7 Brief Answers from Kathleen Yearwood

For a selection of artists playing Wavelength in June 2009 I, Doc Pickles, have decided to interview some of the performers using a form-interview. It’s amazing how varied and insightful the artists’ answers are, all to the beat of the same questions. In the case of legendary (to me at least) Kathleen Yearwood who is performing at WL467 with Planet Creature, The Whole Entire Universe, and the CD release for my current musical fling with 122 Greige, 5 is S by The Jim Storie Juniors. Kathleen was definitely playing her cards close to the vest and while a more persistant personal touch might have elicted longer answers it wouldn’t have elected more honest or genuine answers, the close berevity of the answers suggests an artist with a rich interior monologue and a healthy distrust of misplaced authority. If you can write a dissertation about In A Station At The Metro you can surely complete a Ph.D. with this interview.

Doc Pickles: Does the weather affect your music? Does dreary weather make you write more aggressive songs? if you lived in a sunny climate do you think your songs would feel more relaxed?

Kathleen Yearwood: Yes.

DP What do you do when you are angry at one of your songs? Do you rehearse it, do you take it out onstage with you and fight with it during a live show?

KY: Yes

DP: Have you ever been brought to tears by a live performance?

KY: Yes: Steven Jesse Bernstein, twice in one set. I told him I would never forgive him for that. I didn’t yet.

DP: Have you ever been brought to tears by a work of art? How does this catharsis feel compared to being brought to tears through music?

KY: Music is a work of art.

DP: How does one “see” sound? Does it have to do with memory and the impressions a song creates comes from those memories? Does it have to do with your reaction in the moment and is it the song that carves its meaning onto you?

KY: I have synesthesia to a certain degree. Drugs also help.

DP: Does your interpretation of a song change through the years? Has a song you wrote early on in your musical adventure transformed itself over the years to mean something entirely different to you than it did originally?

KY: Yes.

DP: Imagine I am asking you a seventh question right here. What would my question be? What would your answer be to that question?

KY: I don’t know.