Necessary Carla Kihlstedt

Carla Kihlstedt continues to rack up the uncategorizable projects. Witness:

Her Necessary Monsters will debut July 29 and 30 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.  It’s a song cycle based on a catalog of humanity’s imagined creatures, by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, and the stage show includes lots of dress-up costumes and apparently some dramatic elements. It looks pretty darned cool.


You can actually participate in the second half of this project, The Bestiary! Details here.

UPDATE: Turns out you can participate in Necessary Monsters, too. There’s a Kickstarter page to fund musician expenses, the printing of a libretto, and the documentation of the project in pictures and video.

Still You Lay Dreaming: Tales from the Stage II is a set of music written for dance productions. A collaboration betweek Kihlstedt and husband Matthias Bossi, the album is a followup to Ravish. It’s a digital-only release, ushering in The Age of the Absence of Objects, as Kihlstedt called it in a recent newsletter. Listen and buy at Bandcamp.

Tin Hat continues to branch out. Originally Tin Hat Trio, with enough gypsy-sounding influence to be signed by Angel Records, the band has added trumpeter Ara Anderson and harpist Zeena Parkins (both have moved on) and clarinetist Ben Goldberg (still in there) … and now they’re singing lyrics based on the poems of e.e. cummings. This East Bay Express article explains. The songs are dreamy and drifting, but not necessarily slow; Kihlstedt has posted two of the songs on YouTube — here and here, or link from the Tin Hat news page. An album is in progress.