Ka Baird - Respires
Respires, the second solo album by Ka Baird, blurs the line between word and action, definition and possibility. Spirited yet restrained, bearing its wildly thrummed heart strings and inner calm alike, Respires ventures toward the unknown, charting the shifting ground of experimental music and the rewards born of risk.
Tapping the ecstatic energy and cathartic experience of Baird’s live sets, pushing the extremes of psychological and physical release, Respires represents an unquestionable leap for an artist already out on a limb. Largely written and recorded across the length of 2018, the eight pieces align as a series of visceral actions, captured, culled, and intricately shaped by Baird, then expanded with contributions from Zach Rowden (bass), Max Eilbacher and Andrew Fitzpatrick (synths), and Greg Fox (drums).
Respires was born from the intertwined etymologies of spirit and breath, the results of Baird’s singular approach to extended vocal technique and radical notions of “body music” which push her performances to uncompromising extremes. Channeling a raw energy from an internal depth, the genetics of Respires construct new bridges of communication, reaching across the perceptual boundaries of spiritual and physical.
Informed by indigenous, sacred flute music of New Guinea and vocal music of Burundi, Can, Maryanne Amacher, Don Cherry’s Organic Music Society, and Chaitanya Hari’s Kundalini Meditation Music, and driven by a fearless quest for musical discovery, Respires offers a glimpse into a sacred space of the musical avant-garde.
From the unusual folk music of Spires That In The Sunset Rise, to her many collaborative and solo efforts, Baird’s careful artistry and years of experimental exploration, placed in connection with the raw power unleashed by the body, lungs, and reeds, represents an intersection of possible futures on Respires. Tapping the primitive, immediate, unnameable, and fundamentally human, it’s an album which proves the impossibility of failure, when the risk of failure is embraced.
An answer - or continuation of - Joan la Barbara’s long standing indication of the voice as “original instrument,” Respires is spirit, movement, and an immersive life force manifested as sound. A sound in which the self is lost, and becomes something universal.
Ka Baird’s Respires will be released October 25, 2019 on vinyl and digital formats. Baird will be touring extensively this fall, including a stop at Unsound’s Krakow festival on October 8.