Avant-garde virtuoso guitarist Kaki King performs the world premiere of her piece Other Education on (post)folk, the fifth concert in David Lang's collected stories series. Explore the rest of David Lang's collected stories series here.
I first heard Kaki King when she played solo guitar
on the Late Show with David Letterman. Kaki is a
guitarist steeped in the traditions of folk and jazz
guitar playing, but she plays her instrument in a
manner unlike any other guitarist I know: plucking
the guitar with both hands, tapping it and slapping
it, taking advantage of amplification to explore the
sound-making possibilities along the entire
instrument, from top to bottom.
Her style of guitar playing is a hyper-modern
version of something we instinctively recognize.
Guitar is the workhorse of popular music and it
stretches across almost all aspects of American
musical life. The familiarity of the musical
worlds she emerges from is a big part of her
strength—because she is innovating in a tradition
that is so familiar to us we can instantly notice
her innovations and be amazed. Her piece tonight,
Other Education, marks the first time that Kaki
has written music for so many musicians and
the first time she has played in front of a