Between tours with Lily and Madeleine, cellist Shannon Hayden is home recording her new album at her family's farm. Not in a barn, no. She brings her 1890s cello (once owned by a player in the ISO) to the solar powered studio built into the property, which has been in the family since the 1860s. "When I'm home," she says when we catch up this week, "I have a floor-to-ceiling PA system, LED projectors, effects and amps going. I am a power hog."
The blend of old and new is a through line in Hayden's music; her performances mesh classical training with modern experimental music, and put it all through a full pedal board of effects. She'll play Saturday at the Warehouse, a new venue in Carmel.
On her style:
"I've wanted to be a cellist since I was 3. What got me into cello was seeing it being used with Bjork, that was a major influence for me. Hearing cello in 'Eleanor Rigby' by the Beatles. Nothing turns me on more than great contemporary classical music. There's some awesome sacred minimalist composers that I'm totally into. Mix that right in with Japanese punk band Melt — Banana, Radiohead. My tastes are all over the place."
On her one-woman style of music performance and production:
"I've always wanted to be able to do everything myself. Whether I continue to do that throughout my career, that's another story. But I absolutely want a strong hold on every aspect of music production, writing, recording, business – every bit of it, I want to have a grip on. This will be my career for the rest of my life. I'm not the most patient person, but I do value taking a little bit of a slower, steady road. If that involves me doing everything myself for quite a while, then I'm very happy with that."
On her sustainable studio:
"My dad knew I was dead set on being an artist. He knew it was going to be tough, so he said, 'Okay, let's work on building a sustainable lifestyle for you.' He wanted me to know all about how to construct the house, with wood that was right on the property, how to make your own energy, researching how to use solar and wind energy. He's an amazing gardener, so he taught me about growing your own food. ... A lot of musicians can't take advantage of awesome opportunities because they can't take the risk, and they can't quit their day jobs. For me, I absolutely have been given this gift of, 'Go for it; do exactly what you want.' And I don't have to compromise, because I always have a fallback.