One More Reason Why Rock and Roll Is Not Dead


Rock and Roll is dead? Don't tell Kaki King:
Kaki King has always done unusual things to her guitar. Watch her very first music video for 2004's “Playing With Pink Noise,” and it’s clear from the percussive, frenzied fret-tapping that the Brooklyn-based musician is not your average axe-shredder. In her near-13-year career that’s seen six studio albums and a Golden-Globe nomination for best original score, King has earned critical acclaim for the way she combines unusual tunings, complex fingerstyle picking, and slap bass techniques to create soundscapes that range from instrumental acoustic work to high-voltage rock songs.
Now, she’s using her guitar in an entirely new way: as a projection screen. In late January, King and New York production company Glowing Pictures launched aKickstarter campaign for The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body, an hour-long performance featuring all-new material that treats her guitar as a blank canvas. As King plays the guitar, software will analyze the sounds she’s making and project them back as a variety of different textures and skins, creating an immersive light show about the complex relationship between musician and instrument.
Technology is not evil and it is not the reason why music has suffered over the last few decades. The unethical business practices of a select few people have harmed music immeasurably. But, here we have one artist trying something different. Good luck to her.