I’m honored and ecstatic to announce I have been awarded the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation Residency. I’ll be composing and creating art in Rockland, Maine in December 2021.
The Ellis-Beauregard Foundation recognizes that the arts are essential to an open, enlightened society. The residency program values innovation, experimentation and creative risk-taking in all genres, known and as yet to be discovered. They envision the residency as inclusive and diverse, prompting reflection and dialogue with other residents and the community, offering the gift of concentrated time and space in which to unveil new ideas and imagine new ways of working. More at www.Ellis-BeauregardFoundation.org
If you’d like to donate and help me get to the residency you can through venmo @TheUnoLady and paypal UnoLadyMusic@gmail.com I’ll keep you posted on what I’m working on and more about the residency as the details unfold. Thanks for your support.
LandEscape is an international art publication for established and emerging artists to engage in professional critique and artistic introspection, that aims to open the dialogue between artists and audience, between thoughts and their articulation.
For many, inner peace has never been more elusive than it is right now. So in a new video for “Meditación,” Christa Ebert–aka Uno Lady–wants to make mindfulness more approachable. The track comes from her latest album, GROUNDED, in which the Cleveland experimental artist blends art pop melodies and ambient soundscapes with the language and practice of meditation. It’s an hour-long experience based on mantras as choruses and breathing exercises as spoken-word lyrics.
Since she made the record in part with grant money from the SPACES Urgent Art Fund and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, she wanted to make it useful to as many people as possible. That’s one reason she approached Erica Snowden-Rodríguez, who lends their voice and cello to “Meditación.” “It was important to me to have a meditation in Spanish because GROUNDED is a public art project,” says Ebert. “I want the piece to be accessible and inclusive in a variety of ways.”
Ebert and Snowden-Rodríguez previously worked together on “Capacity of Love” for Osmosis, the previous Uno Lady record. For “Meditación,” they wrote together at a distance, working in their respective studios and combining their efforts virtually. “I asked Erica to guide a breathing exercise and said if they wanted to add cello, go for it,” says Ebert. “They sent back the most stunning eight-minute piece. I composed the vocals around their words and looped cello. I sang arias, added field recordings of crickets and cicadas, and learned how to polytonal sing for the recording.”
To accompany GROUNDED, Ebert released a short film of the same title, incorporating selections from the album, nature footage, and animations by Sequoia Bostick. The video for “Meditación” expands on that side of the project, pairing Snowden-Rodríguez’ deep, relaxing cello drones with clouds and sunsets filmed from Ebert’s backyard. “The visuals melt like watercolors and paint landscapes to get lost in,” she says. Watching it now, I like seeing the clouds merge into each other. I appreciate that it engages an added sense and gives the audience something to view while experiencing the meditation.”
Next time you need a quiet moment and a deep breath, you can check out the video for “Meditación” here.
Meditación is free to watch and listen to. Virtual tips are welcome. VENMO @Erica-Snowden VENMO @TheUnoLady
Uno Lady’s GROUNDED: Meditación, Guiado por Erica Snowden-Rodríguez y su violonchelo
Meditación es un ejercicio de respiración compuesta por Christa Ebert y Erica Snowden-Rodríguez. Meditación está en el nuevo álbum de Uno Lady, GROUNDED. GROUNDED es una película y álbum experimental ambiental inspirado por la consciencia.
Sound and visual artist Christa Ebert has recently released GROUNDED, a 20-track album and experimental film promoting mindfulness and meditation. Active musically since 2007, Ebert often uses effects pedals looped with vocals to create atmospheric and dream-like soundscapes. Her newest effort was created in-part through a grant from SPACES, which supported the creation of the 24-minute film that accompanies the album. Sonically, GROUNDED includes mantra, guided meditation, and binaural beats to promote deep relaxation. Composed using field recordings, synthesizers, bells, vocal harmonies, and polytonal singing, it is an invitation to relate at a deeper level.
We recently caught up with Christa via email to discuss the album and film. You can read the interview below. Additionally, we’ve included Uno Lady’s new video for “You Are Love,” a guided meditation led by LaToya Kent, as well as embeds for the album and film.
LETV: To those who aren’t familiar with Uno Lady, fill us in on what this project is all about. It’s not a “band” correct? What motivates you to collaborate and write music in such a unique style?
CE: My name is Christa Ebert and I’ve been performing as Uno Lady since 2007. Using my voice and effect pedals I loop and layer vocals to create a dreamy soundscape.
I am a one-woman band. I compose and sing all the parts. For the past few albums I’ve invited a few musicians that I admire to join me and write a few songs together.
My latest release is an album and experimental film series inspired by mindfulness that includes mantras, soothing songs, and guided meditations. Filmed mostly in my backyard in Cleveland, Ohio during the pandemic, I created stop-motion animations with homegrown flowers, sweet potatoes, drawings, and spliced it together with calming footage of nature. The music features mostly vocal harmonies, polytonal singing, field recordings of nature sounds, bells, binaural beats, and synths sprinkled throughout.
LETV: Speaking of collaboration, tell us more about LaToya Kent on this track; what is your working relationship like and how did they contribute to “You Are Love”?
CE: LaToya Kent is a Cleveland musician who performs solo and as part of Mourning [A] BLKstar. We became friends performing at shows on the same bill. In September, we worked on a project together and jammed on my porch. I recorded the improv performance and interview and shared it on youtube. I asked her to be the guiding voice on “You Are Love” because she is a trained meditation teacher. Her calm and cool presence is contagious. She wrote the meditation and I wrote the soundscape to match her words. The audio is reverb drenched vocals, field recordings of nature sounds from the French countryside, modulated space sounds recorded by NASA, and polytonal singing. The video features a timelapse of clouds and calming lavender from my garden.
LETV: Your new album “Grounded” seems to have quite a bit of support, especially by the SPACES Urgent Arts Fund out of the Cleveland area. Was this a COVID relief program that helped you create it?
CE: The Urgent Art Fund through SPACES is a project based grant that supports visual art that is “socially, politically, and culturally responsive.” The grant program existed prior to the pandemic and is not COVID relief. However, I did apply to create a meditation project to respond to the stress we were experiencing due to COVID. Having a positive project to focus on helped me stay hopeful. I wanted to create an enchanting environment we can experience safely. The film GROUNDED is a socially distant alternative to a record release show. The videos add another layer to get lost in, mesmerizing the senses. You can watch the film GROUNDED on Youtube, stream the soundtrack on all platforms and buy the digital album through Bandcamp.
LETV: Does your hometown or the surrounding area have any influence on what you’re doing musically?
CE: The scene in my hometown has been supportive, and in part, shaped my sound. Music is the center of my community. I grew up going to punk shows, so when I started playing live, DIY and punk venues are where I performed. I like Cleveland because the music scenes intermingle. We appreciate all types of sounds. We make music because we want to and the output is authentic and raw. Having that as an influence and incubator has allowed me to embrace my creativity as an explorative and evolving process.
I miss the music community. I made GROUNDED as an album and the videos to experience something together while we’re apart. I wanted to reach people in their own safe environment and offer a moment of relaxation when they are ready to receive it.
LETV: Last question; I’m sure you’ve got a lot of plans for 2021, especially with the possibility of things returning to normal, what can you share with us?
CE: Before the pandemic, I had planned on touring to promote my 2019 LP release, OSMOSIS. I’d love to hit the road and share songs when it is safe to do so. I’m looking at this forced pause as an opportunity to write and record. I have a long list (100+) of ideas that are nearly complete that I am chipping away at. At an artist residency in France, I wrote dozens of songs and recorded improv performances in cathedrals around Europe. I’d love to finish and release that project this year.