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Cellista in the News
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The Big Takeover -Kevin Burke
“I have to pay dues to Cellista, her forthcoming album Transfigurations has proved there is something else worth discovering away from the mainstream. Classical-based punk and hip-hop, wrapped in a gothic string section that causes hypnotic effects to the listener. In a nutshell that is what this release Transfigurations presents in a tour de force of styles.”
Noise Journal-Mike D
“On May 31, Cellista from San Jose, California, published her new stunning “Transfigurations” album, a record which at the end of the year shall be easily included not only in my own best-of lists but in other music journalists similar articles. A woman with a cello who plays alternative music is usually deemed in the dark alternative rock wildwoods, gothic oriented musings, or metal. Cellista is way more different than that, actually, she comes from a completely different music galaxy which is her own trademark vision and her own musical narration. “Transfigurations” is already among the most interesting and edgy albums in 2019, a record which is full of surprises and social-political messages and “manifests”, a record which criticizes the urban “means” and deeds, and a record so unique in its own musical and sonic references. You see, Cellista offers classical crossover music blended with hip-hop and spoken word fronts and spears that are provided by hip hop artist DEM ONE (a.k.a. Demone Carter). The record also includes soprano Melissa Wimbish and a number of conservatoire musicians who color and embrace Cellista‘s music in the most alternative mode.”
“I doubt that I am alone in regarding the cello as being the most elegant of musical instruments. Its place in amongst words of social concern does not, however, seem an obvious one so would “Transfigurations” by Cellista demonstrate its value by classical precision?
As albums go, “Transfigurations” is a difficult one to classify. Over the duration of the album, there are certainly more than enough oblique touches to justify an avantgarde tag yet the reliance on looped samples pulled from sources of historical value might suggest that the approval of the intelligentsia was perhaps not Cellista’s only motivation. It cannot be denied, however, that there is much in the way of musical skills on show and it is commendable that Cellista leads her cohorts courageously along some distinctly twisted musical roads that lead the listener away from main street accessibility towards the deserted highway of arthouse soundtrack cues. “Repetitions” is a prime example of this approach.”
“Cellista Reveals ‘Transfigurations’ at Anno Domini. Written and recorded over the last two years, Transfigurations is the latest effort from San Jose experimental musician Cellista, a.k.a. Freya Seeburger. Though cello is the album’s primary instrument, Transfigurations would best be described as a sort of avant-pop, comprising elements of classical, found sound, trap, modern composition and noise. It is clear-eyed, and it is apocalyptic. The message, unmistakably sent across the album’s eleven tracks: that the Bay Area has reached a point of no return.”
Spill Magazine-Album Premier
Today we are pleased to present the premiere of Transfigurations from California-based experimental artist Cellista. We should clarify that this is not a solo project – it is a very collaborative multi initiative spearheaded by Cellista herself and involving dozens of other artists. Impressive effort!
Ahead of her new Transfigurations album, groundbreaking experimental cellist and multidisciplinary artist Cellista presents ‘Look Homeward, Angel’, a cutting edge genre-bending track featuring the lyrics and rhymes of hip hop artist DEM ONE (a.k.a. Demone Carter) and beautiful soprano vocals by Melissa Wimbish. As a stage poem, Transfigurations is a multi-media work that includes dance, poetry, original classical compositions, noise and sound textures.
Jammerzine-Video Premiere-Ryan Martin
Who would have thought that a cellist and a hip hop artist could meld into one musically? That is exactly what you get with this artistic melting pot via Cellista and DEM ONE in the form of the song titled ‘Look Homeward, Angel’ from her upcoming album ‘Transfigurations’. A perfectly rough and raw fusion of classical ambiance and lyrical defiance beautifully wrapped and melded into a stern beat and lush overtone. The video continues the mood via a seemingly impromptu performance art in an avant-garde fashion which, instead of the song being the soundtrack, the video becomes the ‘sitetrack’. Well done!
Cellista in the News
"The San Jose-based cellist Cellista (born Freya Seeburger) composed her new piece Wants to accompany an interdisciplinary art installation of the same name."
...Finding San José is a cinematic work; live selections will be performed at a screening of the album’s accompanying “making-of” documentary, Cellista, at Campbell’s Diamond in the Rough Film Festival later this month.
