We had the good fortune of connecting with Kasey Holt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kasey, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I choose it continuously. What we do with our time is a choice we all make all the time. When I was a kid, my answer to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” was always something like “a violinist, and an astronaut,” or “a violinist, and a writer,” so for me it wasn’t necessarily like I made a decision and that was that, but it’s within music I can create the space I want to discover and explore, and I can compose a melody that communicates an idea. The reason I still play the violin and create music is that it fulfills me, and I’m learning all the time. When I pay attention there’s always something new to learn-whether it’s composing with a different kind of harmony than I’m used to, or using my fingers or body differently to achieve a certain sound or texture, or sometimes on the more technical side I’m learning things like what kind of mic to use, where to position it, how I want to edit the recording so it captures what’s in my mind…it’s an endless universe to explore.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I make layered pieces of music with my violin. Mostly it’s instrumental, and it’s mostly violin. I grew up playing classical music, and later studied jazz and film music. Before I started making my own music I’d look at what already existed and try to make my own versions of that, but it never sounded good and it always felt really dishonest. Now I try to make what sounds natural to me- sometimes that makes it easier to create, but earlier on it was a challenge to create without trying to fit myself into a genre, or doing the same thing I’d seen someone else already do. Now the main thing that helps me get out of my own way when it comes to creating is trying to understand myself, and striving to be totally honest.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’d spend a lot of time at the beach, and especially hiking the cliffs in Palos Verdes. For food we’d go to Eat at Joes, and Cafe Gratitude, and get a cappuccino at Hi-Fi Espresso. And later cocktails at Hudson House or Mohawk Bend. We’d probably visit the Museum of Jurassic Technology, pop in to some art galleries in the arts district, and maybe see some live shows at MacArthur Park or the Del Monte Speakeasy. And of course thrift at the Long Beach or Fairfax Flea. And we’d definitely go dancing, so we’d probably hit up Funky Sole or maybe something a little more house at Sound. But mostly the ocean.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Bruce Babad, Mike Scott, Charlie Haden, Regina Carter, Toumani Diabaté, Evelyn Glennie, Jonny Greenwood Kundalini Yoga for the West by Swami Sivananda Radha The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten Born Standing Up by Steve Martin The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Of course my partner, family, friends, and students, but especially my parents for their unyielding support and fierce encouragement.
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2RwhTTmR4ZIDmt3LQETRdd?si=Jc8ZOjigTmGgsiVILo58xQ
Eclipse album artwork by Andrea Dunn Photos Kasey Holt