leslie helpert, serpentfly
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leslie helpert, serpentfly

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Americana Avant-garde

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Oct
11
leslie helpert, serpentfly @ Black Eyes Sally's

Hartford, Connecticut, USA

Hartford, Connecticut, USA

Mar
28
leslie helpert, serpentfly @ TBA

Hamilton, Not Applicable, Bermuda

Hamilton, Not Applicable, Bermuda

Dec
28
leslie helpert, serpentfly @ Eddie's Attic

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


These are links to live footage of shows and ample press on Leslie Helpert/Tribute To Billie Holiday*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qghRPeIKQ-s

http://www.organanddrums.net/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=24281


Ede, Holland 10/2009:
http://www.edestad.nl/index.php/page/Lokaal/Regionaal/Uit/Cultuur/Grandioos-concert-Leslie-Helpert-tijdens.432279.news

Leslie Helpert’s “13 songs” “Best Albums of The Decade” 1/10
http://luxilluminates.com/2010/01/08/best-of-the-decade/

Helpert’s 5th release “ULU”, in reviews:
Athen’s Banner Herald, 1/10
http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/011210/mar_545705703.shtml
Lux Illuminates:
http://luxilluminates.com/2009/12/16/leslie-helpert-reveals-her-new-ep-ulu/

Interview as Musician-In-Resident of Bermuda, 3/08 by Royal Gazette:
http://www.royalgazette.com/rg/Article/article.jsp?sectionId=80&articleId=7d861b330030015

5 Minutes with Leslie Helpert, Barcelona Metro Mag 8/09
http://www.barcelona-metropolitan.com/articles/five-minutes-with-leslie-helpert/index.html

Video Links:
http://vimeo.com/17839326
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab1AcgBagSA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJSngCHos14&feature=related

*YOUTUBE or VIMEO search leslie helpert and/or serpentfly for more videos!
- various


"Leslie Helpert perfectly embodies my idea of an artist. She is beautifully quirky, speaks in a language of images, tells you about imaginary friends, and is keen to all that makes life potent. She lives inside of her art and isn’t meant to do much else. Throwing herself into the act of creation, she offers herself as poet, guitarist, songbird, novelist, dancer, and artist (the gorgeous image at the top of Lux Illuminates is hers).

Watching Helpert perform is a captivating, emotional experience. Her body is stirred by the movement of her song, adding bottomless depth to the art she offers.

The American songstress has rendered 5 albums in the last decade, all which resound with her artistry. Ulu is her most recent effort, a 4-song EP recorded in Barcelona with producer Dave Bianchi. Enticed by intuition, Helpert left the states in March for a 6-week tour from Rome to Paris. She was compelled to delay her return and through a series of serendipitous events encountered Bianchi and found herself recording in Barcelona for the month of August. Ulu (December 2009) was then crafted and released on Bianchi’s Barcelona/NYC label “Whatabout Music”.

On Ulu, Helpert conspired with musicians from Spain, Greece, Guinea, Israel, Portugal and California to add cello, harp, Gaida (Greek bagpipes), upright and electric basses, vocals, trumpet and drum-kit to her musings. Helpert’s musicality comes through on the release in the form of guitar, Rhodes piano, electric bass, percussion, beatboxing, and her effusive vocals.

Throughout Ulu, Helpert draws you in with her intoxicating style, using music a modality to deliver art into the moment. “Young Coconut Water”, the EP’s single, embodies this dreamy elegance. As in all of my favorite compositions by the one known as Serpentfly, the song travels through a variety of sections, illustrating the complexity of Helpert’s unique writing style. Soaring horns lift the song up as she wails, woven with nectar-filled harmonies and cymbal crashes.

The rest of the tracks of Ulu are sophisticated and intimate. They capture the potential of this wistful siren, carrying the intelligent listener into a world of living poetry and detailed narrative. Helpert explores the rich timbre of her voice, embodying at once punk music and the sounds of a distant time. Rhythmic lyric and melancholy balladry are accompanied by innovative drumming, sumptuous strings, and evocative vocalizations.

