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Carla Kihlstedt
Carla Kihlstedt
Photo © Lauren Goldberg

Carla Kihlstedt (b. 1971) has played the violin for most of her years on this planet. It is the vehicle that has brought her through many approaches to music-making from her beginnings in the classical world, through various music schools — Peabody Institute, Oberlin and San Francisco Conservatories — and on to her present hydra-headed musical life. She is a composer, an improviser, a singer, and a member of several ongoing projects, including 2 Foot Yard, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Tin Hat, The Book of Knots, and Causing A Tiger, each of which has its own very particular and distinct logic. Kihlstedt has written scores for dance and theater companies (inkBoat, The Joe Goode Performance Group, Flyaway Productions), and on her own label, 12 Cups, has released several such scores written with Matthias Bossi and Dan Rathbun (Ravish and Other Tales for the Stage). She has also recently released several new recordings, with Minamo (Tzadik), debut cds of Cosa Brava, Causing a Tiger, Necessary Monsters, and Lisa Bielawa's Double Violin Concerto. Composers including Bielawa, Michael Fiday, and Jorge Liderman have composed works especially for Kihlstedt.

On September 14, 2005, Derk Richardson interviewed singer, violinist, and composer, Carla Kihlstedt, at The Thick House in San Francisco. Kihlstedt studied music at Oberlin where her interests expanded from the classical repertoire to more improvisational and avant-garde music. In 1997 she co-founded the group Tin Hat Trio with Rob Burger and Mark Orton, and has also played with 2 Foot Yard and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. In this interview she speaks about her influences and her improvising concepts in a far-reaching discussion which also includes excerpts of rare recordings and audience questions.
Improv:21: Carla Kihlstedt = Liberating Limits: An Informance with Kihlstedt and Derk Richardson

Excerpts from the music of Carla Kihlstedt:

Far and Wee

No One Nicer