Kaki King: two short videos recorded at TED conferences

“A musical escape into a world of light and color”


Today I want to share two videos from TED.com featuring Kaki King (born Katherine Elizabeth King), a guitarist and composer known for her percussive technique applied on multiple tunings on acoustic and lap steel guitar, and on diverse range in different genres.

The first video was recorder in 2008, soon after the release of her famous single “Playing with Pink Noise”:

Kaki King, the first female on Rolling Stone’s “guitar god” list, rocks out to a full live set at TED2008, including her breakout single, “Playing with Pink Noise.” Jaw-dropping virtuosity meets a guitar technique that truly stands out.


The second video is more recent, recorder at TEDWomen on May 2015:

A genre unto herself, Kaki King fuses the ancient tradition of working with one’s hands with digital technology, projection-mapping imagery onto her guitar in her groundbreaking multimedia work “The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body.” Using her guitar’s neck like a keyboard, she plays an intricate melody as she takes the audience on a musical journey of light and sound. She calls it “guitar as paintbrush.”


About the artist

From her website:


Hailed by Rolling Stone as “a genre unto herself,” composer and guitarist Kaki King is a true iconoclast. Over the past 10 years the Brooklyn-based artist has released six extraordinarily diverse and distinctive albums (from which B-sides & Rarities has been largely culled), performed with such icons as Foo Fighters, Timbaland, and The Mountain Goats, contributed to a variety of film and TV soundtracks including Golden Globe-nominated work on Sean Penn’s Into The Wild, and played to an increasingly fervent following of music lovers on innumerable world tours.

In addition to her own solo work, Kaki sometimes performs accompanied by NYC-based string quartet ETHEL. She also recently performed a Carnegie Hall premiere of a classical piece commissioned by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang.

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