With her signature six-string acoustic Ovation Adamas 1581-KK guitar, Kaki King has turned her musical weapon into a screen for projection in her new visual, live music production, “The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body.”
Through her percussive, rhythmic and unique finger-style technique, King has reached her visionary best through this production as she brings out the infinite capacity of the guitar.
“During the show, there’s times when the guitar is actually the controller of the visuals,” King notes. “The louder I play, the brighter the colors are. Or if I play a certain note you’ll see a certain little movie clip.”
As King appeared live at the Masonic Lodge in Los Angeles‘ infamous Hollywood Forever Cemetery last April 4, audiences were in for an intimate and truly artistic showcase. With opener Jherek Bischoff (an American musical composer, arranger, songwriter and musician, whom King notes is “one of the most interesting people”), his Jane Austen-like tunes mixed with a haunting power bass and frolicking string orchestra prepared audiences for King’s live visual performance well.
Noting her long, illustrious 30-year relationship with the guitar, King’s production is a testament to the guitar.
“My life is completely been created because of this instrument. Not the other way around,” she tells me.
She continues, “For me, it was very important to understand [that] I just show up for work. I show up for work by picking up a guitar and holding it and playing. It’s not nearly as much about me as it is about the guitar.”
At best, the show is absolutely stunning. King’s Ovation provides the perfect canvas and backdrop for the lush visuals presented. With scenes of cities, barren lands and traveling souls, King’s music sets the pace for the visuals. When she plays vigorously, distorted images appear; when she taps and hits the body of her guitar, mini light cycles appear on the guitar itself. (It’s truly mind-blowing!)
As a new mother, King notes that her daughter (her “favorite person in the world right now”) has made her more organized and work a lot harder. She doesn’t feel as if she’s given anything up.
“I think that I’m lucky that I was able to create a career and then have a kid, and not try and do two at the same time,” she adds. “I feel like motherhood is not so much about sacrifice as much as it is about just getting really good at logistics.”
Reflecting upon her younger years as an “awkward child” with social wounds that were “entirely self-inflicted,” she feels that she is in a good place to be a parent. Having gone through those painful years to become “a very cool, awesome interesting adult” who is confident in herself now, she feels that there is nothing she can’t handle now.
“Parenting does not daunt me in the least because I’ve kind of been through a lot. So whatever my kid turns out to be, I’m hoping that I’ll have some ammunition in my pocket to be able to deal with it.”