Performing on flying trapeze and aerial bungee came naturally to vocalist Kari Kirkland, a former Ironman Triathlete competitor and daughter of an Olympic-drafted swimmer. “Live music is not unlike flying trapeze; one must be confident, fully engaged, and ideally, joyful.” says the former co-owner of Emerald City Trapeze Arts. After eight years in Seattle working as a professional circus artist, the mystery of the Southern California desert beckoned. She left the dazzle of the circus and the death-defying practice behind to become a full-time musician. Kari remarks, “There is inherent magic in the desert… a stillness and an energy that coexist like nowhere else on earth. What better place to be an artist?”
Kari’s debut album, Wild is the Wind, was inspired in part by David Bowie’s performance of the title track. “It’s been one of my favorite songs since I was 18”, says Kari. “I heard an interview with Bowie where he considered his version (an homage to Nina Simone), to be the closest to his ‘true’ voice ever recorded. I had a chance meeting with him in Vancouver, BC in 1997. He invited me to sit and chat with him in his limo-bus after a private radio promotion performance. I told him how inspired I was by “Wild is the Wind,” and we had a laugh because he said it was recorded almost exactly when I was born.” This idea of the “true voice” intrigued Kari, having spent most of her life in bands singing to suit the occasion. She wanted to get deeper inside the songs and allow her emotions derived from the lyrics to drive the vocal performance.