Kali Malone, ‘Living Torch II’

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Kali Malone wrings every beautifully forlorn texture from just a few notes. She’s known for pipe organ pieces that undertake a spectral physicality, engaging with the very breath of the instrument. But on Living Torch, commissioned by the electro-acoustic music studio GRM, the American-born, Stockholm-based composer trades pipes for synths, sine waves and the boîte à bourdon, which literally translates as “drone box.”

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The whole album deserves a single sitting on a nice pair of headphones, but it is in the second act where Malone gives Living Torch‘s slow-moving theme a pulse. Over a shifting bed of trombone and bass clarinet, played by Mats Äleklint and Isak Hedtjärn respectively, bass notes played via Karplus-Strong string synthesis “pluck” the melody — in its stuttered phrasing, you few almost hear the ghost of Jason Molina. But as the drone builds, so does the doom: Distortion and feedback not only overcome, but reshape mourning into triumph.

The compositions of Kali Malone implement specific tuning systems in minimalist structure for pipe organ, choir, chamber music ensembles, and R formats. Malone’s music is rich with harmonic texture through synthetic and acoustic instrumentation in repetitive motions and extended durations. The music emits distinct emotive, dynamic, and affective hues which bring forth a stunning depth of focus. 

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Malone’s 2019 critically acclaimed album ’The Sacrificial Code’ is a major work featuring almost two hours of concentrated pipe organ pieces with profound resonance. With its slow, purified, and seemingly austere qualities, ‘The Sacrificial Code’ guides us through an almost trance-inducing process where we become vulnerable receptors for every slight movement, where every miniature shift in sound becomes magnified through stillness. As such, it’s a uniquely satisfying exercise in transcendence through self-restraint, a striking realization of ideas borne out of academic and conceptual rigor which gradually reveals profound personal dimensions. It has a perception-altering quality that encourages self-exploration free of signposts and without a preordained endpoint.


Kali Malone has performed extensively in Europe and North America at Musica Festival, Berlin Atonal, Moogfest, Kanal Pompidou, Elbphilharmonie, Paris Philharmonie, and Radio France. Her commission projects and residencies include the Ina GRM, Berlin Monom, The Richard Thomas Foundation, MACBA, Macadam Ensemble, Orgelpark, Elektronmusikstudion and Tempo Reale. She collaborates and performs with various artists, including Stephen O’Malley, Lucy Railton, Frederikke Hoffmeier, Leila Bordreuil, Drew McDowall, Caterina Barbieri, and Ellen Arkbro. In 2016 she co-founded the record label and concert series XKatedral, together with Maria W Horn, in Stockholm.  

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Interviews

2021 FutureStops Podcast (Episode 16)
2020 Apartamento (Issue 26)
2020 Kinfolk (Issue 36)
2020 Vanity Fair France (April 2020)
2020 Sonic Acts / GRM
2019 Zweikommasieben Magazin #19
2018 SPEX No. 381
2018 Tiny Mix Tapes
2017 Sveriges Radio: Elektroniskt i P2

2022

JULY 23 | Adelaide, Australia @ Unsound Adelaide w/ Stephen O’Malley

JULY 22 | Adelaide, Australia @ Unsound Adelaide

JUNE 22 | London, England 

JUNE 10 | Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Orgelpark

JUNE 6 | Leuven, Belgium @ Anatomical Theater w/ Stephen O’Malley & The Modular Organ

MAY 27 | Torino, Italy @ Jazz Is Dead w/ Lucy Railton & Stephen O’Malley

MAY 20 | Oslo, Norway @ All Ears Festival w/ Lucy Railton & Stephen O’Malley

MAY 03 | Ghent, Belgium @ Miry Concertzaal

APRIL 30 | Munich, Germany @ Haus Der Kunst w/ Lucy Railton & Stephen O’Malley

APRIL 29 | Munich, Germany @ Haus Der Kunst w/ Stephen O’Malley

APRIL 27 | Stans, Switzerland 

APRIL 25 | London, England @ St. John’s Smith Square

APRIL 22 | Nantes, France @ Variations Festival w/ Macadam Ensemble

APRIL 13 | Brattleboro, VT USA @ Epsilon Spires

APRIL 10 | San Francisco, CA USA @ Grace Cathedral

APRIL 09-16 | Los Angeles, CA USA @ Human Resources (installation)

APRIL 05 | Los Angeles,

APRIL 02 | Montreal, Canada @ OK LÀ!

APRIL 01 | New York City, NY USA @ Public

JULY 23 | Adelaide, Australia @ Unsound Adelaide w/

JULY 22 | Adelaide, Australia @ Unsound Adelaide

JUNE 22 | London, England @ Fabric w/ SUNN O)))

JUNE 10 | Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Orgelpark

JUNE 6 | Leuven, Belgium @ Anatomical Theater w/ Stephen O’Malley & The Modular Organ

MAY 27 | Torino, Italy @ Jazz Is Dead w/ Lucy Railton & Stephen O’Malley

MAY 20 | Oslo, Norway @ All Ears Festival w/ Lucy Railton & Stephen O’Malley

MAY 03 | Ghent, Belgium @ Miry Concertzaal

APRIL 30 | Munich, Germany @ Haus Der Kunst w/ Lucy Railton & Stephen O’Malley

APRIL 29 | Munich, Germany @ Haus Der Kunst w/ Stephen O’Malley

APRIL 27 | Stans, Switzerland @ Stansmusiktage / Kapuzinerkirche

APRIL 25 | London, England @ St. John’s Smith Square

APRIL 22 | Nantes, France @ Variations Festival w/ Macadam Ensemble

APRIL 13 | Brattleboro, VT USA @ Epsilon Spires

APRIL 10 | San Francisco, CA USA @ Grace Cathedral

APRIL 09-16 | Los Angeles, CA USA @ Human Resources (installation)

APRIL 05 | Los Angeles, CA USA @ 2220 Arts + Archives w/ Stephen O’Malley

APRIL 05 | Los Angeles, CA USA @ First Congressional Church of Los Angeles

APRIL 02 | Montreal, Canada @ OK LÀ!

APRIL 01 | New York City, NY USA @ Public Records

JANUARY 29 | Berlin, Germany @ CTM Festival w/ Stephen O’Malley & The Modular Organ

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Record

MARCH 05 | Geneva, Switzerland @ Pavillion ADC  w/ Cindy Van Acker & Stephen O’Malley

JANUARY 29 | Berlin, Germany @ CTM Festival w/ Stephen O’Malley & The Modular Organ

 

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