Kara-Lis Coverdale’s sacred drones thrive in the live arena: MUTEK 2016


It was last year’s Sirens, a collaboration with Philly producer LXV, that introduced us to the elegiac drones of Canadian composer Kara-Lis Coverdale. Her measured tones were a breath of fresh air, so it made sense to discover that she was not only a regular collaborator with Tim Hecker (she contributed his acclaimed 2013 album Virgins) but a church organist.

The excellent Aftertouches cassette was also released last year, and fuses her deep knowledge of sacred music with chiming electronic treatments and vaporous synth textures. The live performance capitalizes on this fusion, building lush harmonic textures from deep, resonant drones and disorienting vocal fragments. Like the church music it’s influenced by, this is music that needs to be experienced in the live arena to be fully appreciated.

We met up with Coverdale at this year’s Mutek festival in Montreal to talk about her approach to live performance, and how each space informs the nature of the show.

Directed by Bryan McKay. Interview by Son Raw. Shot by Bryan McKay and John Twells. Produced by John Twells.

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