Ka Baird is a multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, producer, and performer based in New York City. She is heralded for her boundary pushing live solo performances that involve energetic body movements, extended vocal techniques, interactive psychoacoustics, and innovative use of live electronics. She creates a radically present tense and vigorous type of “body music" that seeks extreme release through physical exertion and psychic extension.
She is one of the founding and continuing members of the psych-folk/avant-garde group Spires That In The Sunset Rise founded in Chicago in 2001. Her debut solo album "Sapropelic Pycnic" was released through independent Chicago label Drag City in 2017. Her latest recording "Respires" was released through Brooklyn based imprint RVNG Intl in October 2019 to critical acclaim. 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 Hirshhorn Museum (Washington D.C.), 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). She has been a music resident at Experimental Sound Studio (Chicago), Pioneer Works (Brooklyn) and was a 2018 Jerome Foundation Artist-in-Residence at Roulette Intermedium (Brooklyn). In 2020, she was a recipient of an Emergency Grant from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts for her upcoming premiere of "Vivification Exercises" at The Kitchen. She has also worked closely with choreographer Moriah Evans on her pieces "Figuring" (Sculpture Center, January 2018) and "Configure" (The Kitchen, December 2018). She co-runs the platform Perfect Wave that manages the release of recorded works, a print magazine and curates live performances throughout NYC.
For EU bookings contact Andy Halliday
For North American bookings contact Forest Juziuk
To contact artist directly:
The notion of being impelled by a force rather than trying to contain it has been my primary point of departure. Through performance, I explore hyper-presence predicated on a very specific time and place. Framing the world as polyrhythm, I place a living body within both the imposed and unforeseen rhythms of the exterior world and see what unfolds. My practice investigates the interior/exterior relationship of rhythms, how we negotiate those boundaries, and what effects they have on a body. The result is often read as a defiant act of transcendence through the portal of exaggerated immanence. This embodied approach takes on a sonic choreography whereby the source of whatever sounds I make has a direct relationship with how I move my body. By creating these very vigorous containers, I interrogate with intensity and humor that spot between control and powerlessness.
The human voice remains at the forefront of my practice. Through the idea of voice as embodied uniqueness, I focus on the fundamental spheres of meaning that come before speech. I propose that the sound and breath of vocal expression can reach specific portals of transcendence that speech is incapable of. Adriana Cavarero writes in her text "For More than One Voice: Towards a Philosophy of Vocal Expression," "The voice indeed does not mask, but rather unmasks the speech that masks it. Speech can play tricks."