Fresh off a new release Kim was kind enough to sit down and field a few questions for us!
Does the Afro-Latin culture more typify you as an artist or is this simple more of a one shot deal where you see yourself experimenting further with various hybrids?
E.K. I have always been very intrigued by the idea of musical freedom. By freedom I mean not only being able to play free, or freely but also being able to understand the depth and width of authenticity and value in a variety of things and incorporating them into my music. In my opinion, playing an instrument can never be the ultimate freedom. It is a gleam of the idea of freedom that the wholeness of the music represents.
I would like to consider my music as interpretations of the meaning of freedom through various musical elements from different corners of the globe. As far as I can perceive, being a jazz musician in this era means taking whatever is around and blending them into something beautiful with integrity. It is not just taking a little from here and a little from there making a labored art. It is more like creating music and improvising with a wide range deep understanding and appreciation.
In a way, that has a lot to do with not only music itself, but also with various people, different cultures & paradigms, history and much more behind the scenes. With this particular project, "Ekahsonic", I wanted to capture both the traditional nuances of rhythmic diversity from the music of Cuba, Brazil and Peru as well as the contemporary improvisational elements in jazz. I wanted the collection of the songs in the album to be a story that has a little more universal voice. It is not all about the specific regional or typical genre related segmental approach, but it is about the natural expression of the idea of freedom through such variety of musical elements. Hopefully this is a small step forward with many more expressions to come!"
What drew you towards the more linguistic side of the idiom? Any particular inspiration or was it simply a natural fit with your rhythmic voice?
To a certain degree, it is true that a lot of Afro-Latin music utilizes very distinctive rhythms and interesting percussive elements. Each of them has its own voice and swing. What is more fascinating for me though, is different styles and cultures of people who are closely related to the music. Over the last few years since I moved to the United States, I have met people with many different cultural backgrounds. We have shared and exchanged everyday life stories and vastly intriguing tales from back home.