Whose House? Tannis’ House

 Winnipeg is a city where most creative people can be described as having a “diverse portfolio.” But, even by those standards, Tannis Kelm has a remarkably diverse portfolio.

The singer-songwriter, who performs under the name Hors., also writes and performs poetry, contributes as a writer to zines and works as a DJ, both as the “turntables at a party variety” and as the host of Listening Pleasures on CKUW on Tuesdays at 11 p.m.

For someone with such a varied skillset, Kelm says her creative origins come from a fairly simple place.

“My family is very musical,” Kelm says. “We would have bonfires and family reunions, so we’d all sit around and play and sing music. That’s how I started singing. I performed in high school, but I lived in Moosehorn, Man., where there’s like 180 people.” 

“When I came to U of M, I felt I was missing something by not performing. Being from such a small town, Winnipeg seemed so big to me, and I thought I could never do it. But people here are very friendly and accommodating. They want you to succeed.”

Kelm’s Wolseley home is a welcoming hodgepodge of gifts, hand-me-downs and other secondhand décor.

“Basically everything I own was given to me,” Kelm says. “I hardly ever buy anything new. My friends will be throwing stuff out and I’ll go, ‘Are you really going to throw that away!?’”

1) DJ tables “These are some of the only things I actually bought new. They’re LP only. I started DJing back when it was all vinyl. I have a huge stack of records back here that are all singles.”

2) Salad Fingers mask “I went as (David Firth’s surrealist cartoon character) Salad Fingers for Halloween last year. His fingers are stored inside with all his puppets. I still have Hubert Cumberdale and Marjorie Stewart Baxter, but someone totally stole Jeremy Fisher’s head.”

3) Raven sculpture “My friend Chris made this for me. He was experimenting with papier maché for the Salad Fingers mask, and we all ended up on a big papier maché kick.

4) Painted spoon and spatula “These are totally homemade. My mom bought them from Jean Posthlewaite.”

5) Elephants “These were a gift from my sister-in-law.”

6) Gold chair “I do a YouTube series called The Gold Chair Sessions. I haven’t done one in a while, but that’s the gold chair. It’s easy to carry. It’s wicker. The gold part is a cover.”

7) Roger the Metronome “When I was in a band, my friend would always put this in different parts of the room and turn it on. It used to have a plastic face, and we called him Roger. Those were many musical lessons for me.”

Published in Volume 71, Number 3 of The Uniter (September 22, 2016)

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