About Kathy Muir
With a distinctive voice and lyrical style that combines a blend of acoustic and pop influences infused with a hint of jazz, Kathy brings a unique spectrum of songs to the stage.
The music is as unconstrained by artistic boundaries as the woman herself. As a young teenager growing up on Edinburgh’s south side, Kathy loved to sing Sunday hymns or ‘songs’, as she preferred to call them, at her local church. When folk hymns were introduced to the church and her mother became one of the singers, Kathy started to pick up on these catchier tunes and in a few years decided she too wanted to join the folk group. She was now equally drawn to the guitar and started to learn on a friend’s old acoustic. In the space of six months she had secured a position in the group and would head to church early every Sunday to practise before the service. This love of spiritual songs has continued to grow over the years and Kathy has learned to find her own inner voice that has resulted in her now individual style of songwriting.
As a singer-songwriter Kathy knows what she likes and what suits her voice. Whilst comfortable playing acoustic pop, her jazz and blues influences weave through her songs and her vocal and lyrical style remains singular and instantly identifiable: an expressive range that is soft and intimate, yet sassy and upbeat with a natural, unforced delivery that captures the imagination’.
And imagination is aplenty. It’s clear from hearing Kathy talk that her outside interests weave themselves into her work. The song ‘Sweet and Easy’ is actually dedicated to artists from a bygone era: John Muir the naturalist, the Seattle Camera Club (1924-1929) and Elizabeth Colborne – a woodblock printer – the latter two hailing from the Pacific Northwest. What is unusual is that Kathy has collaborated with the University of Washington, The Pacific Library of California and the Whatcom Museum to obtain copyright approval to show selected works of these artists in her music video. Her aim is true: to show beautiful work she feels sure would capture people’s hearts today.
Kathy has always had a passion for words, music and art. Some years ago in ‘Advent Calendar season’, she wrote 25 short stories, one each day and each one based on a different photograph taken in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Paris, London, Edinburgh and Brussels amongst others. This storytelling quality is echoed in her songs today. Moreover, she believes there is a story to tell about the Seattle Camera Club (SCC), so much so that she is creating a special site within her website called ‘Sweet and Easy-The Untold Story’. The main focus of the site is to tell the story of the SCC in an appealing yet informative manner. Thanks to the club’s members, their work helped pictorial photography become a recognised art form in the salons of that era, formerly only reserved for paintings. Indeed, in 1928, of the ten most displayed photographers globally, seven were SCC members.
They say art is permanent energy. If so, and Kathy is able to raise awareness of the work of the Seattle Camera Club, then their energy will be around for most of Kathy’s lifetime and beyond.
A Scot, from Edinburgh, Scotland, Kathy currently lives in Connecticut. Whilst living here she has offered to play for free to any art foundations/institutions in the Seattle/Puget Sound area or in Connecticut /NYC . Any profits from paying venues will go directly to art charities. She calls it ‘recyclable art’ and sees it as a kind of ‘giving back whilst going forward’.
When asked what she think’s she’s trying to be as an artist, Kathy says she simply seeks to express the cornerstones of her beliefs; that art, nature and creativity can not only co-exist across creative mediums but they harmoniously and most joyously combine. These founding principles continue to weave throughout her work, be they through storytelling, songwriting, music videos or photography.
Music videos – Working with Markus Innocenti:
Kathy’s soon-to-be-released music videos for the Far from Entirely album have been solely directed by Markus Innocenti, founder of Red Dog Logic . This marks a milestone for both director and singer. ‘ Jezebel ‘ is out mid August and is Kathy’s first music video release with Markus behind the camera. Conversely, Kathy is the first artist to work with Markus since his return in 2012 to the music video business after a 20 year hiatus. Artists that Markus worked with in the past included Annie Lennox, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Page, Ringo Starr and Bill Wyman. So, what prompted this 20 year absence from the business and why return now?
Markus recalls he reached a tipping point where the artist and the songs he was being asked to direct failed to inspire and he realised the truth of a conversation with Annie Lennox in which she said that ‘the only way to succeed is to work with an artist or material that you truly care about’. Despite many requests over the years, Markus has declined all further offers. Until now. Kathy and Markus met each other in early 2012 in Scotland through mutual friends, and quickly grew to respect each other’s work and artistic integrity. As a team, they have sought to express the cornerstones of Kathy’ s belief as an artist; that art, nature and creativity can not only co-exist across creative mediums but harmoniously and joyously combine. These founding principles continue to weave throughout their collaborative process as they embark on new videos for Kathy’s second album.
For Kathy, the experience of working with Markus has allowed her to gain deeper insights into her own material. For Markus, working with Kathy’s artistry and commitment has kick-started his inpiration and creativity.
Date Recorded: 9/17/2012
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