SUPER NO BUENO: A Chat with Uno Lady

By Ted Zep, AKRON, OH – “Simply described, Uno Lady is a one-woman choir. Using a mixer and loop pedals to layer her vocals, Uno Lady creates music that is vulnerable, affecting and thick with atmosphere. Her sound is sensitive and thrilling yet melancholy and oblique. She is a unique voice, even amongst the unique voices of the Cleveland music scene. I recently interviewed the singer in anticipation of her upcoming gig in Akron at EarthQuaker Day 2018.

Name? Christa Ebert

Age? Under 80

City of birth? Cleveland, OH

Current city of residence? Cleveland, I’m a 5th generation Clevelander.

Do you come from a musical family?

No, not really, some of my family appreciates music, but there aren’t other musicians or singers that I grew up with. A direct quote from my stepdad is “I hate music.”

When did you start singing? (Are you classically trained?)

I have been serenading anything that would listen for as long as I can remember. The first song I have a memory of writing was about the moon at age 6. I sang in choirs in school and church but was never classically trained. I took a handful of sight-reading and voice lessons for the first time, just a few years ago.

How do you describe the sound and lyrical content of your work?

Intense!

You use a variety of EarthQuaker Devices pedals in your recording sessions and live shows. How have those units defined your sound? 

The pedals have expanded my sound immensely. I feel like my sound library is limitless and I am constantly discovering new noises to explore. I use Disaster Transport Sr. in every song. I love the sound of its delay and reverb and that I am able to control the intensity.  Afterneath’s reverb is creepy in the best way, like a witch in a cave. I use that in most songs. Bows is another pedal that I utilize often. Its preamp helps my main vocals stand out from the rest of the layers I create.

Describe “Uno Lady?” Is she simply a banner to perform under or more of a character/point of view?

Uno Lady is me but fancier. It is all an excuse to buy and wear dresses to punk shows.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of being a solo act?

Benefits of working alone include making my own schedule, timelines, not having to get others approval, and creating a sound that is truly unique. Cons include not having someone to bounce ideas off of, having to make the entire composition alone, and not have the creative fusion and new ideas that come with collaboration.

What type of music do you listen to in your personal life?

I grew up listening to a lot of oldies and that is still a staple in my rotation: girl groups, Motown, Doo Wop, soul, psychedelic rock, etc. I love garage, surf, punk, post-punk, new wave, alternative and experimental rock too. I’m not that good at talking shop about genres. If it sounds good, I’ll listen to it. I am typically not a fan of songs that use a lot of Autotune nor nu-metal.

You will be performing at the EarthQuaker Day festival on August 4 in Akron. Besides yourself, who are you looking forward to checking out?

I’m super stoked about the whole lineup!  This Moment in Black History are my dudes and are amazing. Lisa Belladonna is a musical goddess and I am captivated by her skills every time I see her play. I’m stoked to see Houseguest perform again. This will be my first time seeing Shivering Timbers and The Man I Fell In Love With but I am looking forward to it.

Uno Lady will be performing at EarthQuaker Day 2018 in Akron on Saturday, August 4. Held annually by noted effects pedal manufacturer EarthQuaker Devices, it is a day filled with music, clinics, vendors and tons of other activities. Uno Lady takes the stage at 1 PM. Also on the bill: This Moment in Black History, Houseguest, The Man I Fell In Love With, Shivering Timbers and Lisa Bella Donna. It’s a stacked lineup. Clinics start at 11 AM and music starts at 1 PM. The event will be held on the EarthQuaker Devices compound located at 350 W. Bowery St., Akron, OH. 44307.

Visit UnoLady.com for more information about her work and upcoming appearances.

Click HERE for the full rundown about EarthQuaker Day 2018.

To learn more about EarthQuaker Devices, follow this link.

Akron Soul Train: Full Steam Ahead

Akron Soul Train announces 2018-19 fellows; nearly doubles number of artists supported

CANVAS MAGAZINE, CLEVELAND – “After supporting a total of seven local artists since its inception in 2016, the Akron Soul Train announced its latest class of fellows would nearly double that figure.

Thirteen emerging and established artists will serve as Akron Soul Train fellows from September 2018 to August 2019, including the program’s first artist of color, first non-Ohioan and first two musicians, says Natalie Grieshammer, Akron Soul Train arts and programming manager.

The Akron Soul Train fellowship selection committee reviewed 70 applications. Each of the 13 selected will lead a community program during their fellowship as well as present a final exhibition or performance in Akron to share the artwork they created.

