Past event


Bay Area artist SPELLLING premieres a series of new compositions for voice and synthesizer. Since the beginning of 2022, she has been working on the challenge of recording one composition a day. Many of these include voice memos taken from her cellphone when away from the studio or on tour. SPELLLING will weave together samples and elements of these compositions in an improvised live performance at REDCAT. She aims to offer insight into the early and deeply intimate stages of her songwriting process that includes digging and remixing ideas still floating between many ethers of possibility.

SPELLLING, has a knack for spinning fairy tales into jagged and reflective truths. In her lyrics, picture-book scenery and happy endings are swapped with existential longing, political criticism, and unsparing self-questioning.


About the Artist


SPELLLING released her first full-length Pantheon of Me in September 2017 and it was self-written, performed, and produced in her apartment in Berkeley, California. She began experimenting with music production in 2015 in an effort to carry on the creative legacy of a lost loved one. Drawing heavily from messages in her dreams, her sound spirals through clarity and obscurity searching through landscapes of psychic space.

The result is a divine soul music, soft in its restraint but heavy with passion. Pantheon of Me was Bandcamp’s #4 record of the year in 2017 and they raved of that sound: “Cabral has it, from her careful sense of composition to her charismatic presence to her ability to communicate with her music straight through to the listener’s heart.” 

In 2018 SPELLLING signed to Sacred Bones and released her single Hard to Please, which was named a Best Track by The Guardian and described as “like Solange looking in a haunted mirror.” Her second full length Mazy Fly saw great support from the likes of Pitchfork (“it’s the sound of an artist’s vision sharpening, pointing outward.”), Stereogum (“It’s a gorgeous and evocative and provocative record, and it points to a future where Cabral could pretty much do anything.”), Paste (“too appealing to resist”) and once again found its place in The Best Albums of 2019 at Bandcamp.

Venturing to push the boundaries of her primarily synth-based work, SPELLLING took on the ambitious task of orchestrating and self-producing her 2021 album The Turning Wheel, which features an ensemble of 31 collaborating musicians. The album incorporates a vast range of rich acoustic sounds that cast SPELLLING’s work into vibrant new dimensions, revolving around themes of human unity, the future, divine love, and the enigmatic ups and downs of being a part of this carnival called life. 

The Turning Wheel is a manifestation of this considerable effort, time, and collaborative energy and has become a career-defining opus for the artist. The album received widespread unanimous praise, earning itself The Needle Drop’s #1 album of the year in 2021. NPR said the following when including the album in their top 50 “On her third album as SPELLLING, the Bay Area-based wizardess Chrystia Cabral employs the language of myth, magic, and fancy to illuminate her reality as an empathic artist negotiating the realities of a world that’s multifariously on fire.”

She has toured with Boy Harsher and Amen Dunes and her live performances are regarded as revelations of spell and spectacle.