Kier Blog Post #1: The Wedding of all Things
Like it’s the case for most people that I know in the field of music, my work life is a big patchwork of projects. But it didn’t use to be that way. In fact, it used to be quite the opposite. I remember how, 10 years ago, I was sitting in a summerhouse in the Danish countryside without a clue on how to spend my time …
1,5 years earlier, I had completed my Masters program in Vocal Performance at the Music Conservatory in Aarhus, Denmark. After this followed a period of intensive touring with my vocal group, Basix. Our success in the 2001 Danish pre-competition of the Eurovision Song Contest had allowed us to travel around Northern Europe with our a cappella show. The group was my life and my passion for seven years. But in 2003, this new urge to become a solo artist and perform with a band with “real” instruments – drums, keys, the whole thing – started to grow very strong. I knew it was time for me to say goodbye to my friends. The Basix Christmas tour that year was the last I did with them.
Now what …? Moving into that summerhouse with my boyfriend at the time seemed like a good idea. I was excited about all the time I had on my hands now. I wanted to write songs, meet people, make a record, and it be a “big deal”. The only problem was, I didn’t really know how to do all those things. Days of very little activity turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned into a full year of frustratingly aimless wandering through life. I finally decided to hire a coach. She helped me structure my thoughts, put my thoughts into words, and eventually my words into action. It was rough, but I finally started up some new projects – a few of them were a new collaboration with Malene Rigtrup (Ørehænger), a band (Gårsdagens Lys), and eventually the making of a solo album.
Being “proactive” was a whole new thing for me back then. I am still practicing the concept. But I have become much better at looking into which things I have influence on and then work with those. Moving from Copenhagen to Los Angeles in 2010 opened up a whole new field of opportunities for me. I had decided to try and keep alive the friendships and professional partnerships I had grown in Europe over the years. But I also wanted to be a part of the US music scene. Between the frequent travels across the Atlantic with workshops and concerts in different cities with many different groups of people and various concepts, it all started to feel a little chaotic. And then I remembered a song title by one of my favorite Danish artists: Randi Laubek. The song is called “The Wedding of All Things” (edited by Vocal Blog: find lyrics here).
I really liked the idea of all things getting “married” and started to ponder on how my current projects could interact. I basically had two parallel streams of activity going: my work as a teacher in the vocal community and my solo career. Instead of writing and teaching arrangements of other artists’ songs at vocal workshops, I started to bring music that I had composed and arranged myself. And as opposed to planning a separate tour through Denmark and Germany with my electronic band, Kier Project, and then do separate clinics in the same cities, I decided to “marry” the two. This inspired me tremendously and opened up brand new opportunities to grow both as a teacher, writer, and performer.
Right now, I am planning my third Germany tour with Kier Project. This electronic trio consists of me (keys/vox) and then my Copenhagen-based producer friends, Tue Sander (keys/guitar/vox) and Lars Rønne (laptop/vox). Part of what we do is visit choirs and vocal groups around Denmark, Germany and, as a new thing, Holland. In the afternoon, we do big, open choir workshops for singers in the region. At night, we perform a public concert featuring the hosting group, our band, and the large community choir. It is fun, it is meaningful, its … the wedding of all things.
Kier is a platinum-selling singer and songwriter out of Copenhagen, Denmark. For a decade, he has awed audiences across Northern Europe and the US with his contemporary soul music. In 2010, Kier relocated to Los Angeles.