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TEDWomen 2015

Kaki King: A musical escape into a world of light and color

May 27, 2015

A genre unto herself, Kaki King fuses the ancient tradition of working with one's hands with digital technology, projection-mapping imagery onto her guitar in her groundbreaking multimedia work "The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body." Using her guitar's neck like a keyboard, she plays an intricate melody as she takes the audience on a musical journey of light and sound. She calls it "guitar as paintbrush."

Kaki King - Guitarist
Kaki King combines jaw-dropping guitar work with dreamy, searching songwriting. Full bio

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Double-click the English subtitles below to play the video.
(Guitar music starts)
00:16
(Music ends)
03:53
(Applause)
03:56
(Distorted guitar music starts)
04:03
(Music ends)
07:45
(Applause)
07:49
(Ambient/guitar music starts)
07:56
(Music ends)
11:09
(Applause)
11:12

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Kaki King - Guitarist
Kaki King combines jaw-dropping guitar work with dreamy, searching songwriting.

Why you should listen

Kaki King's percussive technique (guitar geeks compare it to Preston Reed's; everyone else compares it to Eddie Van Halen's) drives her songs forward, while layers of overdubs and her own soft vocals create a shimmering cloud of sound.

King's work on the soundtrack for 2007's Into the Wild was nominated for a Golden Globe, along with contributors Michael Brook and Eddie Vedder. Her groundbreaking multimedia work The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body uses projection mapping to present the guitar as an ontological tabula rasa in a creation myth unlike any other.

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