2009 has seen Helpert trying her songs on the keen ears of Europe in small rooms and large theaters throughout Italy, France, Spain, Holland, and England. December still finds Helpert in the romantic lands of Europe.

Below is “Young Coconut Water” along with a few of my favorites from previous releases." - lux illuminates, music blog


French-American singer-songwriter Leslie Helpert is currently in Barcelona writing and recording her next album

1. You're a highly prolific songwriter—where do you get your inspiration and where do you feel most inspired?
My songwriting is a very mysterious process. The whole thing is really wild and difficult to analyze. After 21 years of playing guitar, of trying to understand what inspires my proclivity for writing, I gather that I write most when I feel balanced, healthy and strong... I do a lot of yoga and run around like a kid. Staying in a state of curiosity, possessing an inclination to learn, to continue to grow musically and personally, these are the tools I think that end up yielding music... I work to keep myself emotionally available, to not become callous or exhausted, to stay compassionate and generous, to make room for failure and successes... All in all, though, I think that I can't really control it, it comes on its own and I try just to be available for the possibility of creativity. It is the most tender expression of living, for me, to be in the relationship of musician/music. I am just thankful for music more and more each day.
2. You have toured all over the world; where is your favourite place to perform and how do the people react to your music from place to place?
Well there is so much of the world I know nothing about, where I haven't played music nor traveled. But regardless of where I am geographically, my favorite places to perform are places with natural acoustics, like old churches or caves and in unusual spaces. I love to play my guitar acoustically, because the overtones and the subtleties are the most important part to me. I like to play in places where the ambiance inspires me, where the people who operate the venue are friendly and invested in the arts, where people can be comfortable, relax and listen. I've never enjoyed much to play in really loud bars with smoke in my face. I would never write music in those spaces, so it feels strange to play music in places like that. I am happy that there are more and more venues being created for real music listening, where people can be comfortable. I just played a little show in the South of France and I like that I played right on the sea as the sun set, beautiful. I have enjoyed playing in Europe these months because I really enjoy the quality of appreciation for the arts, in general, that I've encountered.
French-American singer-songwriter Leslie Helpert is currently in Barcelona writing and recording her next album

1. You're a highly prolific songwriter—where do you get your inspiration and where do you feel most inspired?
My songwriting is a very mysterious process. The whole thing is really wild and difficult to analyze. After 21 years of playing guitar, of trying to understand what inspires my proclivity for writing, I gather that I write most when I feel balanced, healthy and strong... I do a lot of yoga and run around like a kid. Staying in a state of curiosity, possessing an inclination to learn, to continue to grow musically and personally, these are the tools I think that end up yielding music... I work to keep myself emotionally available, to not become callous or exhausted, to stay compassionate and generous, to make room for failure and successes... All in all, though, I think that I can't really control it, it comes on its own and I try just to be available for the possibility of creativity. It is the most tender expression of living, for me, to be in the relationship of musician/music. I am just thankful for music more and more each day.
2. You have toured all over the world; where is your favourite place to perform and how do the people react to your music from place to place?
Well there is so much of the world I know nothing about, where I haven't played music nor traveled. But regardless of where I am geographically, my favorite places to perform are places with natural acoustics, like old churches or caves and in unusual spaces. I love to play my guitar acoustically, because the overtones and the subtleties are the most important part to me. I like to play in places where the ambiance inspires me, where the people who operate the venue are friendly and invested in the arts, where people can be comfortable, relax and listen. I've never enjoyed much to play in really loud bars with smoke in my face. I would never write music in those spaces, so it feels strange to play music in places like that. I am happy that there are more and more venues being created for real music listening, where people can be comfortable. I just played a little show in the South of France and I like that I played right on the sea as the sun set, beautiful. I have enjoyed playing in Europe these months because I really enjoy the quality of appreciation for the arts, in general, that I've encountered.
French-American singer-songwriter Leslie Helpert is currently in Barcelona writing and recording her next album

