Cellars: Love, and the Possible Impossibility
Who: Allene Norton a.k.a. Cellars
Where she was born: Seattle, WA; grew up moving around parts of the U.S.
Where she lives now: Los Angeles, CA
What she does: Musician
I make recordings; I sing and play bass, keys/synth, and guitar, as well as program drums. I mix and engineer. I write and I think too much. For work at the moment, I’m lucky to have the rewarding position of teaching music to children.
Behind the name:
The word “cellar” always stuck with me after seeing Donnie Darko as a young teenager. It’s a beautiful word, and I thought it was simple and fitting for the music.
How she captures ideas:
I came of age at a time where I was able to use software to record and so that’s been my medium, regardless of how old or dysfunctional. I tend to record synth parts or bass lines that I’ve been playing with, to a basic drum pattern I program and then build songs from there. I often sing nonsense into my phone to capture a melody or beat I think of.
Her most recent artistic reference:
I’ve been really interested in the combination of acoustic grand piano with synthesized sounds lately. I’ve always loved the aesthetic of Kate Bush. Dark, theatrical, sensual, emotional… I love a solid yet poly-rhythmic beat and potent harmonies, and I’m really digging music with those elements lately when I’m in a good mood. It’s hard to speak of anyone contemporary as a reference; I love so much of what is going on in music but it’s hard to keep up too much with the trending “now”. I’m afraid I’d start simply mirroring what’s going on around me. Being true to expressing whatever I’m feeling at the moment when I’m writing is pretty important to me. I also like to take inspiration from people who I can see what they’ve been doing for 10, 20 years and what they’ve learned, and reinterpret the images or feelings of theirs that I relate deeply to.
If she were a sound:
She believes in:
Haha, I sometimes say I don’t believe in anything but I don’t think that’s really true. What a question… I don’t know…everything and nothing at once? Love, and the possible impossibility of it. The cold fact that everyone at one point or another experiences tremendous loss of some kind, and the ability when faced with such to heal, or at least survive. Kindness, empathy, and integrity. Fear, hopelessness, perseverance, and restoration.
If she could see a social disruption:
It would be people beginning to treat each other as the humans that they are. Not as commodities, or consumers, or soldiers, or pawns, or less than, or more than. People, simply people, with similar hopes and fears and basic needs, regardless of differing perspectives, lifestyles, or philosophies. The true disappearance of barriers separating visible and invisible differences between humans.
Something great she’s read:
Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut.
Something great you’ve seen:
New: Sean Nicholas Savage – Other Life
Old: Wally Badarou – Echoes
She needs to change:
Probably a lot of things. I really should stop smoking cigarettes and exercise more as I’ve been told. But I’d mostly like to worry less about the things I can’t fix or change.
Why she makes music:
Because it’s fun, it makes me happy, helps me to express things I can’t through words or conversation, it’s rhythmic, it inspires true emotion in people. It can convey so much that language cannot.
Allene’s WILD Wish:
I wish that technology would eventually reach the point that my physical body could be sustained by nanobots, Somatic Gene Therapy, and synthetic limbs, organs, and tissues, until it becomes possible to upload the entire contents of my consciousness and memory into a computer of some sort until the Singularity occurs. That, or that my cats will be the first cats to never die.
Phases out April 15th on Manifesto records
Header, featured image by Casey Chisholm