New York-based writer, artist, and performer, C.M. Soto (Vinylux) obtained her early music education from her mother’s turntable and vast album collection. She was inspired by the theatricality of acts such as Queen, Electric Light Orchestra, and David Bowie. Throughout her junior high, high school, and college years she sang alto in advanced choir groups, performing, and touring in the US and Canada. For six years following, Soto hosted an eclectic college radio show as a disc jockey. Music was Soto’s first passion.
Following a creative writing path, Soto completed her BA in English/Writing with more than 50 publications and six produced theatrical plays. She left her home state of Oregon to attend graduate-level film school for screenwriting/playwriting (Drama Communications) in New Orleans. In 2002, Soto consolidated her previously published poems into a chapbook of poetry and photos, These are the Rooms to my Mother’s House. The book debuted at a New Orleans Museum of Art photography event and the same year, she completed her third screenplay.
Soto’s interest in film landed her TV/movie work on a small scale. She began to dance with a performance art troupe, NooMoon, taking gigs in New Orleans and Los Angeles. During this time Soto was a singer and songwriter in two bands. She then took the name Vinylux and went solo at the Voodoo Music Experience in 2004. Vinylux went on to perform weekly in local venues and art houses with shows that featured synths, samplers, and a turntable playing real-time audio samples. She layered in her vocals and was recognized for playing two Theremin-based lazers during her show. Comparisons to Bjork and Kate Bush were generous and appreciated.
In 2004 Soto brought together her interdisciplinary gifts to create Ice Scream Theater, a dark autobiographical marriage of film, poetry, music, photography, and theater. It was accepted into the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center’s, Dramarama in 2004. Her performance was canceled when Soto broke her tailbone.
In 2013 Ice Scream Theater was chosen as a Fringe-managed show during Fringe Festival. Soto rereleased These are the Rooms to My Mother’s House to accompany the play’s production. Then in 2016, Soto rebooted Ice Scream Theater with her (as Vinylux) performing the full 55-minute show at Mudlark Theater. It was subsequently produced at The Marigny Opera House. In 2022, C.M. Soto moved to New York to further pursue and promote create projects, including Ice Scream Theater.
The props of Ice Scream Theater such as wings made of vinyl records, a dollhouse podium, textbook fans, and a floor-length birdcage skirt are original designs by Soto. The songs and poems of Ice Scream Theater have been featured a la carte at multiple venues and events.