Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 12 December 2019

Guitar wizard Kaki King on her new show Data Not Found

The multimedia production questions our connections with technology and artificial intelligence

US guitarist Kaki King new show is called Data Not Found. Courtesy: NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Centre.
US guitarist Kaki King new show is called Data Not Found. Courtesy: NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Centre.

One of the world's most revered guitarists is performing in Abu Dhabi tonight.

Hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as a 'genre unto herself," American composer Kaki King's new show mixes her virtuosity with technology. Performed at NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Centre, Data No Found combines new compositions, visual projections and evocative spoken text that discusses human being's relationship with technology.

Kings tells The National how she created the music to the show and her unabated love for the guitar.

How did you approach the music for Data Not Found?

The music is in service to the show. And since I always have something that I am working on, I picked snippets and develop them for this particular show. From there some pieces grew and there is some improvisation in terms of structure. So, it is really a mix of everything.

Was the process for similar to creating a movie soundtrack?

It is interesting you say that because it is similar in a way. You are thinking about various aspects such as the tone and tempo. There is also set parameters in terms of what is happening in a particular part of the performance – things that is discussed with the director in terms of what to focus on. So it less about writing in vacuum and more about writing for a particular project.

It has been four years since your eight album The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body. With the forward thinking nature of your new show, does the traditional album format appeal to you anymore?

What I have seen happening in music since then is that things are continually changing. While I am not interested in abandoning the album form, it occurred to me that I can just record seven songs, put them out. So, I am ready to play with form in that kind of way.

You have been playing the guitar for over 30 years. Does the instrument still surprise you?

It remains a total mystery to me. It still continues to beguile and make me suffer. I feel compelled to discover what this instrument can do. So from doing more normal concerts to these theatre type shows I feel like my career all along has been one of researching into what the guitar is capable of and allow it to speak in various ways.

Data Not Found by Kaki King is on tonight, November 15, at 8pm. The Black Box, NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Centre. Tickets are Dh100 from www.nyuad-artscenter.org

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Updated: November 15, 2019 03:09 PM

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