I am probably the 100,000th person who stumbled upon a Kaki King performance and regardless of what he had been doing, spent the next two hours viewing it repeatedly.
It was supposed to be just another TED talk, one of the lesser interesting presentations sandwiched between celebrity talks – Al Gore, Shai Agassi, Michelle Obama… And yes in the beginning it did sound like an art project, one of those mixing different noises to make a 'meaning' plus quiet applause out of obligation. One minute into the music, I started feeling something was touching my nerve in the same way she was touching the guitar strings. It was a moment of synchronization which hadn't happened to me for… twenty years or so? For a moment I was a kid, a happy kid, believing anything was possible in this world. I didn't know that raw emotion still existed inside me.
A week later I watched Joe Satriani with his amazing fingertaps on Surfing with the Alien, my favorite guitar solo performance from the past. It had become just another heavy metal riff. I am sure I will keep admiring Joe Satriani and other Hard Rock guitarists' skills, but I doubt I will ever be in love with their playing any more. My affection for heavy metal guitar playing was destroyed by a single performance from an Indie artist. There is a great amount of debate on whether her skills are godly or not, but does that matter?
The great news is that she (and her label) is so gracious about sharing their music on YouTube. (But her music videos are not as awe-inspiring as her music…)