1. You're a highly prolific songwriter—where do you get your inspiration and where do you feel most inspired?
My songwriting is a very mysterious process. The whole thing is really wild and difficult to analyze. After 21 years of playing guitar, of trying to understand what inspires my proclivity for writing, I gather that I write most when I feel balanced, healthy and strong... I do a lot of yoga and run around like a kid. Staying in a state of curiosity, possessing an inclination to learn, to continue to grow musically and personally, these are the tools I think that end up yielding music... I work to keep myself emotionally available, to not become callous or exhausted, to stay compassionate and generous, to make room for failure and successes... All in all, though, I think that I can't really control it, it comes on its own and I try just to be available for the possibility of creativity. It is the most tender expression of living, for me, to be in the relationship of musician/music. I am just thankful for music more and more each day.
2. You have toured all over the world; where is your favourite place to perform and how do the people react to your music from place to place?
Well there is so much of the world I know nothing about, where I haven't played music nor traveled. But regardless of where I am geographically, my favorite places to perform are places with natural acoustics, like old churches or caves and in unusual spaces. I love to play my guitar acoustically, because the overtones and the subtleties are the most important part to me. I like to play in places where the ambiance inspires me, where the people who operate the venue are friendly and invested in the arts, where people can be comfortable, relax and listen. I've never enjoyed much to play in really loud bars with smoke in my face. I would never write music in those spaces, so it feels strange to play music in places like that. I am happy that there are more and more venues being created for real music listening, where people can be comfortable. I just played a little show in the South of France and I like that I played right on the sea as the sun set, beautiful. I have enjoyed playing in Europe these months because I really enjoy the quality of appreciation for the arts, in general, that I've encountered.


- metropolitan magazine, barcelona


« Thursday 04.07.05 | Main | Friday 04.08.05, Saturday 04.09.05 »
April 07, 2005

A place to call home
Athensmusic.com was happy to hear that the oracular Serpentfly, one Leslie Helpert, would be calling Athens home when she's not driving through every page of her AAA Atlas. So, we lofted a few questions to our neighbor, who incidentally will be performing Friday evening at The Healing Arts Centre on Prince. You're encouraged to crawl about like creatures in the former Unitarian church. More on that below.

About the decision to relocate to Athens full-time:

I have known for the past 2 years, since I had kind of jumped in my vehicle and began what would become an endless national tour, that my idea of home (in America) was most satiated by the flavor and fullness of what Athens is. I currently live among some unbelievably inspiring people who are both artisans and farmers and after returning from 5 or 6 week tours, playing nightly, being around many people -- affixed in one posture for many hours (that would be a reference to driving many hours straight) I feel very fortunate to be renewed by such vivid company. I guess I'm half a reticent lone poet and half a disco dancer, and so this small town provides the opportunity to delve in both of those directions deeply. Plus I like biscuits and rain. And I'm way into the fact there are like 10 roads called Barnett Shoals. That's so confusing it's cool. ...

As for her JamCruise experiences, namely the Billie Holiday set and performing with the Benevento-Russo Duo:

I jumped on that big boat literally the morning after flying in really late at night from a little town in Italy where I had spent 5 nights in the cold Appaninnis (which are kind of like little cousins to the Alps). I had been sleeping on Evergreen leaves and falling in love with a carpenter who reads Runes and introduced me to the wide world of cooking with Fennel. Basically everything after that has been a blur. I was thankful to be invited to play on the Cruise. I like to figure out Billie Holiday songs with Marco Benevento, it's kind of like trying to figure out God or what happens when you die -- it's kind of like playing -- knowing you don't know anything, which in my opinion is probably the best way to play. As long as you can sharpen your tools in your little shed before going out in the wind.

Considering the abundance of rooms in Athens, I was curious about the loyalty, or allegiance or fondness for the H-A-C. When she plays in town, generally it's there:

I really love the Healing Arts Center. It's literally an incredible space for sound -- the acoustics are rich and carry so well that I don't need a microphone. People know when they see shows there that they can listen with their eyes closed and kind of trail into a world that is more introspective. Sometimes I wish they'd crawl around more and let go of being people and become a little bit more like creatures, but I think I wish that a little much anywhere I am... As far as the HAC I really am so interested in the meeting of music and wellness, art and holistic living -- I really think that that is the seed of embodying the way of the Artisan. It's so easy traveling around playing in bars to always be around the realm of alcohol and whatever else -- and that's fine -- everything has its place -- but to me I hold the opportunity to play at The Healing Arts Center with deep reverence. I think Megan (who owns the center) and the people there do so much to integrate soulfullness into the commerce of their world -- offering great classes and workshops, with Remedy, the herb store in the building as well as a handful of well-informed healing practitioners who work from The HACs. I think it's really wonderful that such a space extends the idea of Healing Practices into realms of visual and musical art.