“Akron Soul Train is thrilled to be supporting so many new artists this fellowship round. Expanding the number of artists we support allows us to not only validate the role of excellent local and regional artists, but helps enrich the greater Akron arts landscape,” Grieshammer says. “Since each fellow will be creating and leading a community program, Akron area residents will have opportunities to engage with each artists’ unique creative perspective in ways that they may not usually get to.”…

Christa Ebert, of Cleveland, is a musician widely known as Uno Lady. She blends elements of jazz, doo wop, ’60s pop and folk through her voice, electronic pedals and unconventional instruments.” – By Marissa Nichol

 

Full article 

Uno Lady is an Akron Soul Train Fellow

I’m ecstatic to announce I’ve been named an Akron Soul Train fellow. It is a privilege and an honor to be a part of the fellowship program. Thank you for the opportunity to share my art and support my work.

“Akron Soul Train (AST) is thrilled to support 13 new local and regional artists from September 2018
through August 2019. The AST Fellowship Selection Committee reviewed 70 applications and selected a
wide variety of excellent visual and performing artists, ranging from emerging to more established. Each
artist will lead a community program during their fellowship as well as present a final exhibition or
performance in Akron to share the artwork they created.” – Akron Soul Train

 

 

May 20: One-Woman Band Uno Lady & Cartoon Music Sextet Play Ohio City House Concert

Cool Cleveland – “The Mechanic Street house concerts, held in the living room of Ohio City residents Joel Elvery and Lynn Phares generally feature Americana/roots-style artists from around the country, looking for intimate settings to play while on tour.

This week they’ll be hosting a pair of local artists they believe people ought to hear.

Christa Ebert aka Uno Lady constructs her intriguing earworms of tunes using by mixing and looping her own voice, adding layer after layer to create a billowing cloud of ethereal sound. She’s been developing her act for a decade, and won Cuyahoga Arts and Culture’s Creative Workforce Fellowship for her unusual approach to pop music.

By contrast to Ebert’s one-woman show, Powerhouse 5 features six noted Cleveland jazz musicians who will somehow shoehorn themselves into the living room to perform the music of Raymond Scott who composed classic cartoon music in the ’40s and ’50s and was a major influence on the entire genre with his offbeat, lighthearted compositions.

It’s a $20 suggested donation, all of which goes to the artists. To make a reserve and learn the exact location, email mechanicstreetmusic@yahoo.com. doors open at 6:30, music starts at 7pm.”

 

Applause Performances: Uno Lady on WCPN Ideastream

“When she sings, she sounds like an entire chorus of voices. But in reality, she’s performing solo.

Thanks to the wonders of today’s digital technology, Christa Ebert – AKA ‘Uno Lady’ – is able to overlap her voice in real time, creating catchy yet haunting music that’s truly unique.

Recently she submitted her latest video for NPR’s Tiny Desk contest, and while she didn’t win, her performance stood out for us among all the other submissions from Northeast Ohio.

So we invited ‘Uno Lady’ to our Key Bank studio for our April edition of  ‘Applause Performances,’ live on both 90.3 and our ideastream Facebook page starting at 12:40 p.m. ET.”  – By Dave DeOreo & Dan Polletta

Watch the video here

Cleveland Magazine: You Need To See This Vocal Looper In Action

Christa Ebert, also known as Uno Lady, puts on a performance that needs to be seen to be believed.
Whoever said you needed more than one person to form a band forgot to tell Christa Ebert. Performing under the moniker Uno Lady, this one-woman choir uses a microphone, small mixer and loop pedal perched on a podium to create an emotional musical experience. Each performance is a little bit different as Ebert, 35, uses her pedalboard to layer haunting melodies with syncopated beats on top of rich soundscapes to create her distinctly transportive music. With a record on the way this year, Ebert continues to create new sounds to entrance and mesmerize her audiences.
My earliest memories are of singing. I remember trying to organize a concert on the playground in the third grade. I have no choice but to sing. It’s a part of me.Uno Lady is basically myself, but a fancier version. I have always wanted to be in a band, but it just wasn’t happening. So I started to create music on my own. At my first gig at Pat’s in the Flats in 2007, I sang into my computer alongside a projection of an old drug education film to have a visual element. I would describe Uno Lady as a one-woman ghost choir, lush layers, captivating, mesmerizing, always spinning you into a musical web.My process has definitely evolved over the years. I started with a laptop and a microphone and then built my first homemade podium with a space for my computer and my loop pedals so I could build songs live and the audience could see me create.

Letting the audience see my process helps them get in the moment with me and be a part of a shared experience. Music is a way to connect with total strangers. It’s a way to find your tribe hundreds of miles from your home. I really appreciate when someone shares their attention and is open to experience the performance with me. It makes us feel like we’re in it together.

Sometimes after the show, people will share that I reached them or inspired them to create their own music.

I had a tough biker guy once tell me I made him cry. I had written a song called “Ash Wednesday” about a tragic fire that happened in Lakeview Elementary School in 1908. I told that biker guy, “I’m sorry, and you’re welcome.”

