Acoustic ruler Kaki King graces the cover of Guitar Player’s December issue, and in it she details how she uses her signature Ovation Adamas to conjure sounds and visuals for her outrageously cool multimedia show, The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body. She’s performing it at the venerable folk haven Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, California on October’s third Friday, and GP will proudly be onsite with free copies of the December issue onhand. Below is an abridged excerpt.
The Neck is a Bridge to the Body is a crafty title. What you were thinking about when you came up with it?
The question on my mind at the time was, “Who is controlling who?” Was I really controlling what I was playing on the guitar, or was the guitar leading me? The title anthropomorphizes the guitar, and it reminds us that we’ve named parts of the guitar after our own bodies—which is interesting, even though I left out the headstock [laughs]. The title also expresses to the audience what players already understand—that the guitar has a kind of sentience.
How does the show flow?
It’s intentionally a slow burn from the start. I’m not a storywriter, and the creation story is the most basic tale to tell, so I went with that. Things become increasingly complex until the hero—the guitar—is fully formed and realized. Then, it goes on a hero’s journey telling the story of its life, its deconstruction, and a kind of rising from the ashes at the end. I used very basic tropes to inspire visuals and music that are ultimately pretty trippy.
What’s involved as far your guitar and the visuals?
The guitar itself looks otherworldly. There are a variety of visually captivating things happening. I improvise a lot using the guitar to control audio-reactive visuals in many ways. For example, I can play a certain note to trigger a visual clip in which a spiral appears. That alone is really cool, but there’s a lot more packed into the show—including animation, abstract film, and film narrative.
Watch a video about the making of The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body.
If you’re planning to be in San Francisco Bay Area on October 20th, make sure to catch Kaki King performing The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body in Berkeley at the Freight. Get tickets now here.
For a chance to win a pair of tickets to see GP Presents Kaki King click here and put “Kaki” in the subject of your email. Include a sentence about yourself and why you want to go. Phone contact greatly appreciated for confirmation. Winner must provide own transportation to the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, California, and have his or her own accommodations in the Bay Area on Friday, October 20th. Best of luck. Again, that email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
GP Presents Kaki King’s The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body
Friday, October 20
The Freight & Salvage
(510) 644-2020 / email@example.com
7pm doors / 8pm show, All Ages
Box Office window open 12:30pm-7pm and during all performances. Purchase tickets online now here.