The musical duo Kai-Ye engages with repetition and juxtaposition as a means of wrestling with notions of dance / art music. workinonit, their first collaborative project, takes the instrumental music of J Dilla and the birdsong compositions of Olivier Messiaen as sources of inspiration, portraying the act of documentation and sampling as a form of celebration.
During their sponsorship with High Concept Labs, Kai-Ye will develop a working method for generating musical material drawn solely from memory. Using HCL as a purely neutral collaborative space, members of Kai-Ye will subject their (mis)remembering of specific “musical moments” (i.e. excerpts of pre-existing recordings) to rigorous documentation, transcription, and composition. These musical moments will be shaped into performable fragments for various combinations of strings, keyboards, percussion, and electronics. Groups of fragments will then be arranged and manipulated in different fashions, as a DJ would with various samples, laying the groundwork for a full-length piece of music intended for a future public performance.
Through various means of transcription notation, orchestration, improvisation, and electronic sampling, the eventual goal of this collaboration is to create a piece of music that is modular and adaptable; never wholly complete, never quite the same upon each performance.
Kai-Ye create musical experiences that explore their collective sonic memory through processes of extreme honesty and discipline. Within the live performances of their musical findings, Kai-Ye seek to illuminate the tension between idealization and realization, aesthetics and utility.
Kai-Ye consists of violinist Amanda Bailey and composer Andrew Tham. Bailey is a multi-faceted string player, performing in groups as diverse as the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the punk marching band Mucca Pazza. She frequently collaborates with recording rap artists and was a founding member of Quartet Datura, which programmed classical music alongside hip-hop arrangements. Tham has composed music for several Chicago-based ensembles including Palomar and the Spektral Quartet. His compositions are primarily concerned with the the imperfect realization of musical notation and the acknowledgement of physical presence in a concert setting.
This project is the first collaborative effort between Bailey and Tham, growing out of a mutual admiration for hip-hop and DJing.