Has she had the opportunity to perform songs from her latest (and wonderful) release "Cupcakes and Radishes" in a live setting with the musicians that were part of the recording process?

In ways, yes -- not with always everyone who is on the album, that would be kind of ridiculous considering I think there are 10 musicians on the album in total. BUT: I did just play a great show in Bermuda with Ross Martin who is a great guitarist on the album -- and Garrett Sayers -- who isn't on the album but is certainly one of the most incredible bass players living. I'm not exaggerating. Todd Lombardo is also on the album, and definitely someone I admire musically so much. He plays guitar. He'll be sharing the evening with me at The Healing Arts Center and we'll be playing a whole set together. So, yes, I do collaborate with artists on that album. This is one of my favorite ways to play -- two guitars. Todd is incredible. He plays in the crevices and fills out everything, it's like he's filling the landscape and taking me there, too, to the place where the songs are from. Oh shit, that's a preposition. You're not supposed to end sentences with prepositions.

As for the record itself:

A lot has gone on this past year since making that album. It's taken a year to put it out and it's kind of still just coming out. It's like a breech elephant baby. But elephant babies are so cute.

And what we can expect Friday night?

Well, I just explained my musical relationship with Todd, which is really great. And I am so looking forward to playing with him, it's all I can do to not dress up like a big guitar or gigantic whatever on the sidewalk and tell people to come to this special evening, because I am looking so forward to it. Count Gary Kellam, Claire Campbell (Hope for agoldensummer) and Justin Allmett (Electa Villian) are opening the show. It's called The Rhino 5 Showcase, and Count Kellam has just made my favorite album -- and many others favorite album, so I am quite infatuated with him artistically. And Claire blows me away with her whole thing, and Justin I think sings like every brother wished he could.

Will there be pie?

There might be Cupcakes but don't tell anyone. Oh. - athensmusic.com


Discography

2012: When Smart Girls Do Stupid Things, Whatabout Music
2009: Ulu, Whatabout Music
2008: Mixtape
2004: Cupcakes. and radishes
2002: 13 Songs
1999: A Serpentfly-Complete

Has airplay on national and international radio; has been featured on Women In Music, NPR national 80+ station show, Jazz Canarias, Chile and Spain's Radio Contrabanda, Has played live on over a dozen NPR stations, such as Boulder's KGNU, California's Humboldt County, New England Public Radio, and Athens, GA's WUGA.

Photos

Bio

Helpert is profuse guitarist/vocalist/artist who has been an integral part of the underground writing contingent for the last 15 years. having composed over 1000 pieces in her young life. She has been playing guitar for over 20 years and with guitar, voice, percussion and piano as her musical foundation, she spent her academic years at The Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and The Naropa Institute in Boulder,CO. Helpert's produced over 6 albums and performed in over 300 venues Internationally, from the Theater Lino Ventura in Nice, France, the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, to the OBA in Amsterdam, The Fox Theater in Boulder, Colorado, Yoshi's Jazz Club in the San Francisco bay.
In 2008, she was elected the premier Musician In Residence of Bermuda, 2013 granted audio-visual residency by Danish Art Council.   Her music has been featured in Sun Dance Film Festivals, licensed to multiple companies, on ASCAP's Podcast, Universal and Motown records. Helpert is an adept spoken word poet, dancer, beat-boxer, painter/illustrator, music teacher and novelist additionally to being a performing composer. She sings tributes internationally to Billie Holiday and other legends of jazz music. She has been honored to collaborate and/or record with Jamey Haddad (Paul Simon), Tim Luntzel (Norah Jones, Bright Eyes, Bill Frisell), Mat Maneri, Marco Benevento (Phish, Ween, Matt Chamberlain), The Slip (Natalie Merchant), Garrett Sayers (The Motet), Ross Martin, Todd Lombardo (Taylor Swift), Raney Empcee (Tea Leaf Green), Ky Eckhart (Garaj Mahal). Helpert is able to pick up a mic and hold a room at standstill in improvisation over a full band as well as accompany herself in utterly intricate and captivating self-composed music solo on her guitar(s).
Helpert has written over 1,000 pieces of music and is a signature Taylor Guitar artist. She is based in both North America and Europe, and currently calls Barcelona, Spain her main homebase, where she is dedicated to performing in intimate listening venues and teaching a profound method of voice to advanced music students.

