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Like her unusual chord progressions, singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Kela Parker followed her own serpentine path to arrive at her distinct sound. From a family of classical and folk players, as a young musician she gravitated equally to Joni Mitchell’s alternate guitar tunings and the dramatic piano progressions of Rachmaninoff and Chopin. No doubt influenced by her formative years in indie Portland, Oregon, her strong musical identity has also been shaped by her time in New York City and her dedicated search for herself within her craft.

Parker’s distinct sound speaks to the dissonance of artistry amidst modern world industry, dwelling in hidden harmonics beneath oral narrations. She creates from that place where music is not a euphemism for audio-based app, but rather an aural exploration of shared universal rhythm–the jazz of which is one’s unique improvisation of the world’s collective folk step.

The resulting aesthetic is of considerable breadth and range, without succumbing to chaos or empty distraction. She is equally rootsy and ethereal, spontaneous and composed. From within the tumult, a fresh harmony emerges, a new-fangled record of being an evolving self in a changing place. Speaking to and through the authentic human instrument, Kela Parker soundtracks rhythms of a post-genre new world.

 

-Kari Elam