PODCAST: Sounds of Berklee—Kaki King

Bryan Parys
October 3, 2017
Kaki King
Kaki King's newest record is a live collaboration with Berklee students and faculty.
Image by Shervin Lainez

If there's a rule that guitar innovator Kaki King follows in her eclectic music career, it's to break whatever rules she established on previous projects. From inventive acoustic picking and percussive techniques (Everybody Loves You, Glow) to shoegaze (...Until We Felt Red) to projection mapping (The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body), King's albums show over and over again her passion for new sounds and lifelong learning.

For her most recent album, she teamed up with birnCORE, the Berklee Internet Radio Network's (BIRN) independent record label, to reimagine selections from her catalog with the help of a chamber orchestra comprising Berklee personnel and conducted by student Gabriela Sofia Gomez Estevez.

Recorded live at the Red Room at Cafe 939 in spring 2017, the resulting album, Kaki King: Live at Berklee with the Porta Girevole Chamber Orchestra, is now available through birnCORE. The record was recorded by student Andres Gonzalez Cardona, mixed by Aaron Bastinelli ’09, and mastered by faculty member Jonathan Wyner. Berklee faculty Helen Sherrah-Davies (violin), assistant professor of harmony, and Kari Juusela (cello and music director), dean of the Professional Writing and Technology Division, are also featured on the recording.

On this episode of Sounds of Berklee, you'll hear one of the new album's tracks, "Skimming the Fractured Surface to a Place of Endless Light," which originally appeared on King's 2012 record, Glow. The episode also features a snippet of the original version to help illustrate the imaginative leaps from a sparse, solo acoustic arrangement to a lush orchestral dreamscape.

Produced by Bryan Parys
Engineered by Darcy Davis

Watch King perform "Magazine," from the new album, live at Berklee: