Ka Baird is a performer, composer, and sound designer based in New York City. They are known for their live solo performances which include extended vocal, breath and microphone techniques combined with electronics and psychoacoustic interplay of flutes and other woodwinds. They create a present tense sound with a vigorous delivery that seeks extreme release through physical exertion and psychic extension that "dances in the undefined margins of experimental sound, performance art, and humor."
They are one of the founding and continuing members of Spires That In The Sunset Rise founded in Chicago in 2001. Their debut solo album "Sapropelic Pycnic" was released through independent Chicago label Drag City in 2017. Their latest recording "Respires" was released through Brooklyn based imprint RVNG Intl in October 2019. Recent national and international engagements have included performances at the Unsound Festival (Krakow), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), MoMA PS1 (NYC), Issue Project Room (NYC), The Kitchen (NYC), The Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia), TUSK Festival (Newcastle, UK), Incubate (Tilburg, Netherlands), KRAAK (Brussels, Belgium), Le Guess Who (Utrecht, Netherlands), and the Festival Of Endless Gratitude (Copenhagen,DK). They have done extended residencies at such institutions and collectives as Sonoscopia (Porto), Inkonst (Malmo), Experimental Sound Studio (Chicago), and Pioneer Works (Brooklyn). They were a 2020 recipient of the Foundation of Contemporary Art's Emergency Grant as well as a Jerome Foundation Artist-in-Residence at Roulette Intermedium in 2019.
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I am obsessed with hyper-presence and physicality. There is an earnest precision, teetering between slapstick and ritual, to my sound shaping and the visceral delivery thereof. I am throwing sound around as if material, in direct relation to the body that creates the connection. I am interested in the edges of tone, the limitations of a physical body, and creating a direct dialogue between the two. I want to spew sound, much like spit or the exhalation of a breath, deconstructing it as it is dispersed.