Kiva's debut 'The Ladder'has dreamy, metaphorically rich offerings and elements of jazz, pop, impressionism and worldbeat. Cultural influences such as Tuvan, East Indian, Celtic, Balinese and Japanese are evident. Blending accessible sounding overtone singing with innovative musical accompaniments that are rare in the overtone world, Kiva creates a whole new niche. Roughly half the tracks on 'The Ladder'contain some form of this technique. Overall, she re-invents familiar song structures in a way that pushes musical and geographical boundaries. Lyrically, it's an expression of her personal, theoretical and global ponderings, full of lush imagery and wordplay. This all comes together with hair raising harmonies and highly melodic vocals that are simultaneously sweet, powerful, innocent and exotic.
Instrumentally, the emphasis is on piano. Guest artists contribute drums, bass, guitar, cello, violin, pedal steel and other hand percussion. One notable musician here is Kevin Breit, guitarist, who has worked with Norah Jones and Cassandra Wilson.
In all, listening to 'The Ladder' from start to finish is like a voyage that weaves through many adventures and emotions along the way.
Kiva is a Canadian singer/ keyboardist who is gaining international recognition as a western pioneer in worldbeat.
Her diversified career, spanning twenty-five years, began with a solid basis of classical and jazz piano training. The early professional years included stints in several rock, pop and R & B bands. Later on, she performed extensively as a solo act, including a jazz circuit in Japan. As a writer, she cites influences from a wide variety of artists: Jane Siberry, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, Ferron, Sting, Yma Sumac, Claude Debussy, Bobby McFerrin, Bulgarian women's choirs, East Indian classical, Tuvan singers.
Ongoing attention for her innovations in harmonic overtone singing have led to some unusual performance situations. International appearances have included: guest vocalist with orchestra 'Olla Vogala' in Brugge, Belgium ('02), main stage artist at KIEKU throat singing festival in Helsinki, Finland and Nordic House in Reykjavik, Iceland ('01), and only foreign female artist at the International Symposium of Throat Singing in the Republic of Tuva, Russia ('95). She was also world tour member with the Crash Test Dummies at the height of their fame, in support of 'God Shuffled His Feet'in '94-'95, where she demonstrated overtoning at each concert. She is also a member of Winnipeg's Wyrd Sisters since 2000, performing 'Regret' at each concert which highlights overtone singing.
From 'The Ladder','Pulse' and beyond, all her work documents an unorthodox history of study, performance, world travel and experimentation.