Market Block Books welcomes writer Amy Halloran and musician Julia Alsarraf for Amy and Julia: Music and Machines, a spontaneous collaboration of words and music, typewriter and ukulele.


Amy Halloran, Market Block Books’ writer in the window, composes poetry, letters, and stories on the spot for customers. Julia Alsarraf is a visiting musician who creates spontaneous songs from Amy’s words. Together, they will delight you with their lyrical and musical compositions.


Amy Halloran is a freelance writer who specializes in profiles, promotional materials, and nonfiction features. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines such as Salonthe Seattle Weekly,Metroland and the Times UnionShe has written for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University at Albany, Williams College, Union College and Russell Sage Colleges.


A teacher as well as a writer, Halloran works with business groups and classrooms to make writing fun.She’s the recipient of five grants from the New York State Council on the Arts. Her food blog, where sheexplores her family’s life in growing and cooking food, is at www.amyhalloran.comShe lives in Troy.


Musician Julia Alsarraf grew up playing the viola and now plays a handful of other instruments. She graduated from RPI with an electronic arts degree, where she focused on computer-generated music and sound art, often running her viola through a computer and looping it.


Her interest in the ukulele began a few years ago when she noticed a uke at the home of a friend, who mentioned that Canadians often start kids out playing the ukulele (instead of the dreaded recorder) because it's so easy to pick up. She started playing the uke, then found herself walking around Troy playing it. People would stop and ask her about it, so she'd show them how to play it—right there on the street. From that experience, she began holding ukulele summer camps. “If I could teach a person a chord in five minutes, what could we do in a week?”


Alsarraf enjoys making music accessible to people and encourages those who have never picked up an instrument to give it a try. “If someone was going to take away everything in my life but one thing, I’d want to keep music.”



Event date: 
Saturday, May 17, 2014 - 11:00am to 1:00pm
Event address: 
290 River St
12180 Troy
Event Location Terms: