The Smell of Our Own: Glock­a­belle by Shelby Monita

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GLOCK­A­BELLE IS ANNABELLE CAZES, a New York City-based mu­si­cian who gets au­di­ences sweat­ing and danc­ing with two Ca­sios, a drum ma­chine and of course her glock­en­spiel. We first met in New York about four years ago when I was trav­el­ing across Amer­ica by train. Annabelle and I have been friends ever since and I have made it my mis­sion to spread the word about her en­er­getic, Hello Kitty-cute mu­sic that is in a genre all its own. Lis­ten at glock­a­belle.com.

I have been try­ing to la­bel your genre of mu­sic but am hav­ing a hard time with it. How do you de­scribe it?

I think given how my live show is cur­rently, I would call it synth punk. Some have also called it noise punk with a mix of prog rock, ex­per­i­men­tal rock, French synth pop...it’s re­ally all of those gen­res rolled into one. I am cur­rently per­form­ing to­tally solo with just my two Ca­sios and a 1982 Yamaha drum ma­chine and my glock­en­spiel. It’s a min­i­mal­ist race against the ma­chine.

You play the glock­en­spiel with thim­bles on your fin­gers. One ques­tion, why?

The glock­en­spiel thim­ble tech­nique is some­thing I came up with when my mom mailed the glock to me while I was liv­ing in Paris and I had no mal­lets. I de­vised a way to play with my hands, which made sense for me since I was trained as a clas­si­cal pi­anist. Play­ing the glock with my fin­gers makes it pos­si­ble for me to play melodies and har­monies at the same time. The glock is usu­ally used as an or­na­men­tal in­stru­ment in most mu­si­cal ar­range­ments. My tech­nique al­lows me to make it a lead in­stru­ment.

Do peo­ple ever get con­fused when you say you play the glock?

Ha! No I think most of the time they get it and don’t as­sume I’m play­ing a gun or oth­er­wise :)

Where you do get your creative spark from? Is it from other bands or maybe even from your own imag­i­na­tion?

Oh def­i­nitely from my imag­i­na­tion which runs ram­pant! But I think what sparks my imag­i­na­tion most is ac­tual move­ment. I love tak­ing long walks around NYC, jog­ging to my fa­vorite tunes... these days I’ve been lis­ten­ing to some old school rap like that of Rox­anne Shanté, Queen Lat­i­fah, old school reg­gae like Lady Ann and Sis­ter Nancy, this surf rock band called The At­lantics and then there is the 80s punk band Sur­buban Lawns which I adore.

I also lis­ten to quite a bit of 80s French elec­tronic mu­sic such as Lio, Elli et Jacno and Telex and 1960s French yé-yé pop.

The French yé-yé pop re­ally comes out in your fash­ion style. What is your song writ­ing process?

There re­ally is no process. I get in­spired by an idea and just sit on my bed with my Ca­sio, turn on some beats and bang out some melodies un­til some­thing sticks.

You re­cently got a pet bird named Jac­ques Cousteau that you have been post­ing videos of on your In­sta­gram. Any chance he will make an ap­pear­ance on your new work?

Ha! I ac­tu­ally recorded my last bird (who passed last year) over some hip-hop beats... but this new bird is only six months old and sings like he’s prac­tic­ing for Juil­liard! I think he will def­i­nitely be mak­ing an ap­pear­ance, on my record and pos­si­bly also on­stage. I’m not sure how keen he is on fast beats. He’s more of a jazz crooner. Loves Ella Fitzger­ald and Chet Baker.

Shelby Monita

is a Toronto-based writer and zine au­thor. Her zines in­clude Hoser Punx and Ar­ti­fi­cial Life in the Mar­ket Place. Shelby has writ­ten for Weird Canada, Spin­dle Magazine, Long Win­ter, The Punk Site and more. You can find her port­fo­lio at shel­by­monita.squares­pace.com.

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