Seeburger is adamant that Finding San José is an experience—best consumed alone, by candlelight, eyes wide open, mind firmly in the present and in one sitting. “I do want my audience to work just a little bit and be present in my process.” says Seeburger.
Finding San Jose in KQED
As Cellista suggests in the liner notes, on how best to listen to Finding San Jose: “Be alone. In a candlelit room; root yourself firmly in the present with eyes wide open. Listen all the way through.”
Indeed, letting one’s imagination conjure the feeling of leaves crunching beneath the feet and the expressive faces of city dwellers passing by in “St. James Park” changes one’s perspective of San Jose. Whether you live here or not, it will be a new one that connects you to an alluring persona you can fall in love with — which is what Cellista intended all along.
…inspired by seeing a show “Finding San Jose” by a cellist multimedian called Cellista. It got my head loose, a good thing. Film, ballet, recorded music, in a small space in Japantown here in San Jose. Struggling art, the frail green shoot that cracks the sidewalk.
—Rudy Rucker, the mathematician, author and one of the founders of the cyberpunk literary movement attended Cellista’s stage poem in 2017 http://www.rudyrucker.com/blog/2017/05/20/strange-attractors-everywhere/
Seeburger has started a Kickstarter campaign to launch the project (www.kickstarter.com/projects/1280411509/cellista-a-first-solo-album-devoted-to-the-sf-bay) where her statement will stir the interests of anyone who supports the arts in San Jose.
“Most especially, this is an offering to the artists of San Jose,” she says. “I owe San Jose my creative life. I see the town going through a period of rapid growth and development, and I would like to offer this album to my community in dedication of a time when San Jose used to be orchards.”
On January 15, 1941 French composer Olivier Messiaen premiered his seminal work “Quartet for the End of Time” within the confines of Stalag VIII-A, a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp in Silesian Germany. The ensemble (clarinet, violin, cello, and piano) played upon broken instruments in front of an audience comprised of his fellow prisoners and prison guards in the brutal cold.
On Friday February 5th, 75 years after this premiere performance, Anno Domini Gallery presents a Messiaen-inspired exhibition of new paintings by renown artist Barron Storey entitled “Quartet” and three performances entitled “End of Time” by Cellista (Freya Seeburger) and her Juxtapositions Chamber Ensemble.
End of Time MetroActive
Storey and Seeburger came together via the Anno Domini exhibit. At 75, Storey draws inspiration from dark, disquieting subjects. Two previous Anno Domini shows in particular tackled the horrors of the Iraq war, and, in another instance, the brutal platform of suicide. Neither exhibit was even remotely comfortable to view. Seeburger, on the other hand, is less than half of Barron's age and is trying to graft her analysis of Messiaen's quartet onto a conversation about the San Jose arts scene.
“California for me was this place where you do healthy things and everybody is optimistic and happy,” she recalls, mocking this supposed culture of idealism. “I’d always make fun of California. But then when I moved here, it’s like my whole world opened up.”
100 Things to Do
Cellista is featured twice in author Susannah Greenwood's book.
SF Classical Voice
In a region that prides itself on disrupting the status quo, Cellista is celebrating the legacy of the original disrupters.
Connecting a signature work of the early 20th century avant-garde to the churning engine of the 21st century’s digital revolution might seem like a stretch. But for Cellista, who moved to her adopted hometown from Paris in 2010, “San Jose feels reminiscent of the pastiche world of Cocteau. The surrealists were going across disciplines, and I like the idea of juxtaposing elements and disciplines. ‘Finding San Jose’ evokes different neighborhoods and spirits, bringing them next to each other but not forcing them to be unified.”
Cellista Interview on Messiaen's Quartet for the end of Time
An interview following Cellista's visit to Stalag VIII A in Poland where Olivier Messiaen wrote and premiered "The Quartet for the end of Time," in 1941. Listen to the Interview on Soundcloud
IMAGINE SJ SHOWCASE #1
A collaborative, monthly event series between Future Arts Now, Kooltura Marketing, and Knight Foundation, the ImagineSJ Showcase that provides a platform for San Jose’s newest most innovative thinking
Cellista's passion, encompassing a philosophical wonder and
endearing love for San José,
is an apparent manifestation in her music — something that truly engraves her name into the culture and history of Silicon Valley.
...a true musician and performer