Kaki King: The Neck is a Bridge to the Body
The Long Center
September 16, 8 p.m.
by Eli John
Photographs by Marla Aufmuth & Simone Cecchetti
For the past 13 years, composer and guitarist Kaki King has been churning out albums, scoring films, and collaborating with iconic acts as disparate as The Mountain Goats and Timbaland, but she’s not what you’d call a household name. Using far more than just the strings on her guitar and layering virtuosic riffs with a loop pedal, she creates music that Rolling Stone hails as constituting a genre unto itself. Tapping her Ovation Adamas guitar, she punctuates slick, emotive strains with DIY percussion, producing melodies that grow into lush worlds and move with a steady, but controlled momentum.
This month, King is bringing her most recent project, “The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body” to Austin’s Long Center. Although sharing a title with her most recent album, King conceives of the performance as the thing itself. Continuing to explore the possibilities of the guitar as a physical object, King transforms her instrument into a literal projection screen: throughout the performance, an onstage projector casts an evocative, visual story upon her guitar, which has been custom-designed for this piece. The subjects of this story? Nothing less lofty than creation and death. The result is an immersive, multimedia cosmogenic meditation which is certain to make you forget that you’re watching a lone guitarist on a mostly empty stage.
Read more from the Style Issue | September 2017