Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Carla Kihlstedt
Music is a perfect vehicle for the alchemy of thoughts, instincts, emotions and ideas. It expands and contracts to reflect and create worlds that are intimate and expansive, crafted and spontaneous, ordered and cacophonous. My music lives in the fertile places where genres overlap and aesthetic values transmute. I play the violin, sing, improvise and compose, sometimes at the service of a simple song, and other times, a large-scale all-encompassing performance.

I have always been drawn to collaborations for the way that they keep my language and thoughts evolving in new ways. My ongoing collaborative projects cover a wide spectrum of sounds from the rich and subtle acoustic composers' collective Tin Hat, to the dramatic and alarming experimental rock band Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and from the intimate, incisive purveyors of song, 2 Foot Yard, to the fiercely spontaneous improvisational duo with pianist Satoko Fujii, Minamo.

On the larger scale of a theater stage, with poet Rafael Oses, I've written a song cycle for seven musicians and narrator called Necessary Monsters, based on Jorge Luis Borges' Book of Imaginary Beings, and am currently developing a new piece with my husband, musician and actor Matthias Bossi, that looks at family histories as interpreted by personal memories and myths.

Though the cornerstone of my musical vocabulary comes from my classical training as a violinist (Peabody Institute, and the San Francisco and Oberlin Conservatories of Music) my world now comfortably reaches far beyond the concert hall. I've spent much of the last dozen years traveling in the U.S. and abroad with my many bands, playing in concert halls, rock clubs, and theaters, for rock, classical, and experimental audiences. As it turns out, the things that divide one audience from another exist only on the very surface. When you so much as blow on them, they all but disappear.

I've been lucky enough to work with many of my favorite musicians, including Fred Frith, Tom Waits, Blixa Bargeld, Zeena Parkins, Shahzad Ismaily, Matthias Bossi, Nels Cline, Ben Goldberg, Carla Bozulich, Lisa Bielawa, Colin Jacobsen and the ROVA Saxophone Quartet. I've written scores for dance and theater companies including Flyaway Productions, inkBoat, the Joe Goode Performance Group, and Deborah Slater Dance Theater, and concert pieces for The ROVA Saxophone Quartet, The Bang on a Can All-Stars, and the Eclipse String Quartet.
CDs on which Carla Kihlstedt appears:
Artist: Phil Gelb, etc
Label: Limited Sedition LS002
Label page on this site: Limited Sedition
Limited Sedition LS002
Ben Goldberg Twelve Minor
Artist: Ben Goldberg
Title: Twelve Minor
Label: Avant Records AVAN 035
Label page on this site: Avant Records
Avant Records AVAN 035
John Schott Shuffle Play: Elegies for the Recording Angel
Artist: John Schott
Title: Shuffle Play: Elegies for the Recording Angel
Label: New World Records 80548-2
Label page on this site: New World Records
New World Records 80548-2