The Canadian composer guides us through a selection of minimal acoustics and early computer music, from Philip Glass to Jim O’Rourke.
Growing up in rural Ontario, Canadian composer and electronic adventurer Kara-Lis Coverdale started playing piano at the age of five, but as she grew older, she balanced her classical training with a passion for hip-hop. This combination made her something of an anomaly amongst her traditionally minded peers, but Coverdale’s disparate tastes helped lay the groundwork for the experimentation she would begin while studying at the University of Western Ontario. After graduation, she moved to Montreal — which she still calls home – where she gradually built something of a double life, one in which she worked professionally as a church organist and was also enlisted by experimental stalwart Tim Hecker to contribute to his 2013 album Virgins. Throughout this time, Coverdale’s own work steadily drifted into more abstract territory, her programming and sampling techniques becoming increasingly complex, even as the music that resulted was often lush and serene. Although she initially debuted with 2012’s Triptych I, it was 2015 that saw Coverdale taking her biggest leap to date, issuing the acclaimed Aftertouches cassette via Sacred Phrases and the collaborative Sirens (with Philadelphia producer LXV) through Mexico City outpost Umor Rex.