In what appears to be a highly stylised pronunciation of Karen, the composer and vocalist KÁRYYN will initially have you at a loss as to how to say her name and will then swiftly leave you speechless with her layered and ambient music.
Based in Los Angeles, the SyrianArmenian-American’s music is minimal, but with its overlapping vocals, gentle orbing synths and rigid electronic interference, it makes for an all-enveloping experience. She trips up over the set rules of music, and takes us to a place that feels like a different dimension. Oh, yes. We’re going intergalactic with this one.
Also, Björk includes the composition KÁRYYN did on the Of Light opera (co-written by Samantha Shay, who is under the mentorship of Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic, no less) as one of her inspirations from 2017. If Björk is inspired by your work, then you’ve absolutely nailed it. In 2017, she released the singles
Aleppo, Purgatory (both from her Quanta series) and Moving Masses, from Of Light, through her own label Antevasin (a Sanskrit word that translates to “one who lives at the border”). With a promise of new material to surface this year, it’s time to get acquainted with her work.
Aleppo captures her childhood memories of visiting relatives in Syria, and she laments the city she once knew so well, contrasting it with the one now crumbling down.
The various crunches and blips that you hear over her fragile voices are intended to echo the destruction we see played out on the news.
The pining, delicate strums of
Binary feel isolated, and conjure up the quest for a soulmate between the ones and the zeros, which should feel dystopian, but, when we’re looking to be paired up and matched online – to find love in the abyss – Binary is our hollow reality.
Supping from the same cup as FKA Twigs and Zola Jesus, KÁRYYN’s music ensnares your brain and jolts your senses. It’s an immersive experience and her sounds leave a barely there but altogether heavy imprint on your brain.