Alison Chesley

Alison Chesley is a Los Angeles based cellist who has been active in the rock world for the past 14 years. In addition to recording and touring with the band Verbow, she has worked with musicians such as Mono, Bob Mould, the Sea and Cake, to name a few. She currently fronts her own band, Helen Money, and has just signed her second album to Table Of The Elements. She very kindly agreed to perform on the 2012 Home Normal release 'Cordophony' by Philippe Petit & Friends.

Here's a little more information about Alison Chesley from her extensive Wiki page:

Alison Chesley (born January 4, 1960), known also by her stage name as Helen Money, is a Los Angeles based cellist and composer.

Chesley was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She moved to Chicago to attend Northwestern University, where she received a Master's degree in Cello Performance in 1994. While at Northwestern, Chesley met Jason Narducy. Chesley and Narducy performed as an acoustic rock duo that was renamed Verbow, and went on to release two albums for Epic Records – Chronicles, produced by Bob Mould and White Out produced by Brad Wood. Opening for such bands as Frank BlackBob MouldCounting CrowsLiveMorrisseyLiz Phair and Brad with Stone Gossard, Verbow toured nationally for seven years. Meeting and working with Bob Mould was a big influence on Alison Chesley forming the Helen Money project for aggressive, amplified cello.

Verbow broke up in 2001. Since then, Chesley has fashioned a busy career in Chicago as a composer/performer and session musician in the studio. She most often records for two of Chicago's busiest recording studios; Steve Albini's Electrical Audio and Soma Studios. Some of the artists with whom she has worked include albums by MonoAnthraxBroken Social SceneRussian CirclesChris ConnellyPoi Dog Pondering and Disturbed, among many others. She also appears on albums by Bob Mould. As Helen Money, Chesley performs regularly around Chicago and across the U.S. She has opened for acts such as ShellacEarth and Nina Nastasia and completed a Canadian tour opening for Joe Lally. In 2011, she toured American opening for Joe Lally and as part of his ensemble.

In addition to Helen Money, Chesley has also composed music for film, theater and dance, including two major works for Chicago based Mordine and Company Dance Theater, Quest and Time Stilled. Chesley was honored in 2007 by being granted a full scholarship to study composition with guitarist/composer Fred Frith at San Francisco's esteemed Mills College. She opted out from the offer, and instead decided against the move to concentrate on expanding her role as Helen Money.

The release of Chesley's first solo album, with the eponymous title, Helen Money, was released on Cellobird Records in September 2007. Her second album as Helen Money, In Tune, was released on the Table of the Elements label. In Tune was recorded at Electrical Audio by Greg Norman and mixed by Sanford Parker at Semaphore Studios in Chicago.

Alison was chosen by Portishead to perform a Helen Money performance at the ATP I'll Be Your Mirror festival that they curated in July 2011 at London's Alexandria Palace, and was chosen by Shellac to appear at the ATP Nightmare Before Christmas that they curated in December 2012.

Here's a video of Alison performing as Helen Money in Cleveland:

You can follow her releases, news and regular shows on her site here:

There's a very informative interview with Alison in The Village Voice from 2011 here:

You can stream, share and buy 'Cordophony' by Philippe Petit & Friends here: