The Earworms project is an ongoing collaboration with musician/composer Lisa Mezzacappa.

Earworms began as an experiment to cure aphasia. I worry that I could suffer the fate of my Aunt Didi, who lost her language when Alzheimer’s stole her words. Neurologists believe music and language are encoded via different pathways in the brain, so Lisa and I decided to “back up” my favorite words via my phonological pathways of sound, so if someday I lose the language areas of my brain, I can still express myself by singing.

Lisa enlisted over a dozen Bay Area musicians to help write and record songs based on my 25 favorite words, and linked by a focus on language and memory. Earworms sound-sculptures give “bodies” to these songs. Each elaborate construction plays one specific musical composition over and over, until it burns a path into memory.


Earworms song credits:
Plastic, LED’s, speakers, sound

Music by Lisa Mezzacappa
Aurora Josephson – voice
Heather Frasch – flute
Lisa Mezzacappa – contrabass
Jason Levis – percussion

Music by Michelle Amador and Lisa Mezzacappa
Michelle Amador – vocals, Tim Bulkley – vocals, Jason Levis – percussion, Lisa Mezzacappa – contrabass

Music by Katy Stephan with Lisa Mezzacappa / Lyrics by Katy Stephan
Katy Stephan – vocals, Lisa Mezzacappa – contrabass, Rob Ewing – trombone, Jason Levis – percussion

Music by Lisa Mezzacappa and Katy Stephan / Lyrics by Katy Stephan
Katy Stephan – vocals, Henry Hung – trumpet, John Finkbeiner – acoustic guitar, Lisa Mezzacappa – electric bass/vocals, Jason Levis – drums

Music and Lyrics by Michelle Amador
Michelle Amador – vocals, synthesizer, Deborah Aschheim – voice, Lisa Mezzacappa – electric bass
Recorded and produced by Lisa Mezzacappa