NORA KEYES: I NEVER WOKE UP AS A CHILD
The Cabeza de Vaca Arcestra continues its exploration of the relationship of sight and sound on Friday night at the Art Theatre in Long Beach as they provide the live score for Häxan, Benjamin Christensen’s eerie Danish 1922 silent docu-drama about “witchcraft through the ages.” Arcestra vocalist (and former Centimeter and current Fancy Space Person) Nora Keyes answers a few questions (and creates many new ones) via e-mail after our initial face-to-face interview was spoiled by ambient noise. Responses printed verbatim. This interview by Tom Child.
Hi Nora. It’s Tom from the interview the other night. Just wondering if you’d be willing to answer a few more questions. Apologies for the e-mail interview format. I know at times it can feel like a school test.
Nora Keyes (vocals): No! I am Tom. You are stupid. Maybe even retarded… although I do find you rather attractive. in fact, I love all people of Sports.
Your vocal work can feel so otherworldly and temporally unfixed. What are some aspects of life in contemporary Los Angeles that inform your music? What other kinds of things inspire you when you are singing or writing music?
Nora Keyes: I’m so glad you ask me that questions; I want introduce my new family—it’s weird beautiful flowers! Their body is all swell, and opening mouth and talking something mmm…aaaa～ They loves warm and now out side is still cold; so i care them so much. so cute guys! I want show you!
Has anyone ever been so unnerved by your vocals that they were subsequently nervous to meet you? Have you ever been substantially unnerved by your own vocals during improvisation?
Nora Keyes: I will kill you. With a special rose-flavored syrup. Then you will die.
What are some things that you find unsettling and why? Are there any musicians whose work makes you uneasy in a primal sense?
Nora Keyes: I don’t understand why all of you music journalists are so obsessed with this sort of thing lately; I mean, who gives a shit, pardon my Enochian… ya know? Sweet Saint Germaine, I mean, really… no offense. Actually I do want to thank you for that great outing the other day to the Pit at the Bottom Of The World. I never knew that glazed donuts could be so tasty, or that pigs only went into the slaughterhouse, and never came back out. I was sad at first, but after a while I felt a little bit like one might fancy a sensible, regular person awaiting the return of the Elder Gods might feel, ya know? RL’YAH, C’THUL’U F’TAGN!!!!
What do you enjoy most about working with the Arcestra? How is singing with the Arcestra different from your solo work or your work with other groups?
Nora Keyes: Wow… Well, I’m sure you know just how very personal this question is to me—and to my career. Wait—are you aware that every second we’re alive means we’re two seconds closer to death? Oh—you knew that? Well, whatever. You don’t have to totally humiliate me in front of everybody just because we had all that ridiculous ‘sexting’ that one time when I thought you were my doppelganger.
I read your interview with Rich Polysorbate for No-Fi in which you talked about waking up as a child and seeing miniature hurricanes traveling around the bed.
Nora Keyes: For one thing, I never woke up as a child, so I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about here.
Do you have any other stories of the unexplained or paranormal that you would be willing to share?
Nora Keyes: Yes. Quite a few, actually.
If you could pick one movie to re-score yourself, which film would it be and why?
Nora Keyes: As my mother always said, ‘AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA—AAAA GRRAAAGGGHHHHFFFFTHHAAAGH!!!’
Thank you very much for talking with me the other night, Nora. I know you’re busy so I really appreciate your time. See you on Friday!
Nora Keyes: YOU AND YOUR EVIL STALKER THREATS HAVE BEEN DULY NOTED.
THE CABEZA DE VACA ARCESTRA PERFORMS A LIVE SCORE TO HAXÄN ON FRI., FEB. 19, AT THE ART THEATRE, 2025 E. 4TH ST., LONG BEACH. MIDNIGHT / $10 / ALL AGES. MONDOCELLULOID.COM.