Music I Am #8 – Cellista, performance artist

The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:

I was ten. A string quartet performed late Beethovens at my elementary school. I was sitting on the floor by the cellist, who was well over 6’3″ and sported an afro and eye patch. He was the coolest person I’d ever encountered. As he played, I could feel the cello’s vibrations and that was that. I fell in love with cello. It was decided, I’d be a cellist.

An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:

Time management and writing skills.

Two ways you stay motivated:

Well, truthfully, my general feeling of inadequacy makes me work hard, and the feeling (since COVID) that everything could be taken away in an instant. Sorry if that was a bit a downer.

Latest album or recording project:

PARIAH – an operetta composed for immersive audio









4a.     What inspired it:

It draws on the narrative threads of previous projects, all of which have something to do with themes of exile, otherness, and serenity.

4b.     Who’s on it:

hahaha! More than thirty collaborators including the rapper DEM ONE, the soprano Carla Canales. Composer Daniel Felsenfeld, wrote the preface to the accompanying book I wrote with my father, the philosopher Frank Seeburger.

How do you discover new music?

Most of the time, it’s from playing or performing in a wide variety of strange shows where you wouldn’t usually find a cellist. I love the noise community, buskers on the streets of the Bay area, burlesque shows, circus act, the list goes on.

One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:

I refuse to give more attention to dead composers. And ALL living composers deserve more attention and programming, especially composers coming from marginalized communities.

Where can we find you online? | Twitter/IG: @xcellistax |


Photo: JD Lenzen, 2022

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