Chrysta Bell: Muse

The muses in Greek mythology were the source of all knowledge; literature, dance and music personified. Jeff Koons had his Iiona Staller, Francis Bacon his George Dyer, Picasso his Dora and Marie-Therese. And David Lynch his Chrysta Bell.

The American singer, model and actress has worked with David across the years, her 2011 debut solo album This Train co-written and produced by the Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive director through La Rose Noire records. And with David Lynch’s exhibit Between Two Worlds launching at QAGOMA, Chrysta Bell will be supplying the sounds for the opening party. We sit down with her to chat channeling her creative energy, what it’s like being a muse, and what soundscape we can expect from her.

While similar, Music and acting are still quite different channels of creative energy: how do you separate them or combine them for your live performances and recording in the studio?
Since it feels most like home to me, the music comes from tapping into a resource readily available and plentiful within. It’s just a matter of opening the channel. But acting is a beast for me wrangle – a delectable challenge. Sometimes I have more access to a clear channel than other times. Acting keeps me on my toes. While there is some degree of ‘acting’ in the music, I find emoting and expressing a song, whether in the studio or on stage, to come from a very different place than acting in a play or a film. Perhaps it’s all the same resource ultimately – I’m just much more familiar with using music to access it. With both ,it’s generally trying to get out of my own way and not over think the situation. 

You are renowned as the David Lynch’s muse. What do you think it is about your look and personality that captured Mr Lynch’s attention and fascination?
I have unusually attractive feet and an encyclopedic knowledge of World War II era baseball statistics. It’s a pretty irresistible combo and David was not immune.

What do you try to achieve with every performance – be it musical or acting?
Even a single moment of true transcendence and absolute merging with the craft makes you feel like it’s all worth it. Sometimes you get many moments, sometimes whole songs or scenes. Sometimes you have to fly to the other side of the world to make it happen. 

When you perform in Brisbane for the opening of David Lynch’s Between Two Worlds’, what can we expect to hear from you?
A performance of material that creates a musical environment that feels complimentary and appropriate for the forthcoming exhibit: other worldly, transportive, contemplative. I’ll keep my shoes on so no one gets too distracted. 

From the archives: This is from our original site, MyCityLife, posted back on 13 March 2015

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