Carla Kihlstedt

Music is an ideal vehicle for the alchemy between thoughts, instincts and emotions. It creates worlds that are both intimate and vast, crafted and spontaneously crafted, ordered and chaotic, and it expands and contracts to reflect. My music thrives in fertile areas where different genres intersect and aesthetic values are transmuted. I sing, play, improvise, and compose. Sometimes, it’s just me playing the violin. Other times, it’s a full-blown performance. Collaborations are a way for me to keep my thoughts and language evolving. My current collaborative projects include the Tin Hat, an acoustic collective of composers, as well as the alarmingly experimental rock band Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. I also have 2 Foot Yard, which is an intimate and incisive source of song, and Minamo, which is a highly spontaneous, improvisational duo with Satoko Fujii. Together with Rafael Oses, poet Rafael Oses, we have written a song cycle called Necessary Monsters for seven musicians and narrator. It is based on Jorge Luis Borges’ Book of Imaginary Beings. I am currently working with Matthias Bossi, actor and musician, to examine family histories through the lens of personal memories and myths. My classical violin training at Peabody Institute and Oberlin Conservatories of Music is the foundation of my musical vocabulary. However, my world now comfortably extends beyond the concert hall. My last dozen years have been spent traveling the U.S. with various bands. We’ve played in rock clubs, concert halls, theaters, and other venues for classical, rock, and experimental audiences. It turns out that the differences between audiences are only at the surface. They almost disappear if you even touch them. I have had the pleasure of working with some of my favourite musicians, such as Fred Frith and Tom Waits, Blixa bargeld, Zeena Parkerins, Shahzad Ismaily. Scores for theater and dance companies include Flyaway Productions and inkBoat. I also wrote music for the Joe Goode Performance Group and Deborah Slater Dance Theater. Also, concert pieces for The ROVA Saxeophone Quartet, The Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Eclipse String Quartet. from

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