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|Birth name||Cibelle Cavalli|
2 January 1978 |
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Cibelle Cavalli was born in São Paulo, Brazil, 2 January 1978, and now resides in East London, UK. She attended Marcelo Tupinambá Conservatory in São Paulo from the age of 6, where she studied guitar, piano, percussion and theatre. Cibelle had a short career modeling in her teens, but left it to dedicate herself to acting until her early twenties. Cibelle worked in musicals, short films, and Brazilian TV, until music took a stronger lead in her life.
After meeting the Serbian-born producer Suba in a bar, she appeared as the main vocalist on his album, São Paulo Confessions, on Ziriguiboom (Crammed Discs' Brazilian imprint) in 1999. It was a mixture of traditional and electronic sounds which has been said to be years ahead of the Brazilian Electronic music boom. São Paulo Confessions is regarded as an important precursor and a landmark album for Brazilian Electronic Music. Suba died shortly after the album’s release.
Cibelle next appeared on Celso Fonseca’s album, Natural (2003). Cibelle’s first solo album, Cibelle, was also released in 2003. Signed to Belgian record label Crammed Discs at the age of 22, she started spending more and more time in Europe, specifically Paris. By the completion of her first album, she moved to London's Brick Lane, and has since been moving around East London.
Music and Methodology
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Cibelle does only concept albums, first imagining a world, and then going to fulfill this world with the appropriate sounds and textures, her albums tend to be dreamy, yet the live performances are strong, loud, with screaming guitars and a heavy load of live sampling.
The performances usually happen in trios; her band is made of around 10 musicians or more that at each time combine themselves as trios depending on the country of performance. Her latest performances ranged from having two drum kits on stage, to having none at all. Each of her concerts are unique and the public never know exactly what to expect as far as shape and form.
Cibelle works by building tracks live on stage, welcoming special guests and inviting the audience to contribute to her ”bric-a-brac DIY” sound through sweet vocals, creative playfulness and lots of instrumental experimentation. Since moving to Dalston, Cibelle has been working more with visual arts and performance, taking part in the abravanista movement with Rick Castro – also a part of Assume Vivid Astro Focus – and collaborating as a part of collective and artzine FUR, ran by photographer Cássia Cabatini and artist/printmaker Fábio Gurjão. She is also a part of Supine Studios, a collective of artists/musicians based in Dalston.
In visual arts, she sometimes takes on other names, and mostly goes by Sonja Khalecallon, working with GIF animation, collages, multimedia pieces, videos, performances and vivid anatomic looking watercolors.
Cibelle has collaborated with a range of music and visual artists all over the world for recordings, film, performance, and installation, including: Devendra Banhart, Seu Jorge, Cocorosie, Rio en Medio, Gilberto Gil, Júnio Barreto, Vanessa da Mata, Orquestra Imperial, Vetiver, Lightspeed Champion, Josh Weller, David Shrigley, Doug Aitken, Vanessa da Silva, Adem, Tom Zé, Johnny Flynn, Quist, Tunng, members of Nação Zumbi and The Legendary Tigerman. The video for her version of Tom Waits’ Green Grass, directed by long time friend Gustavo Guimarães and Adams Carvalho, had over a million views on YouTube.
- Cibelle (2003)
- The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves (2006) (cover art by Cibelle)
- Las Vênus Resort Palace Hotel (2010)
- Unbinding (2013)
(all out on Crammed Discs)
- About a Girl EP (2005)
- Noite de Carnaval/Matthew Herbert Remixes (2005)
- Green Grass EP (2007)
- White Hair EP (2008)
(all out on Crammed Discs)
- Suba (1999), São Paulo Confession (vocals on 3 tracks), Crammed Discs.
- Suba (2002), Tributo (vocals on 4 tracks), Crammed Discs.
- O Cheiro do Ralo, OST, 2006.
- Electric Gypsyland 2, Crammed Discs, 2006: 1 track by Kocani Orkestar remixed by Cibelle.
- Nove, Apollo (2005), Res Inexplicata Volans, Crammed Discs: vocals on 3 tracks
- Worried Noodles (TomLab Records, 2008): 1 original track
- Femina by The Legendary Tiger Man (2009): vocals on 2 tracks
Media Reaction to "The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves"
Haunted, cut-up, serenely twinkling electro-acoustic folk-pop… This is my ideal sound and you need to hear it now because then it will be your ideal sound too.— Pop Matters, USA.
Each song is a joyous little daydream… It's chock full of goodness… Traversing the globe with charming agility, Cibelle gives us one more reason not to roll our eyes at chameleonic songstresses.— Stylus, USA.
A sophisticated trilingual pop record, spinning twitchy electronics, American freak-folk and Brazilian traditions into a glittering tableau. All the more radiant for their partial construction, Cibelle's songs are marked by a billowing drift, with pliant, meandering melodies and progressions that seem less linear than mutational, evolving toward realization by gradual degrees.— Pitchfork, USA.
Innovating on old-world beauty. Cibelle crafts tunes that tell stories embellished by an instrumentation that won't disappoint. Her approach to song construction reminds me of The Books and Psapp.— Aurgasm, USA.
A delightful surprise to those who enjoy their music heady as well as luscious, and with a literate, worldly edge.— Allmusic, USA.
She's a canny pop amalgamator, experimenting with soundscapes but never forgetting about tunes… Even when her music is most borderless and surreal, she never sounds disoriented. She navigates with a melodic grace that's purely Brazilian.— The New York Times, USA.
A playfully trippy excursion full of unexpected twists. She infuses her songs and performances with a sense of discovery.— The Boston Globe, USA.
She's found the recipe for delicate and tasty music which blend songwriting and cutting-edge wizardry… A rich palette of colours and heady perfumes. Gifted with sensitive and powerful antennaes, she transforms all the informations which she absorbs to create a universal language.— Les Inrockuptibles, France.
With the delicate fingers of a fairy, she can sculpt a variety of sounds generated by lighters, plastic cups, guitars or Fender Rhodes... Inventive and sensual, she carved 14 tracks which are as many miniature worlds, which reveal more charm and details with each listen.— Elle Magazine, France.