Meet a NYFA Artist: Laura Kahle
NYFA speaks with 2008 Music Composition Fellow Laura Kahle.
NYFA: Hi Laura, please tell us what you’re working on and what’s coming up for you.
LK: I am working on finishing my solo album. I have material recorded by my quintet with some of my favorite musicians; Yosvany Terry, JD Allen, Orlando le Fleming and Jeff “Tain” Watts. I’m about to go into the studio to put the final tracks down with a trio, then I will work on the logistics of releasing it. I’m also composing a symphonic piece, writing for harp (harpist Brandee Younger) and a big band arrangement for the Captain Black Big Band lead by pianist Orrin Evans.
NYFA: Where is your favorite place on earth?
LK: I love very, very much the beaches in Australia and Thailand. But, I would have to say that my favorite place is the city of Rome. This is a difficult question though, because I just thought about San Sebastian in Spain and dream of going back!
NYFA: What has encouraged you to keep working as an artist?
LK: It’s all a dream for me. I follow my imagination, and if I was more of a practical, forward thinking individual, I probably would not have traveled to NYC and be in the place I am now. As a jazz musician, I am fortunate to have the historical inspiration of many musicians who fought through great injustices to create and define their art, so I feel blessed and encouraged always.
NYFA: Who is your biggest influence or inspiration right now?
LK: Musically I am strongly influenced by the teachings of brother Yusef Lateef. I was fortunate to spend a week attending his classes in Denmark (2008) where he explained music theory and spirituality. I highly recommend his books the “Repository of Scales and Melodic Patterns” and “Method on How to Perform Autophysiopsychic Music”. Also Alice Coltrane has been a huge inspiration for me.
NYFA: What role has the Fellowship played in your life?
LK: Receiving the Fellowship gave me a period of calm in my life, where I felt valued to be recognized as an artist outside of my peer group. It also gave me a confidence that my voice can be heard in this big city, and the financial freedom to work on personal writing projects that I had put aside.
For more information on Laura Kahle, visit her website.