During a show, I get caught up in the moment, lost in the music, and I’m part of that place and time where everything floats by. Ideally, I reach a good flow and nothing is going through my head except the music. But it took a lot of work and discipline to get to that space. I used to have intense stage fright. Nerves are proof that I am challenging myself, trying something new and growing as a person.

At the end of a concert, I want audiences to know that they are not alone and that someone understands them. They can do whatever they want to do. — as told to Ken Schneck

Full article

 

 

Uno Lady is Awarded 2018 Panza Foundation Grant

My face hurts from smiling. I love the Panza Foundation and am honored to be a recipient of their generosity. They provide something truly unique and very much needed in the Cleveland music community. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Cleveland’s Panza Foundation awards 2018 funding to four music acts

“By Nikki Delamotte, cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland’s non-profit Panza Foundation will give cash grants in 2018 to four local musical projects: Hip-hop duo FreshProduce., sludge metal act Pillars, avant-garde pop vocalist Uno Lady and indie rockers The Village Bicycle

In addition to playing dozens of shows this past year, experimental “one woman choir” Uno Lady became an Earthquaker Devices artist, and now incorporates many of Akron-made pedals into her creations. She was also part of Dark Songs, a week-long collaborative songwriting festival at the Holiday Music Motel in Sturgeon Bay, WI which ends with a two day show at their local performance art theater, Third Avenue Playhouse. This coming year, Uno Lady plans to write and record a new album with the support of the Panza Foundation.”

read full article here

 

Read Katherine Cooper’s Review of the Transformer Station Uno Lady Show

UNO LADY

by Katherine Cooper

June 9, 2017 – “The angel of illness arrives during the Lady Uno Concert. Her melodies come from whale songs.  She says she casts spells and as I grow more nauseous I think she meant that literally. I excuse myself and go throw up. Food poisoning? Criticism should not acknowledge the limits of the critics body, I tell myself. But my body has a different idea. Uno Lady has a small podium with purple lights which she sits behind. The faint outline of a projector outlines the wall behind her.

She’s been doing this for a while, somebody whispers to me.

She describes herself as a “one woman choir” and the description seems apt. Have you ever had a moment when you know you’re watching a star? I don’t mean a celebrity. I mean somebody who pulsates like a light from a very long distance away which may or may not still exist. She loops her voice so tightly there’s almost no room for anything else, which works. The song “Underground,” feels like it could leap into a dance track at any moment but never does. Her lyrical imagery from the natural world combined with a stage presence which relies on skill over affect to compel you to watch join with her commitment to seeing a musical mood to its breaking point. Her material reminds me of a sonic world in between Joanna Newsom and Frank Ocean with a little bit of Joy Division thrown in there, but all happening on Venus. Or maybe just Cleveland in 2017.

I excuse myself, get info from the gallerist about what I’ve seen, and toss and turn under a spell, with a bowl next to my bed just in case it happens again, or I catch some starlight.” Full post here

 

Uno Lady at Transformer Station June 9, 2017. Photo by Lou Muenz.

Check out Uno Lady’s EarthQuaker Session: “Underground”

I visited EarthQuaker Devices in Akron, Ohio to record this new song I wrote, “Underground.”

Video by Chris Tran, Brad Throla and Jess France. Audio recorded by Jeff France at EarthQuaker Audio Recording Laboratory.

EarthQuaker Devices built me a pedal board and now my sound library feels limitless. I’m sonically inspired – like a  jolt to my creative process. I’m playing around with Avalanche Run, Disaster Transport Sr., Levitation, Arpaniod, Bows, Afterneath, Transmisser, The Depths, Night Wire, and the Organizer. Check out each device here. EarthQuaker Devices pedals are handmade by fellow musicians and music lovers in Akron, Ohio and have a lifetime warranty.

Check out “EarthQuaker Session: Uno Lady – “Underground”

AKRON, OH – “Cleveland’s Christa Ebert is a one-woman choir. As Uno Lady, she’s dazzled, confounded, and delighted audiences since 2007 with loop-based compositions for voice, found sounds, and effects pedals. Her avant-garde pop tunes combine doo-wop harmonies and ethereal soundscapes with layered and processed vocals, which range from a smoky tenor to operatic outbursts of melody.

In this performance of “Underground” she uses the Bows’ treble mode with the Afterneath and Disaster Transport SR to craft an ambient, slightly overdriven wordless backing vocal that sits tight in the mix before adding the melody. From her DIY suitcase podium, she builds layer upon intertwining layer of call-and-response vocal patterns that lift off into a dreamlike fugue state before engaging the Avalanche Run at the song’s end, using the reverse function to bring it all tumbling down, down to the “underground” of the song’s namesake.” Arron Rogers, EQD