The artists residency at Chateau Orquevaux was magical and allowed me the focus needed to write and record 15 songs. I drove over 1,500 miles (about 2500km), down bumpy back roads and single lane highways through sunflower fields and wind farms.
The first song recorded was “Dream” by the Everly Brothers. This song has been dear to my heart for as long as I can remember.
I spent a few extra weeks in Europe and performed at LaDIY Festival in Strasbourg, France. I had two performances in Bern, Switzerland, at Cafe Kairo and Voodoo Rhythm Records Hardware Store. The last night of my trip I sang at La Pointe Lafayette, in Paris. I made friends that will be lifelong and was warmly welcomed by pals I haven’t seen in ten years.
I plan to share short stories of my trip throughout the year. If you’d like to stay updated, please subscribe to Unolady.com/subscribe
Since the residency, I’ve been staying busy and released a new record, OSMOSIS, on Volar Records. You can stream, download digital, or order a limited edition green vinyl here.
Here are a few videos and photos from my adventure.
“Sunrise,” was inspired by waking with the sun. Time lapse feature the view from my bedroom window at Chateau Orquevaux.
During the residency, the other artists and I took field trips around town and to nearby cities. While other artists sketched, I took photos and made up melodies. One of the stops was the old stone church in town. I asked if I could sing, and it was there my new favorite hobby was born: Singing in cavernous spaces and belting what feels right. During my trip I sang and recorded improv performances in 5 churches and 1 tunnel.
This next video is an improv performance at Cathédrale Saint-Mammès de Langres (Langres Cathedral) which was built in the 1100’s. It is the first video in the illicit hymn series. An illicit hymn: Singing, uninvited. A collaboration with the architecture and natural reverb. I am sorting through the footage. I hope to find a creative way to share these pieces other than youtube. I’ll keep you posted.
Lastly, I want to share with you the Cow Crooner video. While walking with the other artists, we passed by a pasture. I shared that I grew up in rural Ohio. As a child, there was a farm across the street that had cows and I would sing to them. They encouraged me to sing to this herd, so I did. To my surprise, the cows listened attentively and walk towards me. This is when my second favorite hobby was born: Cow Crooning. I serenaded a few herds throughout the trip and have more videos to share.
“If you’ve never seen Uno Lady live, let me attempt to explain. A self-trained musician, Ebert composes songs mostly using just her voice. She’s been described as a “one-woman ghost choir”, which I find particularly apt. Her music includes dream-like layers of her own voice, looping like spells and chants, ethereal tones, instruments and beats all knit together into one lush soundscape. Every time I’ve heard her sing, I’ve had goosebumps – the beauty of her voice soaring, cutting through the air is so enchanting it can command the hairs on my arms to stand at attention.
I’ve seen Uno Lady perform many times over the years – she was the recipient of a CPAC Creative Workforce Fellowship, a Panza Foundation Award, and has performed at many venues and galleries: Transformer Station, the Cleveland Museum of Art, etc. But for the first time, she will be including a film component as part of her live show – thanks to Akron Soul Train. Akron Soul Train is an artist residency program that grants fellowships to provide resources for all creative disciplines – Ebert is the first musician they have supported. full article
PERFORMANCES by the 2018 Panza Foundation bands: The Village Bicycle, Uno Lady, FreshProduce, and Pillars.
HUGE RAFFLE of musical gear, services, and other awesome stuff. The Panza Foundation will also announce the bands it is supporting in 2019. Have a good time and support the local, independent music scene. link to event page
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
90% of the fellowship funds were spent in Cuyahoga County
16 people were hired to help
A bunch of cool stuff was purchased
1,700 hours were spent researching developing and planning; creating and producing; promoting and implementing.
Uno lady had 30 public performances
Over 4,000 people experienced the work
With the fellowship funds I met the goals proposed in my application: I increased my capacity, developed my knowledge, and expanded my marketing efforts.
Contribution to the community
As promised, I spent 90% of my fellowship funds within Cuyahoga County. If there was an option to shop locally, I did. I hired Cuyahoga County artists and paid them a fair wage. I considered diversity when selecting the artists and also chose equally among the sexes.
Nick and Tony Cross lent their musical talents on a few of the songs. Adam Boose, audio engineer at Cauliflower Audio, mastered the music. Album artwork was created in collaboration with graphic designer, Angela Ruland, and photographer, Ryan Poorman. Professional seamstress Margaret Ruble of Senjiva Studios created the custom woodgrain dress used for the cover art. Ron Kretch authored my press-kit. Megan Elk gave me a voice lesson. Mike Rodemann designed and screenprinted the t-shirts with the help of his son, Milo. Ian Charnes, director of CWRU’s Think
(pictured below), crafted my custom made podium. The list goes on. I couldn’t have accomplished all that I have without the help of fellow artists.
I had records pressed at Gotta Groove and my pal Heather Gmucs artistically manipulate the vinyl. I had hundreds of CDs made at locally based AtoZ Audio.
In September, I improved my 2009 tape release for the 5-year anniversary, I Really Like Genetics But I’d Rather Have a Good Time, and made it free to the public (unolady.com/download). Download cards were printed at Jakprints. Another freebee was released on Christmas, when I covered “Auld Lang Syne.”
With the fellowship, I was able to turn an empty space in my house into an office/ modest studio that meets my recording needs.
I bought much needed equipment including but not limited to: A new Fender 300 Portable PA speaker system, a Boss RC30 loop pedal, an Apogee ONE microphone, KORG Volca Beats drum machine, MicroKORG Vocoder synthesizer, Yamaha Mixer, cables and power supplies, computer speakers, mic stands, and a handful of smaller instruments such as a Melodica (keyboard air), Tibetan singing bowls, thumb piano, and a musical saw and bow.
I bought a GoPro camera to help with future music videos, and took a film editing class at the Cleveland Institute of Art (taught by the lovely Lauren Voss). I took classes at the Beck Center for voice and piano. I learned the basics of music theory, how to sight-read, and how to sing this creepy/ amazing Italian Aria Lascia ch’io pianga.
My marketing efforts were enhanced by the fellowship: unolady.com is up and running. I am now registered as both the writer and publisher of my songs on ASCAP and secured licensing with CD Baby. My songs are finally on itunes, can be purchased on Amazon, and in the review process for Pandora. I now have a youtube channel with 10 videos posted in the past year.
I sent hundreds of emails and 70+ packages promoting the record and booking the tour. Each package contained a personalized, handwritten note in addition to professionally made publicity materials. Despite hours of sleuthing, I couldn’t find Wes Anderson’s address to send him a record.
In October, I went on tour, performing in eight towns never played in prior. I also was lucky enough to participated in an invite-only songwriting workshop and was on five recordings made during that week. It was the first time of my life I spent focused on music and nothing else.
The Creative Workforce Fellowship was a life changing opportunity. It continue to be a catalyst to my creativity and I am very thankful to CPAC and CAC. Thanks for making such an innovative and supportive program for Cuyahoga County artists.
I encourage all artists who are passionate about their city to apply to this year’s fellowship. On Wednesday, June 24, 2015 @ 12 noon, I’ll be speaking at the Foundation Center Cleveland (1422 Euclid Avenue, Suite 1300, Cleveland) about the fellowship and grant writing basics. Register here. Stay tuned for more updates. I’ll be posting more about the fellowship (click here to subscribe).