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The Transcendental Kimberly Pierson

Published by: Meta on 20th May 2015 | View all blogs by Meta

Kimberly Pierson,  the force behind a wide range of experimental and soulful music, deep reaching photography, a poet, and an author of prose.  She is genuine, spiritual, and unafraid of shadows.  A perfect Selkie.

M- Hi Kimberly! We are so happy to have you on the Selkies show for episode II. You add a very mystical air, combining darkness and light. Your music is like soul travel. How did you get started musically?

KP- Thank you so much! I am so happy to be a part of the show!

I never followed through with the traditional musical education and continue to approach writing on an intuitive basis. Finding the chords that evoke something essential within me, and build on them...

In my early teenage years I spent a summer in a house of a musician where sprawled amongst the sparse furniture were instruments laying all about. I was alone a lot there, and to pass the time I tinkered with these curious creature-esque apparatuses trying to make them sing for me like they did for their owner. None truly resonated with me until I sat down at a piano and played and played and played until it was like some memory bubbling up from the depths of me.

I had always loved to sing, but reserved as I was, did it only in secret. It was a few years later when I met my step-sister, Luara Karlson-Carp, that I discovered this reservoir of courage I had to give voice to my songwriting. She has the most captivating voice, and her passion for singing was (and still is) utterly infectious.

M- So colourful..​There is something alchemical and transformative about your music. Your voice is siren-like and the sounds are deep. Do you feel this way when you are creating, or is this just my own projection? The dreamlike quality is very captivating.

KP- Music writing is like weaving spells, and I actively seek through writing my music, to transport into the landscapes of dreams. I am glad that you pick up on that element because I absolutely feel this way when I am creating songs. I grew up with very introspective tendencies, and this fed my imagination vital nutrients that blossomed through creative mediums.

When I started writing songs I began to construct mythologies of my own, and in isolation and accompanied with my imagination I liked to think that I gained access these realms through the music. I want to compose the music of dreams. The more dark and surreal, the better. I like peeling back the layers of things and exposing them with hints of the otherworlds.

M- You are like a dream. So happy you are on our show. Constructing your own mythologies.. it seems there is a theme for this show, which is spiritually independent women. What genres of music do you cover?

KP- A hint of classical, a hint of the archetypal songstress, a hint of witchery and the quintessential goth. Mostly dark, magical, and dreamy ambient soundscapes rooted in piano.

M-Who are some musicians who have influenced you? You are some artists or writers who have influenced your music? Why and how?

KP- Middle eastern music, The Oud (an entity in itself) will always be my genie granting me wonderous visions and a consistent spell to conjure the muses.

There are a few modern classical composers like Phillip Glass-- I worshipped Glassworks + his Solo Piano album. Ludovico Einaudi (particularly just the song “Primavera” which I’d listen to this song over and over and over- the violins electrocuting my spine with delicious exhilaration.

Lubomyr Melnyk and his fast piano playing, he plays continuously at a lightning fast speed that teleports me into some glorious place. It’s chaotic tendencies are intoxicating.

A friend of mine, Curtis Humphreys, of Kalpataru Tree was a humongous influence and inspiration to me as he was the first person to expose me to Ableton Live. As an electronic musician he makes sure that his performances have live instrumentation rather than pressing play on a pre-meditated track. He always improves gorgeous stream of consciousness guitar playing alongside his psy dub and ambient landscapes... the guy is a musical genius.

Of course the greats ... Paganini and Rachmaninov.

Its worthy to note that I also worshipped the albums "Fur and Gold" and "Two Suns" by Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes by the holy shrine. Her songs were full of creatures and wizards and crystals and castles and mythic metaphors that spoke to my burgeoning artistic self.

M- Natasha!! She is just.. out of this world. She influenced me a ton too. Middle Eastern music; what a range. It shows. Where did you grow up?

KP- I was born in the little town of Livingston Montana, but had a gypsy momma who loved moving around so I grew up a little bit of everywhere. I spent a good portion of my life in Portland, Oregon though. I think that place keeps a good piece of me hostage, but my heart will evermore belong in Montana.

M--Do you live in Montana right now? How has that shaped your artistic visions and what sort of musical and artistic community is there in your town?

KP- I do live in Montana right now. Homebase is primarily out in Paradise Valley-- where I go to write. It is nestled in the majestic Absaroka Mountain range, close to Yellowstone Park. Full moon's rise up from behind the black mountain’s silhouettes, and reflect in the river. Some mornings there is an ethereal mist that hovers above the river, its beautiful. The silence, the huge expanses of empty valleys and gigantic mountain ranges have given birth to so many creative projects. Currently I live in the nearby town of Bozeman, and the artistic community here is nothing short of wonderful, full of brilliant poets, artists, and writers who I’ve been blessed to have met.

M- It sounds beautiful! You are also a photographer and a writer, releasing a book right now! Can you tell us a bit about it?

KP- I had a photograph released in this year’s issue of Montana State University's Literary Arts Journal, Opsis. The photo is titled “Book Hoard.” It is a self-portrait where I am essentially swimming in my books, and was inspired by the film Only Lovers Left Alive.

My heart has always had a love for analogue photography. I’ve played with film cameras since I was a teenager, haunted by the grandfather who I never met who was a photographer in WWII, some of my earlier memories are playing with his various photography paraphernalia lying about the house and it has stuck with me.

My brother, Orin Pierson, and also a photographer named Jim Presley--who might as well be my second brother--were my teachers and primary sources of inspiration in the beginning. Like music, photography is another medium of creative expression that fuels me, and like music and photography, writing is yet another. I write poetry and short fiction. I enjoy all sorts of art.

M--What do you plan to do with your music in the next few years?

KP- Keep writing. keep playing, perform more than I have been. Soon I plan to work with Mehran Azma of Sinis Recordings and release some tangible music on vinyl. The future's looking bright.



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