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Other Education - Kaki King

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 chamber orchestra.

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