Interview with

Kara-Lis Coverdale

Heralded as “one of the most exciting young composers in North America” by The Guardian and a “unique navigator of the electronic world” by NPR, Kara-Lis Coverdale is a fiercely independent voice in new music that champions omnivorous approach to sound. She creates colourful and dense arrangements that blur the line between the human and the data with a unique penchant for long-form melody, harmony, and sonic detail. With a dynamic sense of play and conceptual dichotomy, her pieces are shimmering pieces of digital ether that evolve out of polymorphous arrangements of synthesized samples and keyboards processed in surreal and ornate ways. She is a classical pianist by training and has been an organist and music director at several churches since she was 13. Following a 2014 release of pieces for processed voice that highlight the nature of the voice in the age of data, Kara-Lis released a solo album Aftertouches (Sacred Phrases, 2015), which was named best of the year by The Quietus, The Wire, NPR,  and the collaborative album Sirens (Umor Rex, 2015), with LXV. Kara’s next konzert in berlin is at MaerzMusik – The Long Now / 25 & 26.03.2016 at Kraftwerk.

Facts

1: Impermanence is constant.

2: U r what u reflect.

3: A=440

Questions

1.What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
The unseen.

2. How and when did you get into making music?
Age 4. I’m not sure why, but there was a piano in the house. On my 5th birthday I had my first lesson.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
How am I supposed to answer a question like that? That’s crazy. It is impossible for anyone who really loves music to answer.

4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Alternate possibilities.

5. What’s your favourite place in Berlin?
There’s a really nice park with a lake/pond near BCR where I once had a beautiful afternoon with some beautiful people. There were swans and ducks and graffiti and candy banana sun, and people drinking beer in the middle of the day. We were eating ice cream and I remember my feet were dangling. There’s also a nice bridge by the Landwehr Canal near Il Casolare where we became surrounded by what we assumed to be rats, scurrying amongst the bushes in the darkness.

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead
No music, no world.

7. What was the last record/music you bought?
A collection of loon songs.

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
At this very exact moment? Everyone on the internet at exactly the same time. But lately I keep thinking of Danny Brown.

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Unsound Toronto, 2016 at The Hearn Power Generating Facility. It also felt so special to play St. John Sessions in Hackney, London, but this little show in Lisbon at ZDB really put me out — it’s normal to feel drained after a performance but after that show I felt almost dead, like I was floating around in an afterlife. There were beautiful people there to catch me though. Its important to go through things together. My craziest show as a spectator was probably either Omar Daniel doing haptics upside down at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto or at a breakaway warehouse when I was 14 in Montreal.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Instrumental.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have an older brother. We are very different, but he understands.

Our favorite: TOUCH ME & DIEA 480  /  Picture by Scott Pilgrim

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