By Diana Cordero //
Solo artist Kaki King (born Katherine Elizabeth King) brought her audiovisual experience entitled “The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body” back to SF this month, performing at the Swedish American Hall on a Sunday night. The show is heavily based on projection mapping, having the guitar literally serving as a canvas for the visual delight of sound and color that King and her team created to accompany the music.
For those unfamiliar with King, she’s a virtuoso guitarist with seven albums under her belt. Yet, her first instrument actually wasn’t the guitar — she started playing drums, which you can tell from her compositions and live performances as she tends to be rather percussive.
Unlike most musicians, King has proven to be a risk-taker. Her efforts, as well as her team’s, consist of seeing sounds and visually representing what she does sonically — and the results, subsequently, are amazing. If she had support from a major record label, she would go much further. But for being an independent artist whose show was funded through Indiegogo, she has managed to entertain audiences while still keeping the focus on the guitar.
In fact, the 36-year-old now based in Brooklyn has performed “The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body” in SF three times over the last two years, the first time coming in late 2014 with a very special introduction at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (read our review of the show here).
Nevertheless, King remains faithful to her intentions, as she performs in the dark most of the time with only light shining on her face or hands sporadically. The entire experience speaks to the guitarist who isn’t trying to demonstrate how fast or intricately one’s fingers move up and down the fretboard. Seeing that is definitely refreshing, especially when many musicians fall in love with displaying their technical virtuosity. There’s no question then that King remains somewhat of a pioneer in that way.