Jaw harpist Kian Wind from Leipzig remains musically alive and active despite limited opportunities in pandemic times. You can meet him busking in the streets of Leipzig, he works on new songs, released the album Kid Covid 2020 and he streamed a live concert worth listening to on April 24, 2021. We publish here the recording of the concert and an interview with him by Andi Rietschel.
I watched your livestream concert on 24 April. First of all, thank you for that. A beautiful musical journey. I have a few questions. Which jaw harps do you play during the concert? How many different harps do you usually play for a concert? Do you decide spontaneously which mouth harp to play or is it always planned?
I have a set of about 40 jaw harps. When the songs are written, I quickly decide which jaw harps I want to play with. That is then fixed and will not be changed. I then play my concerts or recordings with the jaw harps selected for the songs. For one hour of music there are always about 15 jaw harps. Each song is firmly connected to one or more of my harps.
You work with loops and since a few months also with electronic music. Did you (pre-)produce the electronic music yourself?
I'm still at the very beginning of producing electronic music. Last summer I bought a mini sampler called PO 33 KO! from Teenage Engineering. It's as big as a pocket calculator. Right after that I made four songs with it and published them on Bandcamp.
Now there are a few more devices. I explore them, build songs, try them out. The last song I play on the livestream was reworked by Xeming, a musician friend who also did the camera and editing on the stream. He brought in his ideas and added this guitar piece, which I love a lot. It's like a gift to accompany that.
I got the drone sound in the first song in the stream from the Leipzig-based musician Torn Kabuki, who also produces very cool music under the name Maki Roots. The things that can be heard on the stream are experiments. I explore what I can do live with Jaw harp and electronics.
For more than a year now, everything has been different for all of us. How has that affected your artistic work? Did you play live? Did you play a lot just for yourself? Have you recorded new music?
I was lucky enough to play at the Peace Dance Festival and at the Folklorum Festival last year. All the other official concerts were cancelled. I played a lot on the street, busking and experimented at home. But I do miss performing, which is why the livestream was such a great and beautiful experience for me.
Xeming and I were as excited as at a real live concert. The way we prepared the room, surrounded by lots of technology, the anonymous audience on the internet … that was an unexpected, very deep experience for us.
What are your plans for the coming months in 2021?
I'm working on new songs for a new programme together with other musicians from Leipzig, including Torn and Xeming. I hope to play a few concerts this year. But there is no fixed plan. It's a different creative life in Corona times. You have to learn to do things just for yourself too. That's a good school for life.
Thank you for the interview.