Some venues wherein Leslie Helpert has performed: Ale house, Portland ME; The Living Room, New York, NY; The Playwright, Monroe, GA; Mezzane, Charleston, SC; 6 String, Cary, NC; Java House; Olde Towne Conyers, GA; The Evening Muse, Charlotte, NC; Babes, Richmond, VA; New Belmont, Norfolk, VA; AS220 Providence, RI; The Knitting Factory, New York, New York; The Larkin, Albany, NY; The Mews, Princeton MA; WPI, Worcester, MA; The Lizard Lounge, Cambridge, MA; Skidmore College; Saratoga Springs, NY; The Fire, Philadelphia, PA; UMBC, Baltimore, MD; Clemson University, Clemson, SC; Eddies Attic, Decatur, GA; Coffee Underground, Greenville, SC; Pamona College, Claremont, CA; Old Auburn Alehouse, Auburn, AL; ROOM 1026 Pensacola, FL; Mermaid Lounge, New Orleans, LA; Last Concert Cafe, Houston, TX; Stella Blue, Albuquerque, NM; Thunderbird Lounge, Taos Ski Valley, NM; Milagros, Alamosa, CO; Dulcineas, Denver, CO; Club 156, Boulder, CO; Acoustic Coffeehouse, Nederland, CO; Trilogy, Boulder, CO; The Basement, Nashville, TN; New City Cafe, Knoxville, TN; Jammin Java House, Columbia, SC: Whitfields, Waycross, GA; Dedrick House, Jacksonville, FL; Jack Rabbits, Jacksonville, FL; Sacred Grounds Coffee, Tampa, FL; Jimmy Macs, Tampa, FL; Georgia Theater, Athens, GA; Sweet Heaven, Asheville, NC; Armadillo Grill, Duke University, Durham, NC; Cellar Coffeehouse, Birmingham Southern, AL; Donis Under The Trees, Anderson, SC; Watershed, Black Mountain, NC;
Java Monkey, Atlanta, GA; Healing Arts Center, Athens, GA; Wolfs Lair Vineyard, Dobson, NC; Adirondack Mountain Music Festival, Creekside, PA; Colony Cafe, Woodstock, NY; Creekside Jamboree, Forksville, PA; Outer Banks Brewing Station, Kill Devil Hills, NC; De La Luz @ Temple Ball, Carrboro, NC; Mezzane, Charleston, SC; Athfest, Athens, GA; Burlingame, Portland, OR; Sam Bonds Garage, Eugene, OR; Rose Street House of Music, Berkeley, CA; Fais DoDo, LA, CA; Absinthe, Santa Barbara, CA; The Elbo Room, SF, CA; Shadetree Restaurant, Chico, CA; HoodFest, Hood River, WA; The White Eagle, Portland, OR; Bluebird, Nashville, TN; Caf� Coco, Nashville, TN; Third AND Lindsley, Nashville, TN; The Barley Tap Room, Knoxville, TN; The New City Caf�, Knoxville, TN; Bethel Fest, Hillsboro, NH; Club Passim, Cambridge, MA: Cafe Eleven, St. Augustine Beach, FL; Afterwords, Washington, DC; Stacatto, Washington, DC; The Dream Away Lodge, Becket, MA; Harrys, NorthHampton, MA; Free Street Tavern, Portland, ME; Common Ground, Brattleborro, VT; Natick Center of Art, Natick, MA; Bard College, Annandale, NY; Coffee and Tea Room, Williamspo