Imagine: Jane Siberry meets Bobby McFerrin, riding over the central Asian steppes on a magic carpet, woven from exotic threads from many lands. Bell-like overtones, originating in Kiva's throat, echo off the hills. The tribes are dancing joyously to rhythmic textures as if they were brand new traditions, as she unites the world in harmony, demonstrating in song all that we share in common.
Whether it's healing or howling that's going on, the listener is drawn into layers of different emotions, simultaneously light-hearted and heart wrenching. Arm hairs raise and spines tingle at the sound of her instrumental voice, which runs the gamut of range and timbre in a single breath. Kiva invents new languages beyond words, called 'vocables' that instantly become universal. When lyrics appear, they are full of lush imagery that speaks for each of us on a personal and global level. Instrumentally, the emphasis is on hand percussion and keyboards, with guest artists contributing fretless bass, viola, acoustic harp, clarinet and saxophone. It is not world, jazz, pop or folk and yet it is all of them, with subtle nuances of each genre blended together seamlessly. Throw into the mix influences of Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, Yma Sumac, Tuvan throat singers and Bulgarian women's choirs.
Kiva is a Canadian overtone singer/ keyboardist who is gaining international recognition as a western pioneer in worldbeat music. She is well known for her harmonic overtone singing, a technique in which two pitches are produced simultaneously. Her diversified career, spanning twenty-nine 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. Ongoing attention for her innovations in harmonic overtone singing has 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. Kiva was a member of Winnipeg's Wyrd Sisters, a Juno-nominated folk trio ('00-'05). In concert, they also highlighted this ability with her composition 'Regret'(from 'The Ladder'). Kiva continues to stretch musical categories with the release of 'Pulse'. She creates layers of textural vocals with mostly imaginary language ('vocables'), sometimes imitating instruments, combining this with rhythms from several different cultures. Latin, African, East Indian, Cajun, Caribbean, and even a little Klezmer, are influences that appear in 'Pulse'. The uplifting results are unique hybrids that meld East and 'new' West. From 'The Ladder', 'Pulse' and beyond, all her work documents an unorthodox history of study, performance, world travel and experimentation.